Renewing US Passport for a Minor

Update 21 April 2016: A reader commented that the passport website has been adjusted to include requirements under a new category titled “Evidence of Parental Relationship.” This requirement explains why they need the birth certificate. Thanks Lily!!

Today we took a sizable trek down to the fortress, also knows as the US Embassy in Athens, Greece. It is one of the most formidable embassies I have ever been to. It was the first time we have ever had to apply for a passport renewal for any of our kids. Our girls’ are coming up on their expirations dates, which means it has almost been 5 years since we moved out of the US… wow! Time flies. So it was time for us to go through the steps of renewing a US passport for a Minor.

In order to be able to get in to renew your passport at the Athens US Embassy first you have to make an appointment. The appointments usually fill up months in advance, but we were able to get the girls in only one week later. Our appointment was for today, so you can imagine that yesterday I spent a few hours taking passport photos and filling out forms. I looked at the “Special Requirements” for minors at least three times, and felt confident that we had everything that was going to be required. In fact, here is a screen shot of the requirements on their website.

US minor passport renewal

Notice the word “One.” I am a stickler for being prepared (as you are well aware), so I made sure I had one of those items. Then when finally got into the passport area the morning and they called our number the woman kept saying, “Well, you need their birth certificates in addition to their current passports.” I pointed out that I checked the website several times and it said that the kids current passports would suffice, which makes sense because in order to get their passports in the first place, you have submit a copy of their birth certificate. So it should be somewhere in some record. But apparently they need to update their website, because Travis had to come all the way back home, and then take the Birth Certificates to the office before they would start processing them.

So… if you are applying to renew a passport for a minor, make sure you have you the child’s birth certificate. You also have to make sure both parents are present with the child to take an oath that all of the information is correct as far as you know. This is a great practice so one parent can’t get a passport and take off with their child without the other one knowing about it. If you both can’t appear, there is paperwork and notarization you can do to prove both parents consent to the child getting a passport. For more specific information check out their website here.

So there you, now you WILL be prepared. And yes, there are passport photo tales coming soon. Trying to take Timo’s passport photo was extremely challenging, hahaha.

Happy Travels,


Getting Your US Passport

Disclaimer: This post may look like a beast, but I promise it is composed in a way that the information is easy to access, and all inclusive for your specific situation. Bear with me and I will help you navigate the waters of the US bureaucratic mumbo jumbo.


Before you can hop on a plane to a fabulous international destination, you need your passport. It used to be that if you were a US citizen and you were traveling to a bordering North American country (Canada or Mexico), all you needed was a birth certificate. But things have changed, and now you need your US passport any time you go outside of the country. You will need a passport for each person in your family, including of course your children. You need to start this process far ahead of time, especially if you are planning on traveling around the holidays because the Department of State gets a lot more applicaions around that time. Normal processing takes about six weeks, but it can take longer. You can also pay for expedited services, but who wants to spend extra money?

So how do you go about obtaining one of those blue, shiny books with your picture and information in it? Here are step by step instructions on how to get your US Passport. Read more