When Does a Child Need a Passport?

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Well-worn travelers likely know every small thing they need for an upcoming trip. Travel visas and passports must be obtained long before packing their luggage.

But, do all of the same travel paperwork apply to a child?

When it comes to children’s passports, the sort of vacation you plan affects whether they need one. Your children may need a passport, but they will always require some sort of identification. Even if they are traveling with their parents, minors must have such identification while leaving the United States.

Travel Within North America

Your children do not need a passport to travel within the continental United States. If you plan to include stops to other countries during your trip, such as the Virgin Islands or Mexico, a passport is required.

For youngsters coming to Canada, the restrictions are different. Any child under the age of 15 may cross the border into Canada with a verified copy of their birth certificate. This kind of vacation does not need the use of a passport.

Minors aged 16 to 18 must have a driver’s license, passport, passport card, or Nexus card to re-enter the United States from Canada.

International Travel

For flight travel to another nation, all children, regardless of age, need a valid passport.

For minors under the age of 16, the application must be completed in person. At least one parent must attend to complete this application. Minors under the age of 17 must also attend in person throughout the application procedure.

A passport is required for all international air travel with parents. The following stages are included in the application process:

  • A parent or guardian must show some form of photo ID if the minor doesn’t have one. The procedure is the same for all children under the age of 16.
  • A birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship for the kid
  • Evidence of both parent’s citizenship in the U.S.
  • Parental legal identification, such as a driver’s license
  • Documentation demonstrating the parent’s connection with the kid
  • A parental permission form for the youngster to acquire a passport.
  • A passport size photo of the child
  • Applicable fees
  • A completed DS-1 form

If your kid is under the age of 16, you may also apply for a passport online. The passport takes around three weeks to process. If you need it immediately, a one-week fast track option may be available.

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