November 14, 2016
We have previously discussed the general process to renew a U.S. passport for a minor child under the age of 16. A critical part of that process is the consent of both parents and/or legal guardians, which is required under U.S. law. If one of the parents is not available to attend the interview in person, there are specific steps you must take in order for the application to be approved. The parent who is not present must provide a signed consent form (our Form DS-3053) that has been properly notarized either in a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or by a notary public in the United States. The DS-3053 must have attached a copy of the government-issued identification that was presented to the notarizing official. The embassy does not accept consent forms notarized by a Dominican notary, and we reject consent forms that are improperly executed or incomplete. There is no fee to have the DS-3053 notarized at a U.S. embassy or consulate anywhere in the world.
Sometimes, neither parent can attend the in-person interview. If a third party (e.g., grandparent, relative, legal guardian) will appear instead, both parents must provide notarized consent with attached copies of identification presented, as well as another notarized affidavit authorizing the third party to apply for the minor child’s passport. All written consent forms must be executed within the last three months and the original notarized documents – not photocopies! – must be presented to the Consular Official at the interview.
The decision to accept the consent forms rests solely with the Consular Officer. Any incomplete or incorrect documentation will delay renewal of your minor child’s passport, and completing the process satisfactorily can take extra time. Be sure to plan well in advance of your travel. For more general information, please visit http://travel.state.gov.