Things aren’t as simple as they used to be…. no more adding your kids onto your passport. As of about 10 years ago kids (and babies) need to have their very own passports to cross borders.
At first the idea of getting a passport for my baby seemed fully impossible.
It’s recommended that you wait until your child can sit up on their own. But my fatso was still all roly-poly at 5 months. So when I sat him up, he tended to tip over sideways or flop onto his tummy.
But we needed to get started on applying for the passport so we could get to all sorts of important places!
I began by reading the guidelines for the photo which states the child basically has to meet the same requirements as adults. Be sitting, facing the camera full on with mouth closed and eyes open. And no head tilting.
I will have to take ONE HUNDRED MILLION photos of this wiggly little monkey to get this right.
Fortunately, the rules for babies are actually pretty lax.
It was a-ok for me to hold the baby up and they just covered my hands with some fabric. So it looks like the baby’s wearing a toga. But he didn’t seem to mind sporting this attire. He will be a fancy international baby soon enough, anyway.
And it only took 2 tries before we got a pic that was possibly acceptable.
I thought it was not going to be approved because there is a shadow on his neck, but the photographer assured me it doesn’t interfere with facial recognition so it would be approved. Even though the requirements state: There must be no shadows on the face or shoulders, around the ears or in the background.
Okay, it didn’t specifically mention “neck”. But the passport office isn’t exactly known for their easy-going leniency.
I argued with the photographer for a couple minutes before he made it very clear he wasn’t going to re-take the photos and he was just trying to get rid of me.
Well, I guess you can only expect a certain level of professionalism from Sears.
The photographer told me I could have the photos re-done for free if they were denied.
Cooooool. Why would I go back to the place that did it wrong the first time around?
Thanks, Sears! I won’t be back any time soon.
Enjoy going out of business!
I got back home with my questionable photos and started reading the requirements for the forms. And they say the baby needs a guarantor.
That confused me.
No one has known my baby for 2 years, he hasn’t existed that long.
Either these rules make no sense. Or I was sleep deprived.
It was probably the latter, but possibly both.
However, once I actually filled out the forms, which is easy (unless it’s impossible to properly spell your own child’s stupidly long name…..), I understood that the other parent can be the guarantor, if they have a passport.
Once I made it to the passport office, the agent told me shadows and mediocre pictures don’t matter because babies aren’t subject to the facial recognition system.
So this was totally approved:
And it turns out baby passports are only $57.
Such a deal! And totally understandable since newborns don’t really need an in-depth security background check.
On a related note, if you’re driving across the border, your baby only needs a long form birth certificate. So save yourself $57 by going for a drive!
Sadly, we can’t drive to Hawaii, so a passport is a must.
After a lot of stressing, we have achieved passport success. It wasn’t nearly as tricky as I thought it would be. The hardest part was fitting Koa’s 34 letter name in those tiny boxes on the forms.
I also kept spelling his second middle name wrong.
I probably went through like sets of 6 forms.
But it was totally worth it. And we got the passport in less than 2 weeks. Fantastic!
Look how stoked he is to be an international travel baby!