At What Age Do You Need a Passport? [2023]

At What Age Does a Child Need a Passport?

Welcome to the ultimate guide that’ll explain at what age you need a passport.

From it, you’ll also learn:

  • Whether a child needs a passport to fly domestically AND internationally.
  • If children need a valid passport to visit Mexico, Canada, or Puerto Rico.
  • Passport requirements for kids.

Scroll on.

Passport photo in 3s!

Take a photo with your smartphone, upload it to the website, we will convert it to an official passport photo and send you a digital or printed version. Simple? You can’t get more convenient than that!

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How old do you have to be to get a passport?

There is no minimum passport age for getting a passport. Every international travel requires individuals, regardless of their age, to carry a valid passport.

Therefore, parents should provide passports to their children, no matter if they are newborns, toddlers or teenagers. Every airline and border crossing authorities require travelers to show the document that allows them to enter another country—that is, a passport book

Note: A US passport card is not an acceptable form of document while traveling internationally. Learn about differences between passport books and passport cards.

Passport requirements for children

In addition to all the documents required for an adult’s application, children will need: 

  • a signed statement from both parents or legal guardians and their photo IDs, 
  • a birth certificate, and 
  • photocopies of all the listed documents.

Bear in mind that  during the passport application, at least one parent needs to accompany the child. Check also the application procedures for single parents.

For more detailed instructions on kids passport requirements, see our checklist of documents you need for children’s passports.

Interested in finding out more about passports? Check out:

When are passports required: exceptions?

A child’s passport is not always mandatory to the point that no other identity document will suffice.

The first and most common case is domestic flights. When flying inside the country, US citizens are not required to have a passport—most forms of ID, like birth certificates, will be good enough.

Another exception is for land and sea travel to Canada, Mexico, and certain Caribbean islands.

For these destinations, children under 16 (sixteen) may only need a birth certificate to cross the border. Also, for closed-loop cruises, a passport book will not be required.

However, parents should remember that passports are the strongest traveling documents. Even though one cruise company may not require them, the other demands passengers to carry passports. Thus, it is always the best idea to apply for your child’s passport if you plan international trips.

A perfect photo for your child’s passport

Every US passport needs a biometric photograph. Whether you apply for a baby’s passport, your newborn or a toddler, you always have to submit their passport photo. We know that it may not be the easiest thing to do. That is why we would like to present you with an innovative solution: Passport Photo Online.

No need to look for the nearest photo service that offers baby passport photos. Also, no more traveling and preparing special chairs, toys or surroundings. With the Passport Photo Online application, parents will take their children’s pictures comfortably at home in 3 seconds.

A 4-step process showing the baby’s passport photo editing through Passport Photo Online.

We offer unlimited tries. Even if your toddler is fidgeting, you can take as many shots as possible and pay only for the final, accepted result. On top of that, we guarantee 100% compliance with the official guidelines thanks to our advanced AI checker and the expert’s feedback.

Prepare your digital camera or a smartphone and try Passport Photo Online today!


Let us answer some essential questions to ensure who needs a passport and in what circumstances.

At what age do you need a passport? 

Every US citizen, including newborns and infants, needs a valid passport for international air travel. 

Does a child need a passport to fly in the US?

No, for domestic flights, US citizens are not required to show a passport. A valid ID, such as a birth certificate, will be enough.

Does a child need a passport to go to Mexico?

To cross the Mexican border on land or sea, children under 15 (fifteen) can use their birth certificate. To fly, all passengers need a valid passport book.

Does a child need a passport to go to Canada?

To cross the Canadian border on land or sea, children under 15 (fifteen) can just use their birth certificate. To fly, all passengers need a valid passport book.

Does a child need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?

No, Puerto Rico is a US territory, so the flight is considered domestic.

Can a child travel without a passport?

Children may travel without a US passport in the following situations:

– domestic flights within the US territory;
– crossing the Canadian or Mexican border by car;
– closed-loop cruises.

However, even in these situations, parents are advised to carry a valid child’s passport.

At what age do you need a passport to cross the US border?

To cross the US border, every American regardless of age must have a valid passport book.

Do babies need passports—conclusion

Summing up, there is no minimum passport age for international air travel. All newborns, infants, toddlers, and children with US citizenship need a valid passport book.

Domestic flights, however, do not require a passport. Make sure to bring a photo ID and a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

If you are crossing to Mexico, Canada, or the Caribbean, through land or sea borders, children under 15 (fifteen) will not need a passport. Still, it’s a good idea to have one on hand.

And for your baby’s passport photo, check Passport Photo Online for fast and convenient service. Satisfaction or 200% money back guaranteed!


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