DS-5525: How to Fill Out Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances

U.S. Passport Form DS-5525

To say that applying for a passport for a child is complicated can be something of an understatement. In addition to the normal process you would go through to get a passport, this process also requires you to fill out a few additional forms.

One of them is DS-5525, which is otherwise known as the “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances.”

What is the DS-5525 Statement of Exigent and Special Family Circumstances form?

DS-5525 is the Statement of Exigent, and Special Family Circumstances form you fill out for a minor if one of the parents or legal guardians is not available to give their consent. In essence, it provides relevant parties with all necessary context to determine whether or not the request for a minor’s passport has been made in good faith.

The statement that you write on the form will outline several important details, including why the non-applying parent or guardian is not available to give their consent along with information about any and all attempts that you made to contact that person before turning to form DS-5525.

It is important to note that any other physical evidence you can submit along with your DS-5525 form will be incredibly valuable during this time. You can include copies of a custody order, for example, a restraining order proving that one of the guardians is not allowed within a certain proximity of the other, or even an incarceration order proving that the non-applying guardian is in jail and is therefore unavailable to give consent.

Related Read: U.S. Passport Forms

When is Form DS-5525 Needed?

There are a few circumstances when this form is needed. You will most likely need it when:

  • The passport is for a minor who is under the age of 16.
  • Time constraints require the passport to be granted quicker than in normal circumstances.
  • In order for this form to be used, the exigent circumstance needs to pertain to the health or welfare of the child if the passport is not granted on an expedited basis.
  • The notarized and written consent of the custodial parent cannot be obtained.
  • This form will need to be signed by the other parent or legal guardian of the minor.

How to Submit a DS-5525 Application?

Form DS-5525 is submitted along with all other materials in the child’s or minor’s passport application to help facilitate processing. Note: If your trip is coming up fast and you need the minor’s passport in hand sooner rather than later, you can always choose to go to a passport expediting facility. Instead of six to eight weeks of processing, these organizations can have the passport in as little as one week in many cases.

Additional Information When Filling out the DS-5525 Application Form

  • Downloading this form and printing it out is the easiest way to fill it out.
  • Have passport photos taken and ready for the passport, as this will speed up the process?
  • Have all other forms filled out and ready to go. This will make the process simpler as well.
  • Print out a travel itinerary. This will aid in obtaining the passport.
  • Be prepared for questions and inquiries. There may be questions about different aspects of the form, and the form will not be accepted until these are taken care of appropriately.
  • If the information provided is not accurate or is simply incomplete, this will cause the form to be rejected, and the passport application will be denied.
  • If there are any questions while filling out this form, then the National Passport Information Center should be contacted.

DS-5525 Statement of Exigent and Special Family Circumstances from Common Questions & Answers


I applied for my son’s passport; my husband is currently detained by immigration. I submitted the DS-5525 Statement of Exigent and Special Family Circumstances with an online locator and email phone number of his deportation officer. Would the Department of State find those documents to be enough to get my son’s passport?

Answer: This information should be enough to obtain your son’s passport.

Question: I am currently in a settlement agreement with my wife for our son, but she insists that I gave her sole rights to get a passport for my daughters. I suspected a hidden agenda could she file for a United States passport for her without my consent?

Answer: Normally, the United States  Department of State requires both parents be present for a minor passport usually one signature on the application and the other on the DS-3053 Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent that is accommodating the child. In an event whereas a parent is not present you will need to submit the form DS-5525 Application Form.