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Law on Passport Applications for Minors (U.S.A.)

jennifer j. rose

Posted by jennifer rose June 19, 2001

On Monday, July 2, 2001, the Department of State will begin implementation of a new law regarding the passport applications of minor U.S. citizens under age 14.

Under this new law, a person applying for a U.S. passport for a child under 14 must demonstrate that both parents consent to the issuance of a passport to the child or that the applying parent has sole authority to obtain the passport. Passport applications made at domestic U.S. passport agencies in the United States and at U.S. consular offices abroad will both be covered by this law. Exceptions to this requirement may be made in special family circumstances or exigent circumstances necessitating the immediate travel of the child.

The purpose of the new requirement that both parents' consent be demonstrated is to lessen the possibility that a U.S. passport might be used in the course of an international parental child abduction.

In order to bring age requirements into alignment, the age at which a minor may execute his or her own passport application is being raised from 13 to 14, effective July 2, 2001.

Parents having concerns about passport applications for any minor child who may become the victim of an international parental child abduction, including children between the ages of 14 and 18 who are not covered by this new law, should contact the Office of Children's Issues in the Bureau of Consular Affairs at (202) 736-9156.

Published or Updated on: January 11, 2009 by jennifer j. rose © 2009
Contact jennifer j. rose

Jennifer J. Rose is a writer, editor and lawyer living in Morelia, Michoacán. She is editor-in-chief of GPSolo, a magazine published by the American Bar Association.

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