A person applying for a U.S. passport on behalf of a child under age 16 must demonstrate that both parents’ consent to the issuance of a passport to the child or that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain the passport.
Congress’ purpose in adding this requirement that both parents’ consent be demonstrated is to lessen the possibility that a U.S. passport might be used in the course of an international parental child abduction.
Note that these requirements are in addition to the standard passport requirements.
All documents must be originals. Any non-English document must include a translation. You may do the translation yourself. We may request whatever additional documentation is necessary from you to meet these requirements.
1. You Must Present - Evidence of Child's Relationship to Parents/Guardians
- Certified or Original U.S. birth certificate (with parents’ full names matching their photo ID; see below); or
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) (with parents’ full names matching their photo ID; see below); or
- Certification of Birth Abroad (DS-1350)(with parents’ full names matching their photo ID; see below); or
- Adoption decree (with adopting parents’ full names matching their photo ID; see below); or
- Court order establishing custody; or
- Court order establishing guardianship.
If the parent(s)/guardian current name(s) is/are other than what is stated on these documents, evidence of legal name change (e.g. marriage, divorce, court-ordered name change) is required.
2. You Must Also Present - Parents' Photo Identification
- Valid US, HK or Macau passport or
- Hong Kong or Macau ID card
- Valid US drivers license; or
- Valid military ID; or
- Valid U.S. or foreign passport with photo; or
- US Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship with recognizable photo; or
3. You Must Also Present Parental Consent to Issuance
- Both parents sign the child’s passport application; or
- Submit the other parent’s written consent to the application using the Form DS-3053 (PDF 52 KB). You must also include the child’s original birth certificate as evidence of the two parents’ names and bring in with you a copy of the other parent’s passport.
One parent may sign in person and the other parent give his/her consent through a written affidavit (One parent signs and submits second parent’s signed consent; download the Form DS-3053 (PDF 52 KB). The form must be notarized). Note the parent who signs in person will need to still have a copy of the non-present parent’s passport with him/her.
Local notarials are acceptable. All notarized statements must be in English. Only the original copy of the notarized consent form is acceptable.
- One parent signs and submits primary evidence of sole authority to apply.
Acceptable evidence may include the child’s certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate (with translation) listing only the applying parent, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (DS-1350) listing only the applying parent, a Court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless child’s travel is restricted by that order), an Adoption decree (if applying parent is sole adopting parent), a court order specifically permitting applying parent’s or guardian’s travel with the child, a judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent or a death certificate of non-applying parent.
If none of the above documents are available, the applying parent/guardian must apply in person with the child present at the Consulate at the same time.
The applying parent/guardian must submit a signed explanation and documentation showing why the non-applying parent/guardian’s consent cannot be obtained.
Exceptions may be granted only in exigent (e.g. the health or welfare of the child is in jeopardy) or special family (e.g. the non-signing parent’s whereabouts are unknown, he/she is medically incapable or is incarcerated) circumstances.
A third-party acting in loco parentis on behalf of child under age 16 must submit a notarized consent from both parents or guardians authorizing this third party to apply for the child’s passport. When this notarized consent is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of the authorizing parent/guardian’s sole custody.
Note that if you do not provide your Social Security Number, the Internal Revenue Service may impose a $500 penalty.
Last modified: April 13, 2017