Applying For Your Child’s Passport

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Getting a child us passport is not as easy as getting one for an adult. The legal guidelines are very rigorous as a result of incidents of a children being kidnapped and used to another country by one of the parents. All students are regarded as a minor if they’re younger than eighteen and unmarried, and all, including newborns and infants, are required to have passports to travel in and out of the country.

Absolutely no passport will be given for a child unless of course they appear in person when the application is made. Their mom and dad or an authorized representative must go with them. The application can only be made to an acceptance agent who is located in a post office, county or municipal clerk’s office. All children must have a passport, in spite of age.

If a child is born to United States citizens while vacationing or living abroad they must request a pasports at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in that country. They face exactly the same requirements as if these were applying in the United States. They have to show proof of their citizenship and comply with the two-parent consent law.

Changes in Regulations

Due to several well publicized instances of child abduction by unauthorized parents, a law was passed in 2001 known as the two-parent consent law. Under this law, both parents or guardians must sign for a child to receive this document. They both must present proof that they are the actual parents. Under some circumstances, there are other arrangements.

The conditions towards the legislation, permitting one mother or father to be able to sign the application, are quite vast, but strictly enforced. Such things as proof of sole custody, courts orders and others are accepted. The child’s birth certificate and other documentation must be presented.

Minors Defined

Minors under the age of 16 and 17 must also appear in person, accompanied by their parent or parents. If only one parent presents the application and it does not have the signatures of both parents, then written consent of the other parent must be provided. Grandparents may not sign unless they have guardianship papers.

Strict Guidelines

What the law states is very specific when there is a custody problem with children. A state court has the authority to take and hold a child’s passport if there is a threat that they might be removed from the country. In addition, a parent may request an Alert Program to inform them if any application is made for a passport for the child.

Documents required by the acceptance agent are: original or certified copy of child’s birth certificate or naturalization papers; parent’s identification such as a driver’s license; two of the child’s pictures, taken by a passport application forms photographer; and proof of parents or legal guardian’s relationship. Getting a passport for a child is a little more complicated than for an adult, but with the right documentation things should go smoothly.

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