New Passports for NewbornsAuthor: Alison Kroulek
When you get your new baby home from the hospital, paperwork and documents are probably the last things you want to think about. However, if you plan to travel with your little one any time in the next couple of months, it's a good idea to start the process of getting your newborn a passport as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, getting a passport for your newborn may prove to be a bit of a hassle, especially for a sleep-deprived new parent. Here's what you'll need to do:
Get baby's passport photo taken. The Department of State wants infants in passport photos to appear to be floating in space – nothing used to support the child, whether it's your arms or a car seat, can be visible in the picture. Unless you're Houdini and can levitate your baby, the best way to achieve this effect is to place the infant on top of a plain white sheet or use the sheet to cover his car seat. Make sure his eyes are open and he's not bawling. Yeah, good luck with that.
Apply in person at a passport acceptance office (usually a post office, library or municipal building).
Bring a state-issued photo ID for you, your baby's official birth certificate (not one issued by the hospital), evidence of your relationship to your child (the birth certificate will work, as long as your name is on it), the photo and money to pay the fees.
Getting a passport for a child requires the consent of both parents. Ideally, both of you should show up at the passport office to apply for the passport on behalf of the child. However, if only one parent can make it, he or she should bring a notarized consent form signed by the other parent.
Once you've submitted the application, all you have to do is wait. If you ordered standard processing, you can expect to wait 4 to 6 weeks to receive the passport. If you paid an additional $60 and ordered expedited processing, it'll be 2 to 3 weeks before you get your baby's new passport. The time will probably fly by – they grow up so fast!
Alison Kroulek is a freelance writer and blogger with a focus on the travel industry.