When applying for a minor's passport, both parents and the child are required to be present at the passport agency. Furthermore, any forms must be filled out and signed in the presence of an agent. Parents must also come to the agency with proper documentation, such as birth certificates and/or certificate of citizenship.
Proof of parental relationship to the minor must be submitted with the application. The agents will like to see proof of identity, preferably identification that was issued in the United States. If the name of the parent does not appear on the birth certificate then either proof of custody or adoption needs to be presented.
The application process is extremely difficult for children in different and/or multiple familial situations. Single parents that do not have sole custody of children must have the non-applying parent submit a notarized letter of consent. In situations where the other parent has died or is incompetent, a death certificate or a court order declaring the other parent incompetent must be presented.
In situations where the father is unknown, a notarized letter of consent is not necessary since only one name appears on the child's birth certificate. In other situations where custody is an issue, the applying parent can get a court order authorizing the issuance of a passport despite the current custodial arrangements. In some cases however, a court order granting custody to a single parent might be needed.
Other problems can arise for children in special circumstances. In cases where the other parent can not be located or refuses to give notarized consent can prevent the applying parent from renewing the passport. Only in cases where one of the parent has been deported will notarized consent not be needed.
There are very rare cases where passport renewal by a minor can be done without the consent of any parent. Children in this situation have been legally emancipated from their parents and are then seen as adults in the law. An emancipated minor will simply have to provide court documentation at the time he/she wishes to apply.
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