Many new parents struggle with leaving the house. Raise your hand if you've been there. I practiced putting my six-week old twins in their car seats multiple times and had my husband check before I started leaving the house on my own with them. First, it was pushing the stroller to the grocery store and back. Then, I pushed myself to take drives while they napped; thank God for drive-thru coffee, am I right? Finally, I made the leap of faith: I drove to Target by myself with the twins and actually purchased things from the store.
Once my twins were big enough to be worn one at a time in my Tula Free to Grow carrier (we’ve since switched to a front-facing Infantino 4-in-1 carrier), I started taking them everywhere. Babywearing was much simpler to me than hauling our giant double stroller around. At seven months, we still prefer babywearing to the stroller.
This is all to say that when leaving the house seems insurmountable the idea of getting your baby a passport might trigger a panic attack. Honestly, it turned out to be much easier than I thought.
We had it pretty easy. We loaded the girls into the stroller (I had to walk them back by myself so the stroller was required.) and walked the ten minutes to the university passport office. We're lucky that the closest passport acceptance office is close, and it's open to the public not just students like my husband. We got there right when it opened. Some offices require or offer appointments. I would highly recommend making an appointment, especially if you have multiple children.
First, you're going to need to fill out the application. You can save yourself time by filling this out at home and printing it. We were not that prepared and did it at the office. You will also need your children's birth certificates as well as your identification. We used our passports for identification. Furthermore, all parents listed on the birth certificate will need to be present when you apply for the passport. If a parent is not able to be there, they need to fill out a different form and have it notarized.
I know this might sound like a giant pain in the rear but take a second to imagine why that's the case. Consider how you would feel if your partner went behind your back and got your child a passport without speaking with you first. Imagine you have no idea that passport exists and one day both your partner and child have left the country. It's a terrifying thought.
They take the pictures of the babies lying down on a white sheet. You can do this yourself at home and print the pictures out. This would probably be a good idea for newborns who have to sleep a lot or if you have an incredibly squirmy or fussy baby. I was surprised our photos happened with minimal fuss.
After they’ve taken your photos and you’ve filled out the requisite paperwork, they make copies of the child’s birth certificate. They need the original birth certificate from your child’s county of birth and will send in the original with another copy. I recommend asking them to make a secondary copy so you always have a copy of their birth certificate on hand. They will also need a photo ID from both parents; we used our passports.
This is not a cheap endeavor. Each passport application cost $80 along with $12 for photographs (another reason to do them at home) and a $35 processing fee (this may differ depending on where you get it processed). The $80 for the passport application needs to be a check (personal is fine) or money order; we were able to pay the processing fee with our debit card. All told, it cost $254 for both babies to get their passport.
And we’ll need to do it again in another five years.