Does a newborn baby need a passport?

Those of us who were born back in the dim and distant days of the 20th century may remember travelling under a parent’s passport as a child. However, times have changed. Nowadays, if you’re planning to take your kid abroad, they will need a passport. There are no exceptions to the rule – even a newborn baby travelling for the first time needs their very own documentation.

What do I need to do to get my newborn’s passport?

You can download a passport application form or pick one up at the Post Office. A baby’s passport, unlike an adult’s, is only valid for five years, and costs £46. Sadly, the price may be a bit lower but the processing time for a baby’s passport is just as long! Officially, a passport can take 4 – 6 weeks to process, but as we all know, this is a bit optimistic.

When it comes to newborns, you may be on a much tighter time frame. Perhaps you’re planning to travel in the first few months, or even weeks, of your baby’s life. In that case, you’re better off paying £87 for the fast-track service, which has a one-week turnaround and requires an appointment in person.

As well as the application form, you’ll need the baby’s original birth certificate and a pair of passport photos, signed by a professional who can vouch for your child’s identity. If either or both of the parents don’t have a British passport, extra supporting documents must be sent, too.

What about my newborn’s passport photo?

Don’t panic when it’s time to pose for a baby passport photo! Just be sure to follow the guidelines, as if you’re planning to travel with your newborn, you’re probably on a time-sensitive schedule and can’t afford to have a photo rejected.

For babies younger than one year, the regular passport photo rules don’t apply. This means that your baby can be smiling, laughing, crying, or even sleeping. In fact, it might be easiest to take a picture when the little one is asleep – unlike passport photos for adults or children, newborns can have their eyes closed.

What is important is that the photo has a plain cream or light grey background and that the baby’s face is not obscured by toys or dummies.

Photo: Happy Baby by tedmurphy licensed under Creative commons 2

Recommended Reading