You’ve finally saved up enough money for that long-awaited family vacation abroad. The only thing standing in your way is getting passports for your children. You may have heard that both parents must be present in order to get a passport for a minor, but is this really the case? Keep reading to find out.
In general, yes, both parents must be present in order to get a passport for a child under the age of 16. However, there are some circumstances in which only one parent may apply. These include:
-The other parent is deceased.
-The other parent’s whereabouts are unknown.
-The child was born out of wedlock and the father’s name does not appear on the birth certificate.
-There is proof of sole custody or guardianship.
If you fall into one of these categories and are applying for a passport for your child without the other parent, you will need to provide additional documentation.
Providing Proof of Sole Custody
In order for a child to get a passport, only one parent needs to be present as long as that parent has proof of sole custody or joint custody of the child. If you do not have sole or joint custody of your child, then the other parent must give their consent in order for your child to get a passport. This consent can be given in the form of an original or certified copy of the other parent’s driver’s license, passport, or government-issued ID.
If you cannot locate the other parent or they refuse to give their consent, then you will need to provide proof of sole custody of your child in the form of a court order. If you do not have a court order proving that you have sole custody of your child, then you will need to provide an affidavit from a third party who can attest to the fact that they have seen the other parent in over five years or that the whereabouts of the other parent is unknown.
It’s always best to check with the U.S. Department of State beforehand to find out what specific documentation they require in your situation.
So, do both parents have to be present in order to get a passport for their child? In general, yes—but there are some exceptions to this rule. If you find yourself in one of these exceptions, make sure to gather the necessary documentation before applying for your child’s passport. And as always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the U.S. Department of State for guidance.