How to Renew Your Child's Passport
Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Recently I noticed my daughter's passport was about to expire. I thought I was going to be able to just get an updated photo, go online to fill out a form and mail in the new photo like I do when I renew my Passport. However, I discovered it was going to be a little more complicated than that.
When planning a trip to Italy or anywhere out of the country, I always recommend applying for or checking if you need to renew your Passport 6 to 4 months out. Doing so helps to ensure you have your family's passports ready in time. Click here to download my timeline checklist for travel to Italy with kids.
Children's passports must be renewed in person. Your most recent Passport would have to be issued when you were age 16 or older to renew via mail. Technically, children under the age of 16 cannot "renew" their Passport as adults can. You must fill out the same application as if you were filling out an application for them the first time.
Step 1. Fill out Form DS-11
Go to the U.S. Department of State website to fill this form out. Here is a short list of information you will need to fill out the form that you may not know offhand and need to gather beforehand.
Your child’s social security number
Your child’s height
Other parents date of birth and place of birth.
The form will ask for the occupation of the person applying. You can enter "CHILD" or "STUDENT."
If you plan on traveling overseas (ex. Italy), you want to select a passport book, not a passport card. A passport card is only valid for return to the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean.
Step 2. Passport Photo
Get your child's passport photo taken somewhere like the Costco Photo Center or Walgreens.
Tip: Don’t wear a white shirt. Since the background is also white, it was hard to get the camera to focus. Luckily I had a green jacket to through over my daughter's shoulders; otherwise, we may have had to go home to change.
Step 3. Schedule an Appointment
Find a Passport Acceptance Facility here. The easiest way to apply is for both parents to appear in person to apply for the child's Passport. There are special Statements of Consent to fill out if one parent or guardian cannot go with the child to apply in person for the child's Passport or if one parent or guardian cannot locate the other parent or guardian.
Step 4. What to Bring
If you have their old Passport, these are the documents you will need to apply. If, while you are filling out the DS-11 form, you select that you no longer have their old Passport, they may give you a different list to bring.
The old Passport.
One recent Passport photo.
Proof of U.S. Citizenship (birth certificate)
Correct Passport Fees. ( $80 Application Fee + $35 Fee in two separate checks)
Proof of Relationship. (birth certificate if you are the parents listed on the birth certificate)
Your next step in planning your trip to Italy with kids is downloading my Free Travel Planner! Included in the planner is:
Travel Planner Timeline
Suggested Travel Gear
Carry-on Checklist by Age
Packing Checklist by Age
Discount Codes for Tours, Rentals, Babysitters, & More!
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