The process of obtaining and renewing passports seems to get more detailed every day. Apply for a child’s first passport well in advance of your travel dates and find specific information and forms online at the U.S. Department of State’s site. Both parents (or legal guardians) should be present at either an acceptance facility or a passport agency when applying for a minor’s passport, or one parent can submit a notarized consent form in his/her absence. The U.S. Government has very clear guidelines for children’s passport photos (eyes must be open, no glare on glasses, no hair in the eyes) so consult their FAQs before submitting images with your application.
If you’re renewing a child’s passport or need one in a hurry, you can opt for an expedited service by scheduling an appointment at your local passport agency (call 24 hours a day to schedule: 877-487-2778). Alternatively, services such as US Passport Now will handle the whole situation for you and can track and receive documents within 1-14 days. Lastly, always make sure that you have at least 6 months before the expiration date left on any passport before trying to travel outside the U.S. – some countries are sticklers for this, and it is always best to err on the side of caution.