How to Renew a Passport for a Minor
By Teo Spengler
Updated August 24, 2017
Replacing Your Child's Expired Passport
Renewing a passport is easier and less time consuming than filling out in a whole new application, but it isn't always possible. While most passport holders can renew an expired passport, there are some exceptions; one of those exceptions being your children.
No Passport Renewals for Kids
Passport rules don't actually include children as an exception to passport renewals. But, when a minor has a passport that expires, you'll have to apply for a new one. That's because the law says that you cannot renew a current or expired passport if it was issued before their 16th birthday.
Passports for kids 16 and under last five years, and those for kids who are over 16 last 10 years. That means that a passport issued after a child's 16th birthday will not expire while the child is a minor. Therefore, if you have a child whose passport has expired, you won't be able to renew it.
Passport Applications for Minors
You need to apply in person for your child's U.S. passport at a passport agency, which you must do for your child's first passport or a subsequent passport. Accompany your little one to complete and cosign all applications, but once they reach 16 years of age, they can apply for a new passport without needing supervision. While you're in the office, save time and apply for passports for all younger children simultaneously so you don't have to return again.
In order to apply for a passport for your children, you will need some of the same documents you would need when applying for an adult:
- Form DS-11 either filled out online and printed, or printed and filled out by hand
- An original proof of citizenship document such as a birth certificate or a prior passport
- A photocopy of the front and back of the proof of citizenship document
- Your own photo identification (like a driver's license or passport) and a photocopy of the front and back of it
- Proof of the parental relationship, such as the child's birth certificate showing your name as a parent
- If both parents cannot go to the passport office, the non-accompanying parent must fill out and sign a Form DS-3053 (“Statement of Consent") giving consent that the child obtain a passport.
You'll also need to submit a passport photo that meets the many requirements of the Passport Office, and will need to pay the application and execution fees. Application costs are $80 for a passport book and $15 for a passport card. Execution fees are $25 for either or both.
Timing for Receiving a New Passport
The processing time for routine service is about six to eight weeks from the date of the application. With expedited service, you can cut that to two or three weeks from the time of the application.
From Alaska to California, from France's Basque Country to Mexico's Pacific Coast, Teo Spengler has dug the soil, planted seeds and helped trees, flowers and veggies thrive. World traveler, professional writer and consummate gardener, Spengler earned a BA from U.C. Santa Cruz, a law degree from Berkeley's Boalt Hall, and an MA and MFA from San Francisco State. She currently divides her life between San Francisco and southwestern France.