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Overseas Travel and Passports


It is required that a non-custodial parent get written consent when traveling with a child overseas a custodial parent does not need consent. Most lawyers don’t know this, in fact I had four lawyers and none were familiar with these issues.  This information is available in detail from the US State Department.


Passports for Minors Under 16 - Quick Facts

Who Needs One: Every minor regardless of age traveling overseas must have a valid passport

Valid For: 5 years

Submission Method: Passport applications for minors under age 16, who have or have not had a passport in the past, must be submitted in person at a passport agency or authorized passport application acceptance facility. The minor must be present. Both parents and guardians should appear with the minor. If both parents/guardians cannot be present, see parental consent for additional document requirements.  

Check out our Parents' Corner, where you will find additional facts about applying for your child's passport.  Parents' Corner

What you need to apply for a minor's passport

  • Evidence of U.S. Citizenship
  • Evidence of Parental Relationship
  • Photo Identification
  • Parental Consent
  • Passport Photo
  • Application Forms
  • Passport Fees
  • Passports for Minors Age 16 and 17 - Quick Facts

Valid For: 10 years

Submission Method: Use Form DS-11 or Form DS-82 (restrictions apply)

Parent Identification: A parent can identify a minor that does not have his or her own identification

Parental Consent

Minors ages 16-17 with their own identification can apply for a passport by themselves.  However, it is recommended that at least one parent appear in person with the minor to identify him/her and to show parental awareness. 

Examples of Parental Awareness

  • Having a parent accompany the minor when applying, or
  • A signed statement consenting to issuance of a passport from at least one parent (should be accompanied by a photocopy of that parent’s ID).
  • Required Documentation

Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

You must submit one of the following original certified documents as primary evidence of U.S. citizenship (photocopies are not acceptable):

  • Certified U.S. Birth Certificate (must meet all of the following requirements):
    • Issued by City, County, or State of birth
    • Lists bearer’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
    • Lists parent(s) full names
    • Has date filed with registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
    • Has registrar’s signature
    • Has embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar
  • Previous U.S. Passport (may be expired, must be undamaged)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Naturalization Certificate
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program

Parents may enroll their U.S. citizen children under the age of 18 in the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program (CPIAP), one of the Department of State’s most important tools for preventing international parental child abduction.  If a passport application is submitted for a child who is enrolled in CPIAP, the Department attempts to alert the parent or parents to verify whether the parents approve passport issuance.

Please note that this program does not apply to foreign passports and the United States does not have exit controls.  U.S law enforcement generally will not act to prevent a child from leaving the country unless there is a court order clearly prohibiting the removal of the child from the United States.  If you are concerned about abduction, you should speak with your attorney about ways in which the court may assist in your prevention efforts. 

Learn more about the Passport Issuance Alert Program by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.


If your spouse has dual citizenship or had citizenship from another nation before coming to the US, you should learn these issues inside and out. A special section related to passports and foreign travel should be added to your decree. It’s best to state that the passport and letter of consent be delivered by mail to you 30 days prior to a trip. Who will hold the passport when the child is not traveling?

If you have any doubts or thought that your ex. or soon to be ex may take the child and disappear to another country, have the courts hold the passports of both of you and the children.

A parent with custody can leave the U.S. with a child and a valid passport, travel to a non-Hague nation and never return. They don’t need the permission of the non-custodial parent. Their right to leave is protected by the law and stopping them may take judge’s orders which may take weeks to obtain. Finding an open court date for this issue to be heard can often take weeks or months.

Many of these nations are poor. They can cash out credit cards and bank accounts, generating cash and they can leave their debts behind them including the huge attorney fees.  I have met many men who have married women from 3rd world nations.

Retrieval of an abducted child is both emotionally and financially devastating. And can take years where an ounce of protection could prevent the situation in the first place.



Ohio Family Rights is a national free association of like minded people that work to comprehensively change the way that states and the courts view custody between divorced and never married people.  We have dedicated ourselves to correcting what has long been a major problem of socially engineering fit parents from the lives of their child every day. This goal can only be accomplished by comprehensively correcting the flaws within the “Shared Parenting laws” that are currently in place so that all fit parents and their children can benefit from equal custody. Please join us in our efforts to protect the families of this nation and the future of our children.

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