My Son is turning 16 and needs a passport, what must I do?

Passport Frequently Asked Questions and AnswersQuestion:  My son is turning 16 on May 5, 2014. He is going to be visiting Europe on a trip for college on June 3, 2014. I would like to know if I should take the initiative to get a passport now. Or should I wait till my son is 16, leaving us with about 6 weeks to get a passport for him before he leaves for Europe.

Answer:  In any case, if your son is 15 or 16, he will have to be present at a passport application acceptance facility regardless. He will have to submit form DS-11 along with all the necessary documentation.  Differences are as follows.

  1. At 16 years old, your son is able to appear with one parent. At 15 years old, both parents or guardians must be present when both evidence of relationship and valid identifications are given.
  2. 16 or older, a passport given is valid for 10 years and at 15, it is valid for 5 years.
  3. Having a passport at age 16, the applicant can renew the passport via mail. At age 15, the applicant has to renew their passport in person.
  4. While the execution fee is the same for both 15 and 16, the application fees are different. At age 16, the application fee is $110. At age 15, the application fee is $80.

There is an expedite passport service that is available if you wish to wait until your son is 16. It will speed up the process of getting all his travel documentation in before his trip. The fee for this service is $60.