Sorry it’s been quite a while since I’ve blogged! December was a crazy month, with me catching a cold, then passing it off to A, and then the holidays, and then Kp had a work trip to London recently. But it’s finally slowed down and I’ve gotten a chance to take a breath! Last week, I even managed to finally apply for A’s passport!
We’ve been meaning to apply for A’s passport for a while now, but we didn’t get around to getting everything compiled for it until recently and let me tell you… don’t wait until the last minute to get it done! We don’t have any definite plans to travel internationally yet, but we have a couple ideas floating around for maybe February or March, which leaves us with having to apply for A’s passport like NOW! Let me just rant a bit, and I’ll give you some tips for a smoother process than mine…
So I looked where and when you can apply for a first time passport, so we all headed over during their normal processing hours, only to see a sign that said “All passport application numbers have been handed out already. Please come back another day.” We did managed to get someone to check over our paperwork to make sure we did it correctly and she told us that since it was school holidays the lines were crazy and next week should be better. Normally, both parents have to be present when applying for a minor’s passport, but she said we could get a notarized statement. The night before I was planning on going to the Milpitas Post Office, I was reading about it on Yelp, and found out that apparently people start waiting in line at 6am! The post office doesn’t even open until 9! Which is when they start giving out numbers. I would have gone at 6, but since I’m still nursing A, I couldn’t go until 7:30. Thankfully, it was pouring in the morning, which I’m guessing resulted in less people wanting to wait in line, so I ended up being number 10. Not too bad. The lady told me to come back at 10, so I went to pick up A from my parents’ house who thankfully were able to watch her in the morning. I was already feeling slightly anxious since 10 is right in the middle of A’s nap, but I decided to just leave at 9:30 (her normal nap time) and let her sleep in the car ride, which of course she didn’t… Anyways, we get there at 10, and come to find out they are only on number 5. We stood around for another hour until they finalllllly called number 10. It was sooo annoying because some of the people in front of me made mistakes when filling their application out or missed fields completely, so while the lady was processing their application, every 30 seconds she had to give it back to them to fill out some stuff. And then to make matters worse, they wouldn’t have the information on hand!! Luckily, since I had all my paperwork filled out, and brought all the right documents, it only took about 5 minutes for them to process A’s application and we were out of there! She ended up completely missing her nap, and didn’t sleep on the car ride home, which resulted in her falling asleep while nursing!!! Which I never let her do, except on the airplane! Thankfully she still managed to take her second nap, and did fine with her nighttime sleep. Anyways, that’s off-topic..
With all that said, here are my tips for applying for a baby’s passport!
- If you have any intentions of going on an international trip, even maybe a year out, just apply for a passport early, and make an appointment at a post office or city hall! I found out that the Milpitas City Hall takes appointments, but the website says the earliest appointment isn’t until March. (BUT, after I told my sister my situation I told her to make an appointment, and she got one for February.. so who knows!) Unfortunately, minor’s passports have to be renewed in 5 years, which means pay more money, so you don’t want to apply for one and not use it…
- Both parents have to show up, as well as the person applying for the passport. This makes it SUPER inconvenient, since if you’re waiting in line, you might all be stuck in line for hours. (Hence, make an appointment!) What worked for us, since Kp was away for work and we didn’t want to delay applying any later, we got a notarized statement that allowed just me to apply with A. We got the form from the post office (but I’ve linked it below) and Kp filled it out and got it notarized (I read it’s normally around $10, but his work has this service).
What you’ll needed to apply for a first-time baby’s passport:
- DS-11 form. I completed it online and printed it out. It’s nice because it prompts you to fill out any missed fields, that way you’re not stuck at the counter adding in things you missed.
- Baby’s original birth certificate
- Photo copy of both parent’s government-issued ID (front and back). We did Driver’s License.
- Passport photo
- Check written out to the US Department of State for $80, with name and birthday of the applicant
- Credit card or cash to pay for the $25 application processing fee.
- Notarized Statement of Consent (optional- if you don’t want both parents to have to go)
We also had photocopies of our passports, and A’s birth certificate but they didn’t need them.
All in all, although it was so frustrating waiting in line and then watching them process applications at a snail’s pace, it was nice to finally get it done. Now… time to pick a (international) place to go! Any suggestions?
Update: Our passport arrived way quicker than I thought it would! We applied on a Tuesday, and received it 17 days later on a Friday! And I was able to track it’s progress on their website. Not bad!