Passport Parental Consent

For a child under the age of 16 years old to obtain a United States passport, parental consent is required. This process involves a great deal more than just filling out a single form of providing verbal consent at the time the passport is applied for – it involves a very specific set of steps that one must follow to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

The Parental Consent Process

When a child is applying for a passport (or if a parent is applying for a passport on their behalf), both parents or legal guardians are required to appear IN PERSON at the offices of the Acceptance Agent that they’re going to be using. The child in question must also appear in person. If it is not possible for one parent or legal guardian to appear in person, they can give what is referred to as “notarized consent.” This will require that parent or legal guardian to fill out Form DS-3053, also called the “Statement of Consent.”

Sole Parents or Guardians

If the child who will apply for the United States passport only has one parent or legal guardian, that individual MUST be able to submit proper evidence that they have sole authority over the child. This is something that can happen in a number of different ways depending on the circumstances:

  • They can choose to provide the United States or other foreign birth certificates, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or other documents like an adoption decree that lists only the single parent as the sole legal guardian of the child.
  • They can choose to provide a court order that granted sole legal custody over the child to the parent.
  • They can choose to provide a court order that permits the child in question to travel abroad with the applying parent.
  • They can provide a legal death certificate for the non-applying parent (if applicable).
  • They can choose to provide a judicial declaration of incompetence, essentially proving that the absent parent is legally unfit to have responsibility for the child who is applying for the passport.