Proof of Identity for Parents

If you’re going through the process of applying for a United States passport on behalf of a child under the age of 16 years old, there are a number of important things to keep in mind. One of those is that you will be required to provide Proof of Identity, helping to confirm your relationship with the child in question and guaranteeing that you are not only their parent or other legal guardian, but that the child has permission to travel with you on your upcoming trip.

Proof of Identity for Parents

In order to establish proof of your relationship with the child, you will need to provide one of the following documents during the passport application process:

  • You will need to provide the current, valid driver’s licenses with photos of both parents. These licenses must have been issued longer than six months ago.
  • You will need to provide a certified United States birth certificate for the child with both parents’ names present.
  • You will need to provide a certified foreign birth certificate (with the names of the parents and a translation, if necessary).
  • You will need to provide a Report of Birth Abroad, also commonly referred to as Form FS-240. This document must include the names of the parents.
  • You will need to provide an adoption decree (with the names of both parents, provided that the child has been adopted legally).
  • You will need to provide a court order establishing custody.
  • You will need to provide a court order establishing guardianship over the child.


It is important to understand that if the legal name of the parent is different than the one printed on any of the aforementioned documents, you will ALSO need to provide proof that your name was changed legally in order to properly verify your identity.

It’s also important to keep in mind that BOTH parents must appear at the post office, court house or other acceptance agency when the child’s passport is being processed. If both parents are not available, you can either provide proof that the child only has one parent or legal guardian or the second parent can fill out Consent Form DS-3053.