Getting a US passport for your children
Children under 16 years who are entitled to carry a US passport still require consent from both parents before they will be grated a US passport.
The US Department of State requires parents of the intended passport holder to complete and sign the form known as “Statement of Consent or Special Circumstances: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor under age 16”. The relevant form can be downloaded the Department of State’s website or from here (last updated February 2014).
Like many other documents used in the US, this form also needs to be notarised by a notary public.
In the US, the role of a notary public is very similar to the role of a justice of the peace in Australia – even though in Australia, the office of a notary public is very different to the office of a justice of the peace. For documents signed in Australia but used in the US the general requirement is for your signature to be witnessed by a notary public (ie, you must sign in front of the notary public) and for the document to be notarised (ie, signed and sealed by the notary public).
Fortunately, if you have any questions regarding our notary public services for this document or any other documents used in the US, you can take comfort in the fact that you will find the details of our notary public listed with the US Consular Services, Sydney. We have been recognised as a notary public for documents used in the US and regularly notarise this form and other US documents without issue or problem.
Providing a consent to travel when your children travel overseas without you
If you have been asked to complete this form, perhaps by your child’s other parent or legal guardian, then it suggests that your child may be travelling overseas – which raises other issues.
If your child is also travelling without you, may also need to consider providing some sort of letter of consent to whoever your child is travelling with to ensure that they do not have any issues while passing through immigration. There are many countries around the world that require this form of authority or consent to prevent trafficking or child abduction, and while it may not be necessary in the countries that you are travelling to or through, it is good to have that peace of mind to avoid any hassles at the borders. Unfortunately, the nature of any problems arising from crossing borders means that we can help you now but we cannot help you later on. If you have problems at immigration checkpoints in other countries, you will need to rely on consular services from your home country.
For more information about consenting to your child being issued with a US passport, or any other issues that your child may experience while travelling internationally without you, please consult your nearest office of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or the foreign office of any of the intended destination countries.