Although it may not be known to many, passports are required for everyone who wants to venture out of the United States. This is regardless of their age.
In order to accomplish this task, a variety of steps need to be taken. First and foremost, one should order a copy of their baby’s birth certificate from their respective state’s office of vital records. This is because the certificate the hospital supplies parents with is not a legal document but rather a commemorative one. Should the child have been born on foreign soil, a consular report detailing the birth abroad should be obtained. Primary documentation is a strict requirement, so be sure to have it ready when applying.
A passport photo then needs to be taken. This photo should have the dimensions set as two by two inches. Parents may aid their newborns when the photo is taken, but must be cropped out of the final photograph.
The next step is a little tricky. Both parents need to go to the passport office with their respective valid government issue IDs, the aforementioned materials, and their child. A single parent needs to show proof of a custody agreement or otherwise be able to explain their situation. Should the other parent simply be unable to make the trip, a DS-3053 form needs to be signed by them alongside a notary. They will also require an adequate excuse for being unable to make it.
Finally, the parents need to fill out their child’s information on the passport application. This information should be printed with black ink. These are available at the passport office or may be acquired online from the State Department. The completed application along with all of the previously mentioned materials and payment in the form of a check or credit card must then be presented to the passport office.
A higher fee may be charged if the passport is needed within a short period of time (fourteen to thirty days). This passport will only last for five years. After that period of time has expired, the passport must be renewed in order to venture overseas again. Proof of social security numbers from every individual taking part in the application process may also be required. The passport office is usually a local county office, library, or post office. The nearest location can be found online via the United States State Department’s website.