If your family is planning an international trip and intend to travel with children under 16 years old, everyone traveling will be required to have a passport. The parents must visit the immigration department and apply for a passport for the minor. The situation is easy if both parents are present but if only one parent is accompanying the child, the rules change immediately.
The parent accompanying the child/children who are under 16 years old will be asked to produce a passport consent form from the other parent. The situation will not change on the travel date because if only one parent is accompanying the child, there has to be travel consent between the two parents.
The DS – 3053 passport form is attached to the passport application at the time of application. Failure to provide this form, the child will not be issued with a passport unless the parent provides proof, they are the sole custodian to the child or the other parent is deceased.
Passport Parent Consent Forms
Why is a statement of consent for passport required?
Under the passport issuance rules by the US Department of State Passport Services, the two parents are mandated to appear the day they are applying for a passport for their minor. This applies to children aged below 16 years and is US citizens.
The rule was designed because of legal issues the department had to deal with in the past. Many times, it would happen that the parents are separated but not divorced. The one living with the children would secretly apply for the child’s passport and depart to another country.
At some point later, the other parent would learn about the incident and sue the government. Some other cases involved parents who traveled with their children only to abandon them in a foreign country without the knowledge of the other parent. The department needed to create rules that require both parents to be involved.
What does non-applying guardian mean?
In the process of applying for a passport for a minor, one of the parents might not be physically available due to various reasons. In such a situation, the parent who is not available is called a non-applying guardian.
This is the parent that is required by law to sign the DS – 3053 form to grant the passport department permission to process a passport for the minor. The form is filled and signed before a notary.
The notary must also see a physical piece of identification document belonging to the nonapplying guardian at the time they sign the DS – 3053 form. The identification document must be copied both front and back and attached to the DS – 3053 passport form.
Situations that qualify for non-applying guardian
Some situations will not allow both parents to appear at the passport department at the time of application due to reasons such as:
- One parent is working abroad and cannot travel to appear before the passport department
- One parent is working locally but their style of work limits availability
- The parents are separated and they are not willing to meet face to face
- One parent is deceased
- Parents are divorced
- One parent is hospitalized
- One parent is immobile due to sickness, physical challenges, etc.
The law does not make it mandatory for both parents to appear but it makes it mandatory to provide a passport minor consent form as proof that they are the biological parent of the child. The form must be duly filled and signed by both parents.
DS 3053 Passport Forms
Conditions that qualify someone as a parent
Guidelines by the US Department of State Passport Services are clear on who can be called a parent or legal guardian. To be a guardian is different from being a custodian. These two conditions are important.
- If the parents are married, both share equal rights to the child because they are joint guardians.
- If the parents are not married, they cannot be called joint guardians. They don’t share equal rights with the child. In this case, only the mother has the absolute right to the child even if the name of the father appears in the births registry.
Parents who are presently married or were married
Whether both parents are currently married or were married in the past, they will be required to sign the DS – 3053 form. There could be a situation where one of the parents is unwilling to sign.
The other parent is free to obtain a court order to demand them to sign. If they refuse to sign even with a court order, the court may write to the passport department and authorize them to process the passport.
Married parents but one is deceased
In a situation where one parent is deceased, the living parent will sign the passport minor consent form and submit it to the passport department. However, they must attach proof that they were married and the parent is deceased.
They will attach a certificate of marriage and the death certificate of the deceased parent. Above that, they will attach the Sole Guardian Affidavit form. This form is signed before a notary and certified. Its purpose is to confirm the parent as the sole legal guardian to the child. All these documents are attached to the passport application form.
The birth certificate contains the name of one parent only
When only the name of one parent is on the child’s birth certificate, that parent should sign the statement of consent for a passport. However, they must provide proof that they are the sole legal guardian of the child. The parent must go before a notary and swear that they are the sole legal guardian. They will attach this form with the rest of the relevant documents.
Passport Minor Consent Forms
Names of both parents appear in the child’s birth certificate but they are not married
The names of the two parents might appear on the birth certificate of the child, yet they are not married. In this case, the two parents should sign the DS – 3053 passport form.
Guideline to filling the DS – 3053 passport form
To make sure that you fill every detail required in the DS – 3053 form, you must read the guidelines carefully and understand each point. If there is any point that you do not understand, contact the relevant authority for clarification.
- To begin, go online and download the DS – 3053.
The document has two pages. Page one contains the instructions and page two contains the minor’s details, your statement of consent, and certification by a notary. You should not jump to page two without reading carefully the details on page one.
- You will be required to fill in the following details:
- The child’s last name
- The child’s first name
- The child’s middle name
- The child’s date of birth
The next section will require you to tick into one box to indicate what kind of authorization you are consenting to
- The next section contains the statement of consent for passport
This section must be filled by the non-applying guardian. The guardian must type their full name the way they appear in their identification document. They must also type the full name of the child applying for a passport. The child’s name should be typed as per their certificate of birth.
The non-applying parent must give details of their physical address including the street name, state, and area code. They must indicate their current telephone contact and a valid email address. Their next step will be to present the form to a notary for verification of the details provided and the identification/supporting documents.
Before going to the notary, the non-applying guardian should make copies of their identification document and all other supporting documents. They must present both the original documents and their copies to the notary for verification.
- The final section should be filled by the notary after physically seeing the non-applying guardian and confirming all the supporting documents as true.
The nonapplying guardian should confirm the following details are filled before they leave the office of the notary.
- The name of the notary
- Expiry of commission
- A tick against each presented and confirmed document
- Confirmation by the notary by appending their signature, date, and seal.
The final action is for the nonapplying guardian to attach all the supporting documents to the statement of consent for the passport and hand them over to the applying guardian to present them to the passport department.
The applying guardian will attach their documents and the DS-11 form for application for a new passport for a minor. If they are far away from the US Department of State Passport Services office, they can present the documents to any authorized accepting agency, any US embassy near them, or USA consulate abroad.
Documents required from the applying guardian are as follows:
- Copy of their national identification document
- Copy of their valid passport
- Any other document they might be asked to present including the latest photos
Guidelines for entities that have been granted guardianship
There are situations where the applying guardian is not a biological parent to the minor. It could be the child was found abandoned by their parent or there was a worthy reason to admit the child into such an entity. This is an entity such as a children’s home.
The requirements for a passport minor consent form by such an institution are different from the requirements of a parent. They should provide the following documents together with the DS-11 form for the application of a new passport for a minor.
- A court order that shows the entity has been granted guardianship. The order must be certified. It must be an original order and not a copy.
- The entity must write a letter to the passport department specifying the person they have granted authority to present the application forms for the child on behalf of the entity. The letter must be printed on the entity’s letterhead. It must include the full name of the minor and the full name of the applying person.
- There must be an attached copy of the identification documents of the employee applying for the minor’s passport. The documents are the applying person’s national identification and an employment identification document to prove they are employed by the entity.
Submitting false statements
All information provided in any type of form for applying for a new passport for a minor and all the supporting documents must be genuine. In any applying person gives false information so that they obtain a passport on behalf of the minor is punishable by law.
The applying person and any other person or institution they may have cooperated with to provide false information shall be arrested and taken to court. The punishment could be a heavy fine, imprisonment, or both. The applicable provisions shall be 18 USC 1621, 18 USC 1001, and 18 USC 1542.
DS 3053 Forms
Timeframe for processing the documents
If the applying person is not in a position to deliver the documents in person, they are allowed to send them via the postal service to the US State Department, passport services office located in Sterling, Virginia. They may also use commercial courier services.
The other option is to deliver to the nearest authorized acceptance facility, the nearest US embassy, or the US consulate abroad. All these entities will then arrange and deliver the documents to the passport office in Virginia.
The time taken to deliver the documents from your location to the Virginia office shall not count because it is delivery time. What counts is the time after the documents are officially received in Virginia.
From that date and time, the standard processing time will take a minimum of eight weeks and a maximum of 11 weeks. If the passport department has any reason to involve you for clarification of any information you provided in the forms, they will contact you via the contact information you provided.
This could be through email, postal mail, or telephone contact. This is why you should provide a valid email, valid telephone contact, and your current postal address. If there are no issues with your documents, your child’s new passport can be sent to you anytime between two to three months.