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Passport Rules Every Single Parent Must Know

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Passport Rules Every Single Parent Must Know

Certain restrictions and child passport rules apply when a single parent attempts to secure a passport on behalf of his or her child.

Photo © Randy Harris

Know the Rules:

  • As of July 2, 2001, both parents' signatures must be included on passport applications for children under the age of 14.

  • In addition, as of January 23, 2007, passports are now required for air travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

The Application Process:

  1. Print out a passport application.
  2. Complete everything on the application except the signatures.
  3. Go to your local passport office with your child and the other parent.
  4. Both parents will sign the application in the presence of passport officials.
  5. Make sure you bring all of the required documentation, including your child's birth certificate and your own ID.

Alternatives:

  • If the other parent is in agreement about applying for the child's passport but cannot accompany you to the passport office, he or she can complete a Statement of Consent and have it notarized to prove the authenticity of the signature.

  • If the other parent is unavailable, complete the "Statement of Special Circumstances," which can be found at the bottom of the Statement of Consent. This will allow you to explain why it is not possible for the other parent to give consent.

Exceptions:

  • If only one parent is listed on the child's birth certificate, then two signatures are not required.

  • If you have sole custody of your child, submit the court order establishing custody along with the application.

Additional Information:

  • If you fear your child's other parent may attempt to apply for a passport without your consent, you should contact your local passport office and have your child's name added to the Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program.

  • Some countries will still require a notarized letter from the child's other parent before permitting you to enter the country. Contact the U.S. Embassy in the location you are traveling to in order to learn more about what might be required.

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