Information about securing a child passport for travel.
General Advice when Applying for your Child’s Passport:
- Both parents and the child applying for the passport must be present
- If both parents cannot be present, a notarized statement from the absent parent must be presented at the time of application
- 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 which photography stores offer passport photo services
- 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!
- Passport application forms can be downloaded from the post office’s official website and prepared in advance
The United States Postal Service website: http://www.usps.com
Passport Acceptance Facility Search Page website: http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
- 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: http://www.travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html
- Provides detailed information regarding the special requirements for children applying for passports
From the US Department of State website: “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.”
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.
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.
Manhattan Field Offices and Post Office Comments:
Passport Field Offices in Manhattan
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)"
- 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)
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)
Places to get your Passport Photo
285(u) 9th Street (between 4th and 5th (right by the post office)
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday
11:00am - 7:00 pm
117 7th Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Brooklyn Photography Shop Comments:
7th Avenue, off President Street
- I had to go in 3 times before finding a staff member who was willing to take a passport photo of our 4 month old. Although staff members were very nice, when we submit the Kodak passport photo to the post office, the postal clerk said the dimensions of the face were too big (5/2006)
South of St. Mark’s Place
- The staff members seemed competent; I think it’s worth a try (5/2006)
Corner of 5th Avenue & 9th Street
- Slightly more expensive, but it takes good passport photos (12/2004)
- We just went through this not too long ago. We went to the Kings County Clerk Office in downtown Brooklyn at 360 Adams St (Room 190). We went right when they opened (9 am I believe), there was no line and the woman at the window was very helpful and friendly. A few things to know before heading there: both parents need to be there, you'll need copies of the parents' IDs, the baby's original birth certificate and part of the fee needed to be in cash (not sure if that was the fee to expedite or the regular fee, but we thought it could all go on a debit card, but that wasn't the case). I would recommend getting a passport form in advance and arriving with it filled out. I believe you can download a form here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html
- We got our daughter's photo taken at Photofaction on 7th Ave btwn President and Carroll. They knew exactly what to do with an infant and we were in and out quickly. (September, 2010)
- You have to make an appointment if you go to 9th Street and they are not veryuser friendly. The PO on 3rd Avenue and 38th Street takes walk ins but they arebusy and often surly. I went at around 9:30 on a Saturday morning and got luckybut it's a crapshoot.
- There is a photo place on 5th Ave btw 13th & 14th. Don't know the name. It'snarrow, barely wide enough for a stroller, but the pix they used worked justfine, even though the baby ended up looking like a 3 month old enforcer for themob. I did the RUSH passport order and got the passport back in about 3 weeks. All in all an easy experience.
- Locations can be found through links here http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/where/where_4851.html (sept, 2010)Our experience was virtually painless.
- As the previous poster said, both parents must apply in person, with child. For that reason and because my husband works ridiculous hours, we stopped in at a post office in midtown (the 52nd and 8th Ave branch) during lunch. This was around noon on a weekday last month. There was no wait.I brought a completed application (downloaded at home), copies of my and my husband's driver's licenses FRONT and BACK, and my son's original birth certificate. The postal person took our son's photo for a small fee -- I don't remember how much but around $7-15. It wasn't studio quality certainly, but it was one-stop shopping. They had him (18mos) stand on a chair against the wall and they took 2 quick snaps with a digital camera. The postal staff was surprisingly patient considering my son had fallen asleep on the trip there and I spent several minutes rousing the cranky guy from his nap. When he was too upset to stand for the picture, the postal staff brought out a toy and told him that he could play with it if he stood for the camera. It worked.
We paid for everything with a debit card. The reason for the debit card (or cash) is to purchase a money order payable to the Dept of State, which is the issuing agency for passports. Alternatively, you can bring a personal check written out to the Dept of State. Any non-passport fees (like the photo fee) can be paid by credit card etc to the Post Office. The passport fees are posted online.
- You will have to give them your child's birth certificate, but don't worry -- you WILL see it again. We paid for expedited processing and our son's passport (and his birth certificate) arrived in about 10 days. (sept 2010)