Congratulations! You’ve made plans to take your family on an international vacation! Will you be sailing in the Caribbean, trekking a scenic vista or perhaps touring an historic foreign location? Whatever the case may be you’ll need to make sure every member of your family has a passport. Even the little ones. If you’re looking for instructions on how to get your baby a passport, you’ve come to the right place!
I took my 3 month old baby girl on her first international trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos Resorts for a social media conference. My mom came with me to help out, and nothing was more fun than three generations of girls on a trip together. But that also meant I had to get my infant baby a passport! When you’re needing a birth certificate, social security card AND to wait for a passport to be processed, that’s a LOT of time going by! I started gathering the proper paperwork as soon as she was born.
Print all the Correct Forms
The best place to get forms to get a minor or a baby a passport are these.
If both parents cannot be present to sign the forms at the passport office (or you’re mailing it in!) you’ll need a NOTARIZED Parental consent form.
Grab the correct passport form and fill it out.
Gather Your Paperwork
- Evidence of U.S. Citizenship: You’ll need evidence of U.S. Citizenship as well as parental relationship. Usually a birth certificate of a U.S. Citizen can do all of these. Note that you will need to send in the REAL thing, and not a copy. It’s mailed back to you separately after the passport arrives via mail.
- Evidence of Parental Relationship
- Photo Identification: Copy your (the parent’s) drivers license BACK and FRONT to include in your packet.
- Parental Consent (the same notorized form mentioned above if both parents cannot be present)
Say Cheese – Get a Passport Photo
Okay, there is a discussion here. Few people I have known ave found success mailing photos in. Drugstores don’t get it right anymore, and taking your own photos usually result in it being too small, eyes squinched, big smiles or not facing dead forward. Take my advice and make an appointment at your local passport office. Pay the $15 (same as CVS or some other location) and have your photos taken there. You’ll thank me when your passport is issues and not rejected, taking 3 extra weeks out of your schedule. Even baby photos need to follow ALL requirements and are much trickier to get!
Make a Passport Appointment
See above…. just make one. It’s easy to call the post office and schedule, which means no lines, and you’re out of there in under 3o minutes. SO worth it!
Write a Check
Pony up some cash to get your child a passport. Expedition fees can almost double your cost, so make sure you have enough time allotted to get everything returned to you. Bring a check or cash to your passport appointment.
Buy an International Ticket
If you’re traveling with an infant in your lap on a domestic flight, there is no additional cost, and some airlines like Delta will let a car seat AND a stroller fly for free. However, with an international flight, though the child may be a lap passenger, they need an infant ticket that is usually 10% of the parent’s ticket cost. Make sure to call your airline and add an “Infant in Arms” to your itinerary and be prepared to pay the fee. They will issue you a PAPER ticket in the mail that you will need for both your flight out as well as your return leg.
Now you sit and wait. Passports are returned to you a few weeks after they are sent out. Keep tabs on your bank account to see that your check is cashed; that’s a good sign that it’s processing. Enjoy your trip to a gorgeous location like Beaches Resorts!