People who love to travel rarely stop when they have children and want to bring their babies along on their adventures. But do babies need passports? In this post, you’ll learn what you need to know about passports and your baby.
Does A Baby Need a Passport to Travel?
Yes. All travelers, even newborn infants, need a passport to travel. The only exception is that minors do not need a passport to travel by land or sea to Canada or on closed-loop cruises. For all other travel, you’ll need to get a passport for your baby (including a passport photo) by applying at a passport acceptance center; Skip can help you get passports for yourself and your family with our passport concierge service.
To get a passport for a minor, you’ll need to fill out the DS-11 form to apply for a new passport, provide your child’s birth certificate or certificate of citizenship, provide proof that you are your child’s parent (a birth certificate or adoption decree will do this). Both parents need to prove their consent for a child to have a passport (unless one parent has sole custody). The easiest way to prove consent is for both parents to go to the passport acceptance facility, but you can also fill out forms to prove consent if both parents cannot attend or one parent cannot be located.
How Can You Get a Passport Photo for a Baby?
Babies’ passport photos, like adults, need to be 2×2 inches and on a plain white background. The baby’s head needs to be centered in the photo, and there can be no other person in the photo (so you can’t hold them). Unlike adults, babies’ eyes do not need to be open in their photo. Here are some tips for getting a passport photo for a baby:
- Put a white cover over a car seat and place the baby into the seat.
- Hold a toy above the camera to get the baby to look at it (photos where the baby is looking at the camera are preferred)
- Lay a white sheet on the floor or on a bed and lay the baby on its back, so that you can get a picture of the baby without someone holding them up.
How Long Do Childrens’ Passports Last?
Adult passports last for ten years, but children’s passports only last for five. Even in five years, children’s appearances change dramatically, but the State Department expects your child may not look the same as their passport photo.
Skip Can Help Your Family Get Passports
Getting a passport for the whole family can be quite a chore, but it’s worthwhile to be able to travel together (and to have for emergencies). If you need help getting your baby a passport, Skip’s passport concierges can come to you and take your passport photos and assist you with your forms. Safe Travels!