Does an Infant need passport to travel?

If you’re considering traveling abroad with your expanded family, it’s important to note that a passport is required for any kind of international travel, even for infants. This means that your baby will need a passport to travel abroad.

However, when it comes to domestic travel within the United States, your baby does not need a passport. It is advisable to carry your baby’s birth certificate as a form of identification when flying domestically.

When crossing international borders, each child, including infants, must have their own passport or be enrolled in a Trusted Traveler Program. If a child is not traveling with both parents, a letter of consent may also be necessary. For children under the age of 16, parents or guardians are required to visit a passport acceptance facility in person along with their child and the completed application form.

How to Get an Infant Passport

Obtaining an infant passport requires following a specific process that still involves physical attendance at a passport application facility. Despite the convenience of the digital age, careful planning can help simplify the entire process for both you and your baby.

Getting Baby’s Passport Photo

After addressing the question of whether a baby can travel without a passport, the next challenge is obtaining a suitable passport photo for them. Just like with adult passports, there are specific requirements that must be met. The photo should be clear, taken within the last six months, and feature the baby without glasses against a plain white or off-white background. It’s important to note that social media filters and selfies are not acceptable for passport photos.

To capture the perfect shot, laying your baby on a plain white or off-white sheet can provide a suitable background. Position yourself directly above your baby, who should be comfortable and relaxed, and take their picture. It’s advisable to use appropriate lighting to avoid any unwanted shadows. For infants who can sit up, you might consider using their car seat or high chair with a sheet draped over it as a backdrop.

Fill Passport Application Form

To initiate the passport application process, it is recommended to complete it in a timely manner, given the requirement for in-person attendance. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Visit the US Passports Section of the Travel.State.Gov website.
  2. Download the Form DS-11, which is the passport application form.
  3. Print out the form.
  4. Fill out the form accurately and completely, ensuring all the required information is provided.

By following these steps, you will have the necessary application form, Form DS-11, filled out and ready for the next stage of the passport application process.

Show Parental Consent

When traveling with your infant, it is crucial to have proper documentation regarding parental consent. To fulfill this requirement, follow these steps:

  1. Visit your local passport acceptance facility together with your partner or both parents.
  2. Submit your baby’s passport application at the facility.
  3. If only one parent or guardian is available to attend the application process, the second person should fill out a “Statement of Consent” form. This form must be notarized and accompanied by a photocopy.
  4. For specific scenarios and further clarification regarding parental consent, refer to the appropriate guidelines or consult with the passport acceptance facility.

By following these steps, you can ensure that you have the necessary documentation regarding parental consent when traveling with your infant.

Proof of Identification

When visiting the passport acceptance facility, it is essential to bring proof of identification for the parent(s) or guardian(s). Here are the guidelines for acceptable identification documents (always verify the specific requirements online before your visit):

  1. Legal ID: Carry a valid or expired U.S. passport book or passport card. Alternatively, if you are a foreign national, bring your current foreign passport.
  2. Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, or U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card): These documents are accepted as proof of identification.
  3. Driver’s License: A fully valid driver’s license or enhanced driver’s license with a photo is accepted. This includes in-state licenses, learner’s permits, temporary licenses, and non-driver IDs. If you have an out-of-state license, additional identification may be required.
  4. Government Employee ID: Government employees can present their city, county, state, or federal employee ID.
  5. Military ID: Members of the military and military dependents should bring their U.S. military or military dependent ID.
  6. Other Accepted IDs: Additional acceptable identification documents include the Matricula Consular (Mexican Consular ID), Trusted Traveler IDs (such as Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI, and NEXUS cards), Enhanced Tribal Cards, and Native American tribal photo IDs.

Remember to make photocopies of the front and back of each ID on standard plain white paper measuring 8½ x 11 inches.

Always double-check the specific identification requirements online before your visit to the passport acceptance facility to ensure you have the appropriate documentation.

Proof of United States Citizenship

To establish your baby’s United States citizenship, you need to provide proof to the passport agent. The following documents can be presented as evidence of citizenship:

  1. US Birth Certificate: Bring your baby’s original US birth certificate issued by the vital records office in the state where they were born.
  2. Certificate of Citizenship: If applicable, you can present the Certificate of Citizenship issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your child.
  3. Expired US Passport: If your baby has a fully valid expired US passport, you can also use it as proof of citizenship.

Remember to make a black-and-white photocopy of the chosen document. The photocopy should be on an 8.5″ x 11″ standard white paper, legible, and single-sided. This copy will be submitted along with the application to avoid any delays in the processing of your baby’s passport.

Gather the Paperwork You’ll Need

Now that you no longer have to wonder whether your baby needs a passport to travel, you might be wondering about the necessary documents for the application process. To apply for your baby’s passport, you will need the following documents:

  1. Proof of US Citizenship: This can include a US birth certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or a fully valid expired US passport.
  2. Proof of Identification: Both the child and parent(s) or guardian(s) will need to provide proof of identification. Acceptable forms of identification include US passports (valid or expired), driver’s licenses, enhanced driver’s licenses, government employee IDs, military IDs, and other accepted IDs listed by the passport agency. Make sure to bring photocopies of the front and back of each ID.
  3. Proof of Parental (or Guardian) Relationship: You will need to provide evidence of your relationship to the child. This can be demonstrated through the child’s birth certificate, adoption decree, or court order establishing guardianship.

It’s a good idea to keep a folder containing all the required documents and their photocopies readily accessible. Keep in mind that the passport book and citizenship documents may arrive in separate parcels, and it can take up to four weeks for the additional documents to arrive by mail after you receive the passport. If you have any upcoming travel plans shortly after receiving the passport, consider this timing factor.