Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Kids’ Passports (But Were Afraid To Ask)

Don't mess around.

Don’t mess around.

My debut article in Scholastic Parent & Child magazine hit newsstands this week. The subject: Kids’ passports, and everything you ought to know to prepare for taking your little ones abroad.

The story, titled, “A Parent’s Guide to Passports for Kids,” offers advice on everything from custody issues to renewal timing. It hinges on the expertise and insights of Brenda Sprague, the U.S. State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for passport services. It also includes a few anecdotes from some family travelers I know (and respect).

The story even includes a bunch of helpful links.

If you never have traveled abroad with your baby or toddler, consider the piece a must-read; if you travel regularly with the youngsters, please use the piece as a CliffsNotes-style refresher course.

Also, if you feel I’ve left out anything important, feel free to add tips in the comment field below.

Most important, please don’t think this is advice you can ignore or follow selectively. Few international travel stresses are more acute than those involving your kids. Take it from someone who has learned a few of these lessons the hard way.

Comments

  1. Great article! One thing (I couldn’t leave a comment on the article) is that it has to be a specific form printed off the web site and notarized if one parent can’t be there. The passport people told me that is the biggest mistake people make, that they bring in a letter they create instead of the official letter.

    • Matt Villano says:

      Good point, Andrea. I tried to make clear that it has to be an official letter, but this is the first I’ve heard of the form. I’ll get in touch with the State Department and see what they say. If a correction is necessary, I’ll be sure to have my editors update the piece. THANK YOU!

  2. Here is the page that references the form – http://travel.state.gov/passport/forms/ds3053/ds3053_846.html

    Here is another one – http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html

    It is just good to know, because it can be confusing! I think many people don’t realize both parents have to be there!

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