As of 2001, the United States government requires both parent’s signatures on their child’s passport applications. This rule applies to new passports for children under the age of 14; before this rule, it was possible for only one parent to complete a passport application for their child.
If you are a single parent, it is still possible for you to obtain a passport for your child. However, the process for completing the application will be a little more complicated.
The rule requiring both parent’s signatures was put in place to ensure one parent couldn’t leave the country with their child without consent from the other. If it’s possible to have your ex-partner sign your child’s passport application, you will need to follow the standard procedure.
The application steps are:
- Print out the passport application.
- Fill out the entire application, aside from the signatures.
- Make an appointment to meet your ex-partner at a passport office and bring your child.
- Bring all required documentation, including your child’s birth certificate and a government-issued ID.
- You and your ex-partner sign the application in the presence of a passport official.
If your ex-partner agrees to a passport for your child, but is physically unable to meet you at a passport office, they can complete a Statement of Consent. This statement must be notarized and can either be sent to the passport office or you can bring it with you along with the rest of your documentation.
Alternative Options to Dual-Parent Signature Rule
If there is some reason you can’t contact your ex-partner, you will still be able get a passport for your child. A few other options are also available.
These alternative options are:
- completing a ‘Statement of Special Circumstances,’ which can be found at the bottom of the Statement of Consent form. Here you can explain why it isn’t possible for the other parent to consent.
- submitting a court order explaining why you have sole custody of your child (if such an order exists) along with the rest of your documentation.
If you are the only parent listed on your child’s birth certificate, you won’t need anyone else’s signature on the passport application.
Contact The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw
If your ex-partner is making it difficult for you to obtain a passport for your child, give us a call. Our international family law attorneys know the correct steps to take and can help you with the results you seek.
Call our firm at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online for a consultation.