Traveling abroad can be a wonderful experience for many people. However, for new parents, it can be a bit of a challenge to navigate the logistics of the trip and caring for your baby. When traveling internationally, one of the most substantial hurdles is obtaining an infant passport. It requires a meticulous attention to detail and fairly sizeable amount of processing time to complete. These factors can intimidate many new parents which is why we put together a brief guide to obtaining an infant passport.
Fill Out a Form
According to the US Department of State, “All passport applicants under 16 must apply in person using Form DS-11.” Additionally, these passports are only good for five years instead of the usual ten years for adults. While the form is pretty straightforward, the sleep deprivation that comes along with being a new parent necessitates you double check your form before heading to apply for an infant passport.
Next on your list of things to do is to have passport photos taken of your baby. There are specific regulations to what can and cannot be used as a passport photo. For this reason, we suggest utilizing a professional because if your picture does not meet state department standards, you have to start the process all over again. Many photo processing centers can take passport photos.
There are several crucial documents required when filing for an infant passport. Most of these items are used to validate or verify your identity and your relationship to the child. Most people will know where all their documents are located, but it is best not to wait until the last minute before rounding them up. For a complete list of documents you need, check the US State Department website.
Both Parents Present
When it is finally time to head to a processing center and submit your application package, remember that both parents must be present. There are a few oath statements that must be read to process the application, but the more significant reason for having this requirement is so that one partner cannot run away with the child without consent. Therefore, you need to choose a time that is convenient to both of you.
The Waiting Game
After you finish up at the processing center, it is merely a waiting game to see how quickly they will process your application. Make sure you allow plenty of time ahead of your trip for them to make and deliver your passport. If you need your passport in a hurry check out the options here to see if you qualify for a rush passport.