Passport Information

 Information about how to get your child a passport for travel.

 

READ ME! This is a SUPER USEFUL government link about Kids and Passports

 

Important Advice:

 

- Both parents and the child applying for the passport must be present or provide a notarized form (HERE) signed by the absent parent

- If both parents cannot be present, a notarized statement from the absent parent must be presented at the time of application. "Both parents have to be there or you have to have a legal notarized form from the non-present partner that they give you their consent in their absense, etc.  I think this is to ensure that you're not kidnapping your child out of the country without your partners knowledge."

- Original birth certificates must be presented; copies will not be accepted

- Passport photos must meet specific requirements in terms of facial dimensions and photo size

- Research what photography stores offer passport photo services

- Passport application forms can be downloaded from the post office’s official website and prepared in advance

 - "And use blue pen! I had to redo all my forms. It actually wasn't terrible to fill things out there, but it added time."

 

What you need to know about getting a passport at the post office:

- Research which post offices are able to process applications.  Also, some post offices such as Van Brunt station can process applications but ONLY do so during certain restricted hours—call in advance to avoid unnecessary trips!

- "You can email  with the request to schedule an appointment for a passport for a minor at Van Brunt. Include your phone number and they'll call you back to schedule."

- "Just to say what has already been said -- we did the post office and it took about 15 minutes all in. But you do have to make an appt ahead of time, which was very easy."

 

You can also go to the Brooklyn Public Library:

- Did you know you can get passports AND photos at the Park Slope Central Library branch? Read what parents say about the process HERE, what you need, and more.

- "We didn't make an appointment, we just showed up at the Brooklyn Public Library before their Passport Office 15 minutes before it opened. Several minutes after they opened, we spoke with someone to check in. They gave us a buzzer (like at Shake Shack) to let us know when it was our turn. We waited in the cafe area of the library for 20 minutes. Then we got buzzed and the appointment itself took 15 minutes. We had the application already filled out and the photos already taken. Surprisingly easy." (5/2017)

- Read more PSP member experiences about getting passports at the BPL HERE (and below).

 

Other Useful Links & Resources:

 

Park Slope Parent Member tips on where to get passport photos in Brooklyn

 

Brooklyn Public Library Central Branch is also a passport acceptance facility

 

The United States Postal Service website

 

Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page website

Tip: the zip code search allows you to find which post offices, clerks of court, public libraries and other state, county, township, and municipal government offices accept passport applications

 

Passport Services Office website

Tip: Provides detailed information regarding the special requirements for children applying for passports

 

Member experiences about passport for baby (2017):

"

- "I went [to Grand Army Plaza] on a weekday over the summer while I was on maternity leave and it took about 3 hours in all. You can wait in the library or right out front and they give you a pager.I have heard that the post office is very quick if you make an appointment ahead of time."

- "I went on a weekday over the summer while I was on maternity leave and it took about 3 hours in all. You can wait in the library or right out front and they give you a pager.I have heard that the post office is very quick if you make an appointment ahead of time."

- "I went on a Friday when it first opened (11?) and there was no wait.  After an hour there was more people - like a 30 min wait."

- "Yes, the post office was less than 10 minutes. You need an appt though."

- "We did the library on a Wednesday shortly after they opened. As long as you have all of your photocopies, forms filled out, and the picture, it took 20 minutes."

- "We did the library too, right when it opened (@ 11:00) on a Saturday.  There's a story time at 10:00 that we went to first, just because we were there.  Overall, the passport part took about 30 minutes.  One suggestion I'd make is to lurk around the door to the passport office before it opens until you get your name on a list.  We didn't realize they were doing that to keep the hallway clear (fire hazard), so we ended up waiting a little longer than we would have."

- "We did the library on a weekday too, after a nap so not right when they opened but early in the day, all in all took about an hour or less, we hung out with the pager in the children's library so it was a fun wait."

- "We waited around 2.5-3 hours on a chilly saturday a few weeks ago. I was about to lost patience before the baby did. Once we sat down with someone, we were done in 15 minutes though."

- "Yes sounds like the library wait time can be dependant on how much staff they have that day. When I went in the summer, I was told that they were understaffed that day so that's why the wait was so long. Even though we were there for 3 hours from start to finish it wasn't that bad because baby slept in her stroller, I had lunch, we went to the children's play area and interacted with the other babies... but if you want to guarantee that its quick, making an appt at the post office will be your best bet. Good luck! My daughter was 2 months old when we did her passport and she is drooling in the photo lol!"

- "We got G.y's passport on a Friday around 1pm. Our intention was to go as soon as it opened assuming it wouldn't be as busy, but we didn't experience much of a wait regardless. The gave us a buzzer like you'd get at an Applebee's, and we walked around the library for maybe 20 minutes before it was our turn. The process itself was no more than 5-10 minutes. Make sure to have everything filled out in advance. Oh, and don't use whiteout if you make a mistake - I learned that the hard way and had to start from scratch."

 

Advice on Passport Expiration:

 

Note that number of countries, particularly in Europe, now require that your passport's expiration date must be at least six months after you are scheduled to return from your destination. That means if you are traveling to France in October 2016 and your return trip is November 1, 2016, your passport's expiration date must be after May 1, 2017. Thus, if your return trip from France is November 1, 2016 and your passport expires, for instance, on December 20, 2016, the airline will not allow you to board the airplane in the U.S. for France. Some countries require an expiration date in advance less than six months. PSP recommends that you check with the destination nation to learn its regulation before booking your flights in order to find out whether you need to renew your passport before you travel.

 

Advice on Expedited Passports:

 

From the US Department of State website about getting an expediated passport: 

"If you are leaving on an emergency trip, apply in person at the nearest passport agency, presenting your tickets or airline-generated itinerary, as well as other required items listed in this publication. To ensure that customers with imminent travel receive their passports in time for their trips, many passport agencies are now only operating by appointments and are generally serving only those leaving in less than 14 days.

If you do not live near a passport agency, but your overnight delivery service is reliable, departures within 7 to 10 business days may often be accommodated by appointments at a nearby passport acceptance facility. You will need to pay the additional $60 fee for expedited service and include a self-addressed, prepaid, two-way, overnight delivery envelope.  For all those customers leaving within 6 or fewer business days, apply at a passport agency. Whichever way you apply, be sure to include your departure date and travel plans on your application.”

 

From PSP members about getting expediated passports:

The New York City Passport Agency is at 376 Hudson Street, Tel. number for appointments is 212-206-3500.  It is open from 7:30am-3:00 Monday thru Friday, but by appointment only – so make sure to call and schedule a time first!

Some Park Slope parents have been able to get same-day passports from the Passport Agency in extenuating circumstances as well.

Others have recommended rushmypassport.com as a means to get their passport quickly.

Local Passport Acceptance Facilities, such as the 9th Street Van Brunt Station Post Office and Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza LIBRARY also can provide expedited service for additional fees.

VOICE OF EXPERIENCE: "I've been there-having discovered my passport was expired the day before leaving the country. You have a few options. First-I think you're probably safe with the Hudson St. office - I've never heard of them not being able to give you your passport on the same day, if you pay the last-minute surcharge.  However, when you call the main passport number at the State Department, there is (as I recall) a long series of voicemail options that ends with the chance to talk to an operator. I know this is extreme, but I was able get a same-day appointment in Philadelphia. The people in that office are very nice! It was about a four-hour wait from start to finish. So, to be on the safe side, that's an option. There's also an office in Hartford, I think, where you can get an appointment sooner. You can also call Sen. Shumer or Gillibrand's offices. They have constituent-service staff who can sometimes intervene, perhaps getting you an appointment sooner on Hudson Street. It can't hurt to try.  Finally, have you talked to the people in the passport office at the Brooklyn Public Library? I think they may be able to expedite a passport, too, and you can just walk in without an appointmet."

 

Manhattan Field Offices and Post Office Comments from Park Slope Parents Members:

 

376 Hudson Street

- "We chose to get our son’s first passport here because it eliminates the possibility of mail delays and losses, which is helpful when you are dealing with time sensitive materials.  You can schedule an appointment within 2 weeks of your trip, and the passports can be ready the same day (7/2006)"

- "We had a very positive experience with this office.  We arrived at 9am and received service within 10 minutes.  The key is to arrive early and make sure you bring all of your process and application papers.  Our passports were ready in about 3 hours (4/2004)"

 

Cooper Union

- "This location was very organized and the staff was very helpful.  We did not spend the extra money to expedite our passport, but received it in 2.5 weeks nonetheless (4/2006)." 

 

38th and 8th Avenue

The staff members were very nice and patient with our child.  We did the expedited service and got our child’s passport within a week.  This office handles a lot of passport applications, so staff members know which photos are acceptable and can also help you with the application forms.  I’ve never had to wait in line for more than 5 minutes (5/2006)

 

9th Street Post Office (Van Brundt)

- "This site does not offer passport photo services (4/2006)."

- "We tried to apply for our son’s passport numerous times at this location, but our experience was very troublesome.  The office was so disorganized that we decided not to file our paperwork there (11/2004)."

- "We found the staff members and services here to be careless.  Evidently when the postal clerk is out sick, no staff member can substitute for that position.  Earlier this summer, a clerk failed to witness the signature of one parent, the passport failed to arrive despite purchasing the expedited service option, and staff members provided ambiguous information regarding our application’s status (11/2004)."

 

Country Clerks Office

- "The County Clerks Office (360 Adams Street) has a window for processing passports. The other day when I was   there there was no one waiting.  There was however a notice saying all passports were taking at least 12 weeks. (June, 2007)."