Both parents/guardians must authorize the issuance of the child’s passport. The best way to do this is for both parents/guardians to appear with the child in person to apply for the passport. What if both parents/guardians cannot appear in person?
Situation: You have sole legal authority
You must submit evidence of this with the application. Examples include:
- Complete court order granting you sole legal custody of the child, such as a divorce decree or other custody order
- Complete court order specifically permitting you to apply for your child’s passport (photocopy is acceptable)
- Certified copy of the child’s birth certificate listing you as the only parent
- Certified copy of an adoption decree listing you as the only parent
- Certified copy of the judicial declaration of incompetence of the parent that cannot appear in person
- Certified copy of the death certificate of the parent that cannot appear in person
Situation: One parent unable to appear
If one parent/guardian cannot appear with the child to apply for the passport, they can give permission by completing Form DS-3053 “Statement of Consent.” (PDF 52 KB). You must submit the completed form with the child’s passport application. The parent that cannot appear with the child must:
- Sign and date Form DS-3053 in the presence of a certified notary public in United States or in front of a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, and
(Note: This form can also be accepted by some foreign country’s notary public, depending in what country the non-appearing parent is.)
- Submit a photocopy of the front and back side of the ID that they present to the notary public with Form DS-3053.
There is no fee for this service if performed at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. To schedule an appointment to execute a statement of consent at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, please visit our online appointment calendar and select “notarial service.”
Situation: You cannot locate the other parent
You must submit Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances” (PDF 48 KB).
- Please complete the form with as much detail as possible.
- We may ask for additional information (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to protect against international parental child abduction.
Situation: Neither parent able to appear
A third party may apply for the child’s passport with a notarized statement from both parents/guardians giving that third party permission to apply for the child.
- The statement must include a photocopy of the parents/guardians’ identification.
- When the statement is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the consenting parent/guardian.
Please Note: Written authorization from the parent that cannot appear in person must be less than three months old.