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Let’s Have A Beach Party – In London! – Renewing Your Child’s Passport

September 22nd, 2010 · No Brilliant Opinions · International Travel

Just when we thought we had suffered every possible indignity at our neighborhood post office….we realized we had to renew our children’s passports.   We are planning a spring break trip to London and Paris.

Our children had gotten passports 5 years ago and since they were under the age of 15 when issued, they had to be renewed, an application  completed (Form DS-11), submitted in person by both parents, with the kids in tow.

We went to our neighborhood post office (known henceforth as that dreadful place) with our nine and seven year old, our completed Form DS-11, our IDs, and our children’s old passports. Unfortunately, we made one critical error – we did not bring evidence of relationship to our minor children.

For the record, proof of relationship is one of the following:

Certified US birth certificate with both parents’ names

Certified Foreign birth certificate with both parents’ names

Report of Birth Abroad with both parents’ names

Adoption decree with adopting parents’ names

Court order establishing custody

Court order establishing guardianship

We assumed the old passports would serve as evidence of the relationship (obviously we could not get them without proof of being their parents). Surely, the amount of yelling, cajoling, pleading and pinching I was doing in that dreadful place was proof I was their mom. Well,the dreadful place sent us back home to get the birth certificates – after we spent 45 minutes in line.  They would not accept a photocopy of the birth certificates and actually took our originals.  I was sure I would never see them again. The agent was rude (was she a postal agent or a birther?). I was tired and the kids were getting hungry. Much to my surprise they were returned intact – in a mailing separate from the renewed passports.

For single parent households or grandparents/guardians the rules are more onerous and require either a notarized statement of consent from the other parent or evidence that you have sole authority to apply for a passport for a minor child.  In these cases, I would recommend reviewing the site http://www.travel.state.gov/ for detailed information.

Oh and don’t forget your wallet, there is a $80 application fee for minors under 16 and a $25 execution fee which is paid separately to the US Postal Service.


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