Even if you don't plan to travel anywhere, I recommend applying for your kids passports as soon as you can. It's one of those things that you want to have, you never know when you may need to leave the country or take a trip, and, you never know when a pandemic can hit and offices may close on you or slow everything down (I am sure everyone has learned lessons from 2020 haha).
It's simply one of those things that is easily to postpone, and might as well get done from the get go through the postpartum days. And it is more overwhelming to think about, than it actually is.
Here are the simple steps.
Complete the DS-11 form online and print it off
Gather all the info required
Two Passport Photos (2″ x 2″ with a white background) Check my "How To Take Professional Passport Photos At Home In 5 Minutes" blog post, especially if you are applying for your babies or kids, taking them at home is so easy and convenient!
Original/certified U.S. birth certificate. A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office (which must be within 1 year of your birth), this is why it's convenient to do it soon after birth. Otherwise you have to obtain a new birth certificate too OR show an expired US passport if your kid is older.
COPY of the above U.S. birth certificate (front and back if there is back, black&white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper. and legible)
Show Parental Identity Of Mom & Dad. You can choose one (each) from the following documents: US passport, In-state fully valid driver's license, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, Government employee ID (city, county, state, or federal), U.S. military or military dependent ID, Current (valid) foreign passport, U.S. Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
Baby's Social Security Number. This doesn't say is a requirement online, however, when we were there in person, they asked us for this and said it was in fact a requirement. We did not have it since we had an out-of-the-hospital birth, so we had to get it and apply again, so... just in case, bring it.
COPY of each of the above parental identity (front and back if there is back, black&white, 8 1/2 x 11" standard paper and legible)
Certified Check or Money Order payable to the “US Department of State” for: PASSPORT BOOK: $80 + 35 PASSPORT CARD: $15 + $35 PASSPORT BOOK + CARD: $95 + $35 Please note: The application fee and the execution fee are paid separately. EXPEDITED SERVICE costs an additional $60. Also note: where we went they took credit card too, but def bring checks just in case.
3. Submit. All of the above (the completed application, citizenship evidence, photocopy of ID, photo, and fees) must be submitted in person at a passport acceptance facility. It's super easy to do it at a local USPS. Check out where one is closest to your city here. Both parents must be present and of course, the baby/kid too. It takes 5minutes and it's by appointment, so it truly is quick.
4. Track Status. You may track the status of the passport here.
Routine: 10-12 weeks
Expedited: 4-6 weeks (HOWEVER due to Covid19 it took my expedite 10 weeks, and regular routines were taking over 3 months back then in summer 2020 so please note these are estimates and may vary)
EMERGENCY request at Agency or Center only: extremely limited number of appointments for emergencies, must have international travel in the next 72 hours (3 business days). You must show proof of flights and emergency reasoning. I’m not sure how strict they are and if booking a Vacay trip to Mexico counts as an emergency but online & over the phone they told me that proof of emergency reasoning is needed. Also note: this is right now as of April 2021 but things keep changing.
Note; of course due to Covid19, things have been operating differently especially when it comes to time lines. See updates & changes here.
SOFIA In 2018 I applied for my daughters passport and it was so easy and quick. I had tickets booked and I simply got an appointment at a local passport agency where you could get the passport in 24h with less restrictions.
Google "passport agency near me" and find the closest one. The one I went to when Sofia was born in LA was: 11000 Wilshire Blvd #1000, Los Angeles, CA 90024 877.487.2778
Gather all the same documents (added fees will apply and vary in each agency)
BECKHAM Summer 2020 I applied for Beckham's passport through USPS doing the steps mentioned above. I expedited it (although I wasn't in a rush) and still got it 10 weeks later. So of course, you never know how long it will take especially if you find yourself in the middle of the pandemic. And other than the social security number problem mentioned above, and the longer wait time, it was smooth and easy!