How Much Do Passports for Kids Cost?
A passport is an “official document issued by a government, certifying the holder’s identity and citizenship and entitling them to travel under its protection to and from foreign countries.” Passports are issued by the U.S. Department of State and are required by anyone planning on traveling overseas. Every minor, no matter the age, who is traveling outside the country must have a valid passport before he or she is allowed to travel abroad.
How much does it cost?
- The website for the U.S. Passports & International Travel states that the passport fees for minors are $80 for a passport book; $95 for a passport book and card; and $15 for a passport card. All three require a $25 acceptance fee, which is charged to applicants on form DS-11 to recover expenses related to completing the passport application. An estimate of the total cost of a new passport for your child/children can be obtained using the Estimate Your Costs calculator.
- According to Family Vacation Critic, a website that features reviews of family-friendly hotels, resorts, destinations and attractions, the application fee for children younger than 16 is $80. Parents who are getting a passport for more than one child are required to submit one check per child.
- A USAToday article states that a passport for a minor costs $105.
What is going to be included?
- Obtaining a passport for kids requires both parents (or guardians in the absence of parents) to bring the children to a passport agency, local post office municipal/town/county government offices, or to the local library. A copy of the children’s official birth certificate or adoption decree (if applicable) also needs to be presented. Both parents are also required to provide a copy of their driver’s licenses. Once all documents that verify who the child is and the identity of the parents are furnished, a DS-11 form will be provided for completion. The form will contain information to be used on the children’s passport. A photo of each child needs to be provided, according to requirements. Processing of the passport can typically take 2 to 3 weeks, although this is not guaranteed. The passports are valid for 5 years until the age of 16, at which time a new passport will be required.
- The requirements needed when applying for a minor passport are as follows: evidence of citizenship, photo identification, parental consent, passport photo, application forms, and passport fees.
What are the extra costs?
- In addition to paying for the passport application, other fees need to be paid. These include the processing fee and the charge for overnight delivery ($12.72) of the passport once it is processed. An expedited service fee, which is an additional $60 per child, is also required for those who request the service as well as for those who have less than 6 weeks before travel.
- Adding more pages to a valid passport also requires an added charge, which is $82 per passport.
- A fee chart is made available at United States Passport Fees.
Tips to know:
- Not all passport agencies accept walk-in applications. It is best to book an appointment in advance.
- If you need a passport for your children quickly, you will need to schedule an appointment at a passport agency.
- You can find out the status of the passport application at the U.S. Passports & International Travel website.
- Make sure to submit the correct passport fees to avoid delay in the processing of the application.
- There is no passport renewal by mail for minors. The child must be brought in, accompanied by both parents, for the initial passport as well as any renewals that are needed.
- According to this guide, “Acquiring or renewing a child’s passport is no walk in the park. Over the past few years, new requirements have been added in an effort to combat child abduction and trafficking. The new requirements mean more work for parents to acquire passports for their children. While guaranteeing the safety of children may be a worthy objective, it still means more work. To make it through the process without a hitch, it is important to begin early and pay close attention to detail.”
- Even if you are not planning to travel outside the country anytime soon, obtaining a passport for your child may be a good idea.
- If someone other than the parent is traveling with the child, he must carry a letter from each parent giving permission for him to do so. If one parent is traveling without the other, then he must carry a letter from the other parent signifying knowledge of the trip. If one parent has sole custody, she can carry a copy of the court document rather than obtaining a letter.
How can I save money?
- If travel is anticipated, make sure to start the passport application process for your child/children months in advance in order to save on costs associated with urgent applications.
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