Traveling internationally can be an excellent source of cultural growth and education, especially for young people. They are, however, required by law to carry a valid passport at all times. When that document has expired, there are specific requirements for issuing an up-to-date version. Knowing about the rules of child passport renewal can save time and energy for everyone involved.
Must Apply In Person
An adult can complete the process via mail but a personal appearance along with the legal parents or guardian is required when a minor renews. Adults must be able to legally prove they have custody and be able to present the necessary documentation. While the rules may seem restrictive or time consuming to some, they are designed with the welfare of young people in mind in an age of abductions and trafficking.
The legal definition of a child according the U. S. State Department includes anyone who has not yet reached aged sixteen. Those who are sixteen or seventeen face slightly different regulations but an eighteen-year-old is considered an adult. Anyone under age sixteen must have parental consent when renewing a travel document and due to the variations in modern family structure, there are differing rules designed to fit most domestic situations.
Proof of Relationship
To find out what is required in any specific individual parental situation, consult a Parental Consent table, which may easily be located on line under the renewal information. The table lists exactly which documents are appropriate. Even in non-traditional family groups, proof of custody is still a stringent requirement. If no guardian or parent is available, there are additional forms to complete as a work-around.
Armed with this information, it is time to download and print the official DS-11 forms. Completion of the form will require a current address, date of birth and social security number in addition to the required parental documentation. Take care not to sign this form until in the presence of an agent or it will be considered invalid.
Bring In Expired Document
The old, expired document must also be presented. It should be undamaged physically and should be accompanied by legal proof of the current parental relationship. That proof may include a decree of adoption, an original birth certificate or even a report confirming foreign birth. If none of those are available, a court order certifying custody needs to be shown.
Parents also must prove their own identity through a current, valid driver’s license, an undamaged passport, a government or military ID or birth certificate. Photocopies are accepted, but in some cases the originals are required. Additionally, standardized photos must be provided. They may be taken professionally or may even be computer-produced home photographs that meet the right specifications.
Combine all this passport renewal information in a large envelope and check to make sure your preferred payment form is accepted locally. Bring both children and documents to a local acceptance facility or make an appointment at a regional agency. Once approved, sign in the presence of the agent. Knowing in advance which documents and information is required in your own specific case can make the child passport renewal experience more pleasant and problem-free.