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How to Get a Passport for a Newborn

by Melinda Kedro, studioD

Planning a trip outside of the country with a newborn can pose many challenges to new parents. One step to get all of your ducks in a row prior to confirming travel plans is to obtain a passport for your newborn baby. Applying for a passport for your newborn is a step-by-step process that will require investment of time and money. Following specific guidelines will ensure that you receive your newborn's passport in plenty of time for your trip.

Obtain two identical two-inch square passport photos of your newborn at a photo facility that offers passport photo services. A parent may hold a newborn for the photo, as your baby is not big enough to hold his head up by himself yet. Make sure your baby's eyes and hairline are visible in the photo. The passport photo must be taken within the last six months prior to applying for a passport.

Download, print out and fill in an application form for a U.S. passport. You may also pick up an application form at your local post office or passport acceptance facility. Complete the form, making sure that you wait to sign it until you are submitting it at the acceptance facility. You must sign the form in person.

Gather the necessary documentation required to apply for the passport. You must present your newborn's certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state. A certified birth certificate will contain a registrar's raised seal, a registrar's signature and the date the certificate was filed. Your baby's birth certificate must also contain the full names of both parents to prove parent's relationship to the child. If your child has just one parent, the birth certificate must reflect this information.

Come prepared with your own form of identification such as a current U.S. passport, valid driver's license, recently issued Naturalization Certificate or a current government employee or military I.D. You will need to have photocopies of each parent's identification document to turn in with the application. Photocopies must be on plain white, 8.5- by 11-inch standard paper stock with no other marks or images. Photocopy both the front and back of your identification using just the front-side of the paper.

Submit the application form for your newborn's passport at a passport acceptance facility. Both parents or guardians must be present with the baby when submitting the application, unless your baby has just one parent. Bring along all aforementioned photos, documents, identifications and photocopies. You will be required to pay a passport application fee ranging from $15 to $95 in addition to a $25 execution fee.

Items you will need
  •  2 passport photos
  •  Application Form DS-11
  •  Child's certified birth certificate with parent(s) name(s)
  •  Current personal identification for parent(s)
  •  2 photocopies of each parent(s) identification document
  •  Check, cash, credit or debit card or money order


  • Call a passport acceptance facility beforehand to ensure the location is currently accepting new passport applications.
  • Ask what form of payment is accepted at the specific passport agency location you wish to visit. Some locations may accept credit card payments while others may not.
  • If your baby does not have a certified birth certificate, you may submit evidence of your child's U.S. citizenship with a naturalization certificate, certificate of citizenship or a Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • If your baby is adopted, submit an adoption decree with adopting parent's names to prove your relationship to the child.
  • If you are the only parent with legal custody of your child, submit a court order establishing custody or guardianship.
  • Your baby's passport will be good for five years.


  • If you submit the passport application in a different state than your primary identification document specifies, you must present a second form of identification that shows your photo, full name, date of birth and a document issuance date.
  • Your newborn's passport can take six weeks to receive after you have submitted your application. Be sure to submit your application in plenty of time prior to your trip. You can pay a fee for a rush two-week delivery time.

About the Author

With more than 10 years experience in early childhood education, Melinda Kedro holds a Masters degree in education, teaching certification through the Association Montessori Internationale and is a licensed childcare provider through the Colorado Department of Human Services.

Photo Credits

  • Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images