US passports issued to children age 15 and younger are valid for only five years, so sooner or later, every traveling family wonders how they can get their child’s passport renewed. There is no true renewal process for children like the passport renewals available for adults. Every time a child needs a new passport, the child’s identity and citizenship must be verified by a Passport Acceptance Agent.
If your child’s passport is expired, you will need to follow the same procedure that is used for a first time minor passport. The only difference is that you will need to submit your child’s expired or expiring passport. If your child also has a passport card, you will need to submit the passport card as well. You will have to accompany your child to a Passport Acceptance Facility to have the passport application sealed into an official envelope in a procedure called “execution.” If both parents aren’t able to go to the Passport Acceptance Facility, you’ll need to have your child’s other parent fill out the parental consent Form DS-3053, and get it notarized.
As soon as your child turns 16, he will be eligible to get his first adult passport valid for 10 years. If your child’s minor passport expires when he is 16 or 17 years old, you will still need to accompany your child to the Passport Acceptance Facility in order to show “parental awareness” that your child will be issued an adult passport. If neither parent can accompany your child, one parent can write a letter giving consent for the passport to be issued. The good news is that after that, your child will be able to use the adult passport renewal procedure for all future passports. The procedure to renew an adult’s passport is much simpler, and doesn’t require having the application sealed into an official envelope.