Our child’s passport is expiring and it’s time for a “renewal.” With the uncertainties of the government shutdown, it muddied the already opaque process. We decided to pursue the expedited services in an effort to ensure a speedy replacement.
Our Daughter’s Passport is Expiring
As our daughter is quickly approaching her 5th birthday and the 5th year of having her passport, it was time to start the passport renewal process. In fact, we were fortunate that none of our recent travel plans required a passport with at least six months validity or we may have been unable to enter certain countries. It is important to make sure you check the requirements for each country you plan to visit.
You Can’t Technically Renew a Child’s Passport
While filling out the required paperwork for renewing a passport, I quickly came to learn that any minor passport is not technically “renewed.” Instead, a new passport application must be submitted as if a prior child passport had not been issued. For a minor passport, you will need to fill out form DS-11. After you have filled out the form you will also need the following:
- Passport Photo
- Child’s Birth Certificate / Proof of US Citizenship
- Photo ID for both parents (both will need to be present during in-person application)
- Appointment for application submission
- Check or money order for fees
When filling out form DS-11, it will ask if the child has had a passport previously and if the passport is not lost or stolen, it will require you send the passport in with your application.
Note: When filling out the online form (DS-11) there are two options: form filler or PDF. The form filler confuses whether the previous child passport needs to be sent in (it does) with counterintuitive language. Use the PDF instead, line 21 is much more straight forward that way.
In addition, a birth certificate and/or proof of US citizenship will also be sent in with the application form. (The expired passport and documents will be sent back to you but will arrive separately from the new passport.)
Both parents are required to show proof of relationship and consent. We applied for our daughter’s passport at our local post office which required an appointment be made online in advance. See the full list of requirements here.
Remember These Things When “Renewing”
It is important to remember that if you have Global Entry and receive a new passport, you will need to update your passport number into GOES before you are able to use your account. Global Entry offices are closed which has affected anyone attempting to apply for Global Entry, but if you are already a member, you should be able to update your information on the Trusted Traveler Program website.
Also, if the expired passport has any valid visas you will need to carry both the passport that has the visa and your current passport to enter those countries.
Business As Usual During the Shutdown?
The passport office says it’s business as usual with normal turn times for passports and visas despite the government shutdown. For our own added peace of mind, we decided to pursue the expedited options both in processing and 1-2 day delivery. This added $75.89 to the cost of $115 for a child’s passport book and execution fee.
Peace of mind is not cheap.
Even as airport screening continues, many TSA officers have been calling in sick. TSA “sick outs” (a common union practice) have been noticeable at Dallas/Fort Worth, Charlotte, and New York’s JFK. TSA representatives note that screening times are still within normal parameters. TSA staff are still required to report for duty and will be paid once funding resumes, during the shutdown, they will not receive their regular pay and some are making their pain felt.
Have you “renewed” a child’s passport before? What about during a government shutdown or strike?