How to Get a Child Passport With One Parent Absent

When minors submit a child passport application form, their parents must be present. As a result, many parents want to know, “Do both parents need to be present for a child passport application to be accepted?” There are various circumstances that can cause one parent to be unable to attend his or her child’s application appointment. While this is common, adults are responsible for filling out certain paperwork relating to these circumstances before they arrive. Otherwise, the U.S. Department of State is unable to process the minors’ requests.

Both a married and a single parent applying for a child passport can obtain these documents for their children. However, parents must be prepared to provide documentation that proves they have the legal right to request these documents without the child’s other parent present. Alternatively, guardians need to provide proof that they are the sole caregivers of the minors. The following sections explain what documents adults need to provide in either of these circumstances.

What is the passport consent form that parents must fill out?

There are several steps to learning how to apply for a child passport. Parents will quickly discover that there are various documents their children need to submit with their applications. However, parents who share custody of their children need to be sure that they are both present when their children apply. When this is not possible, the parent who cannot attend the appointment needs to fill out the DS 3053 Statement of Consent.

Passport consent form DS 3053 proves to the federal government that the non-present parent permits his or her child to apply for travel documents. On this form, the parent who cannot attend the appointment must provide:

  • The child applicant’s name.
  • His or her phone number and email address.
  • The address where the non-present parent is residing.

Furthermore, parents will also need to sign Form DS 3053. However, they must remember that they need to sign this document in front of a notary. If adults do not properly complete this step, the document will be invalid.

What do I do if I am a single parent applying for a child passport?

When minors submit their child passport application, their guardians or parents must be present. This means that any individual who takes legal responsibility for them needs to be at the appointment. However, single parents who have sole custody of their children do not need to have the child’s other parent present. Likewise, single parents do not need to fill out consent forms for their children to apply for a passport. However, these individuals need to provide court documents that verify they have sole custody of their children. Adults should submit these documents along with their children’s passport application forms.

Getting a Passport for a Child With an Absent Parent

When submitting a child passport application, the minor’s parent needs to be at the appointment. If this is not possible, non-present parents need to fill out consent forms. However, there are circumstances when children’s parents are unreachable. In these instances, the present parents need to fill out a different form. This is referred to as DS 5525 Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for Issuance of a U.S. Passport to a Minor Under Age 16. This form is especially helpful when:

  • The available parent does not have his or her child’s other parent’s contact information.
  • The present parent does not have any mutual friends or relatives who can contact the child’s unreachable parent.
  • The non-present parent is incarcerated.
  • Parents have restraining orders that prohibit them from contacting one another.

In order to complete this US passport application accompanying form, parents need to provide an explanation as to why they cannot obtain their child’s unreachable parent’s consent. If parents give an insufficient reason, the State Department will be unable to accept the child’s application.