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Passports For Kids: Everything You Need to Know

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Summer means travel! It’s the season when many families hit the road or the runways in search of fun, sun, and adventures. This year, my kids and I are venturing within the borders of the U.S., but last summer my husband, my daughter, and I traveled to Italy for a family wedding—our first international trip with a child in tow.

Whether or not you’re planning a trip overseas, it’s a good idea to get a passport for your child. Passports for kids function as an entry pass to countries around the world and serve as a form of photo ID for youngsters when circumventing TSA security checkpoints or airport gates domestically.

If you’re thinking of packing your bags and jetting to Copenhagen or Costa Rica with your brood anytime soon, here’s what you need to know about kids and passports…

What: For children under 16, a minor passport is issued and is valid for five years.

Who: Getting a minor passport requires two parent consents, which means applications must be submitted in person with both parents and the minor present.

Where: Apply at an official passport agency or authorized application acceptance facility, which often includes post offices, libraries, or municipal offices. Be sure to make an appointment first. Start by calling the National Passport Information Center 24 hours a day at 1-877-487-2778.

When: Count on a minimum of six weeks to receive the passport, although it often takes longer in summer. If you’re traveling internationally in less than two weeks, it’s best to schedule an appointment at a passport agency (rather than an acceptance facility).

How Much: The current cost for a passport book is $105. You can also opt to get a passport card which costs $40, so significantly less. Take cash when you apply in case the acceptance facility isn’t set up for other forms of payment. Additional fees may apply at your local facility, so be sure to check ahead of time or go with additional cash. There are also options for expedited service ($60) and overnight delivery ($14.85).

What You Need to Apply:

1.              A completed DS-11 form

2.              One 2”x2” passport photo

3.              Evidence of child’s U.S. citizenship (via a birth certificate)

4.              Evidence of relationship between child and parent(s)/guardian(s)

5.              Parent or guardian identification and photocopy of identification

6.              Provide parental consent

Check this link for further info and to get a head start on travel prep for you and your globetrotting tots!

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