Make the long process of getting their passports just a little easier.
International travel with children is a challenge, but getting their passports shouldn’t be. Here are our five tips to make this process go a little more smoothly.
1. Be Prepared and Have Everything Together
There is a lot of paperwork that goes into getting a passport and being disorganized can make the process all the more frustrating. For a passport for a minor under 16, there are seven necessary documents:
– Evidence of US Citizenship
– Evidence of Parental Relationship
– Photo Identification
– Parental Consent form
– Passport Photo
– Applications Forms
– Passport Fees
Keep a folder of all documents (one for each child) to prevent a last-minute scramble to find them during the chaos of planning a trip. It will save you time and give you peace of mind!
All of the forms needed to apply for a minor’s passport are all available online to print at home. This will cut down your time at the post office as you won’t need to fill out these forms on site.
Many post offices will offer to take your child’s ID photo for their passport, however, it can be pricey. Places such as CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart will take your child’s passport photo and print it for significantly cheaper. Make sure you have this done before you go to the post office.
Depending on the location, you might need an appointment to apply for a passport. Double check with your post office to see if you need an appointment or if they allow walk-ins. This will save you the trouble of going in and finding out that you will have to wait a few more days. Also, check the walk-in hours to make sure you arrive well before closing just in the case the line is long.
Once you’ve gotten all of the paperwork done and the appointment is made, you need to make sure the whole family is informed. All children and parents must be present when applying for their passports. When this is all finished, it will still be another four to six weeks before the passports arrive which is something to keep in mind when planning your international vacation. But, passports can be expedited if needed and will arrive in three weeks instead of six.