Max baby went to the Dominican Republic as a 9 week old. Which means he needed a passport. Getting an infant to take a passport picture is not easy. I’ll share the steps to getting a passport at the bottom of this post. First, let’s tackle the passport picture with a baby.
The back story
My first thought was to simply take my baby to CVS and let the passport picture taking experts take his picture. I made sure he was wide awake and fed and drove him to CVS where I assumed the picture people would have some baby picture secret weapon. Here’s exactly what happened.
Yep, Max turned the head and fell fast asleep. I tried everything to wake this babe up. Even jingling those keys from the toy section in CVS. Nothing worked. I did this 3 times, y’all!
How to get a baby’s passport picture taken
After the 3rd failed attempt at CVS, I decided to buy a sheet of white poster board and try it at home. In hindsight, a white sheet would have been free and potentially easier since it is larger. We had to do a few sessions to get a good one, but practice makes perfect! Here was session numero uno. Super cute, but no winners.
I did not want to go back to CVS without an awesome picture. And they are picky. Here’s what they are looking for:
- Eyes must be looking at camera
- No hats, glasses, etc…
- No limbs in the picture
- Must be able to see both ears
I did a few sessions and got 5 pictures I thought were passport worthy. I drove back to CVS and had them print one of the pictures from my iPhone. It costs the same whether you or CVS takes the picture, but it was worth it to have the double check that it was good and print it in the exact format needed by the passport agency. Here’s the final Max baby passport picture:
Tips for taking a good baby passport picture
- It’s much easier with 2 people
- One person is the photographer and the 2nd person will hold the babies arms down
- Buy a white poster board or use a white sheet as a background
- Lay baby on poster board and do multiple photo shoots when baby is fed and awake
- Take at least 20 picture s in a row (Use the burst feature on your phone!)
- Don’t be scared to turn their head to look at the camera
- Have someone else tickle his nose to get him to look at the camera
Here are the tips in action:
After you get a few good pictures, take it to CVS and pay the $12 to get it printed in the proper format. Then, gather up these things:
- Baby passport picture (You only need one picture.)
- Baby certified birth certificate (Make sure birth certificate lists the names of the mom and dad)
- Mom and Dad’s driver licenses or passports (Make sure they are not expired. Also if using a DL, it must be a DL from the same state in which you are applying for the baby’s passport.)
- Both parents must be present
- This form (DS-11). Do it online, print and bring it to the office.
- Bring proof of travel. (An airline ticket will do the trick.) This is not always necessary, call ahead for details in your specific area.
- Bring checks or exact cash. My passport place did not accept credit cards. You will need $80 (for passport book) and $35 (for execution fee).
- It costs $60 to expedite the passport.
- Bring all of these things to an acceptance facility near you. (Click here to find one!)
- And be prepared to wait once you get to the acceptance facility! You can make an appointment, but even with the appointment we still ended up waiting up 20 minutes.
Phew, I think that’s all folks! Anyone else had to get a baby a passport? How did the passport picture turn out? For the record, the dude at the acceptance agency said Max’s picture was the best baby passport picture he had ever seen! Go Max! Oh and you do know that minors (under 16) passports are only good for 5 years.
Now that you have a passport, here are some tips for flying with a baby
Comments & Reviews
Great tips! I am hoping to get this done this week. Thanks!
capturing joy with kristen duke says
Love the write up, great job, friend!
I’m laughing out loud – my family and I live overseas and we have had to get passports for all three of our kids. The first time was a debacle and in many ways sounds like your story. For our second, the lady at the post office had a trick which worked like a charm!! Drape a white sheet or blanket over your car seat, sit your baby in the car seat, and take the picture. SO easy! You still have to make sure they’re awake but it really helps to get them looking toward the camera and you can do it by yourself in a pinch.
Jamie Dorobek says
OH my gosh! That is genius! Thanks for sharing!
Amy W says
Oh my, what a challenge! I had no idea the same passport rules apply to babies, that’s tricky!!