Life doesn't always go as planned. Sometimes things come up that require immediate travel. Expediting a passport for an adult or even a young child is a fairly simple process. Usually you have all of the paperwork you need. But what if you have a brand new baby? How do the two forms of ID come into play? And what if you don't have a birth certificate yet? Here's how to navigate those murky waters.
1. Try to obtain a birth certificate. Explain your situation to the hospital. An administrator may be able to expedite the certificate to your City Clerk's office. If this is not an option ask the hospital for a certificate of live birth. This will not be a certified or notarized document but the Passport Agency will be able to issue a temporary one year passport using it. If you are able to get the birth certificate through the City Clerk's office be sure to let them know it is for a passport when you pick it up and they will notarize it as an authentic and true document. This is important because if it is not notarized or certified you will only be issued a one year passport instead of a five year.
2. Call 1-877-487-2778 and make an appointment with your regional passport agency if you need the passport expedited. The automated phone system will ask for a social security number. You can use yours to make the appointment for your child since they probably have not been issued one yet. Up to 7 members of the same family can apply during one appointment under one confirmation number.
3. Now that you have a confirmation number gather all of your documents. Print out a passport application for your newborn. Keep in mind that both parents MUST appear with the child to obtain a passport. If one parent cannot appear they must complete Form DS-3053 and have it notarized for the other parent to take with them. If the form cannot be notarized and the other parent is not able to be contacted you must fill out the Form completing section 5 to detail the special circumstances which will be considered upon application at the Regional Agency. Each parent must bring two forms of ID. Bring your child's birth certificate. Print up proof of your travel plans to take with you to the appointment.
4. Get your child's passport photo taken. This service is available at many USPS locations. You can find one near you by doing a location search and selecting Passports on the Location Type dropdown menu. You can also get passport photos taken in any AAA office. For Tricks on Taking a Newborn Passport Photo click here.
5. Go to your appointment. Get there early and be prepared to enter a secure building with metal detectors. No food or drink will be allowed inside so leave them in the car. Bring a check, money order, or credit card to pay for the passport. You will likely be asked to come back the next day to pick up your expedited passport.
Good luck- we were able to get a passport for our 7 day old using these tips. Happy travels!
Nasreen Stump is a freelance writer who lives in Vermont with her husband, 8 year old, 21 month old, dog, house rabbit and a newborn on a 10 acre homestead. Find food recipes and Vermont life at her website ramblingstump.blogspot.com. Check her out on Twitter @ramblingstump