22 CFR 51.28 - Minors.

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§ 51.28 Minors.
(a) Minors under age 16—
(1) Personal appearance. Minors under 16 years of age applying for a passport must appear in person, unless the personal appearance of the minor is specifically excused by a senior passport authorizing officer, pursuant to guidance issued by the Department. In cases where personal appearance is excused, the person(s) executing the passport application on behalf of the minor shall appear in person and verify the application by oath or affirmation before a person authorized by the Secretary to administer oaths or affirmations, unless these requirements are also excused by a senior passport authorizing officer pursuant to guidance issued by the Department.
(2) Execution of passport application by both parents or by each legal guardian. Except as specifically provided in this section, both parents or each of the minor's legal guardians, if any, whether applying for a passport for the first time or for a renewal, must execute the application on behalf of a minor under age 16 and provide documentary evidence of parentage or legal guardianship showing the minor's name, date and place of birth, and the names of the parent or parents or legal guardian.
(3) Execution of passport application by one parent or legal guardian. A passport application may be executed on behalf of a minor under age 16 by only one parent or legal guardian if such person provides:
(i) A notarized written statement or affidavit from the non-applying parent or legal guardian, if applicable, consenting to the issuance of the passport, or
(ii) Documentary evidence that such person is the sole parent or has sole custody of the minor. Such evidence includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) A birth certificate providing the minor's name, date and place of birth and the name of only the applying parent;
(B) A Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States of America or a Certification of Report of Birth of a United States Citizen providing the minor's name, date and place of birth and the name of only the applying parent;
(C) A copy of the death certificate for the non-applying parent or legal guardian;
(D) An adoption decree showing the name of only the applying parent;
(E) An order of a court of competent jurisdiction granting sole legal custody to the applying parent or legal guardian containing no travel restrictions inconsistent with issuance of the passport; or, specifically authorizing the applying parent or legal guardian to obtain a passport for the minor, regardless of custodial arrangements; or specifically authorizing the travel of the minor with the applying parent or legal guardian;
(F) An order of a court of competent jurisdiction terminating the parental rights of the non-applying parent or declaring the non-applying parent or legal guardian to be incompetent.
(G) An order of a court of competent jurisdiction providing for joint legal custody or requiring the permission of both parents or the court for important decisions will be interpreted as requiring the permission of both parents or the court, as appropriate. Notwithstanding the existence of any such court order, a passport may be issued when compelling humanitarian or emergency reasons relating to the welfare of the minor exist.
(4) Execution of passport application by a person acting in loco parentis.
(i) A person may apply in loco parentis on behalf of a minor under age 16 by submitting a notarized written statement or a notarized affidavit from both parents or each legal guardian, if any, specifically authorizing the application.
(ii) If only one parent or legal guardian provides the notarized written statement or notarized affidavit, the applicant must provide documentary evidence that an application may be made by one parent or legal guardian, consistent with § 51.28(a)(3)
(5) Exigent or special family circumstances. A passport may be issued when only one parent, legal guardian or person acting in loco parentis executes the application, in cases of exigent or special family circumstances.
(i) “Exigent circumstances” are defined as time-sensitive circumstances in which the inability of the minor to obtain a passport would jeopardize the health and safety or welfare of the minor or would result in the minor being separated from the rest of his or her traveling party. “Time sensitive” generally means that there is not enough time before the minor's emergency travel to obtain either the required consent of both parents/legal guardians or documentation reflecting a sole parent's/legal guardian's custody rights.
(ii) “Special family circumstances” are defined as circumstances in which the minor's family situation makes it exceptionally difficult for one or both of the parents to execute the passport application; and/or compelling humanitarian circumstances where the minor's lack of a passport would jeopardize the health, safety, or welfare of the minor; or, pursuant to guidance issued by the Department, circumstances in which return of a minor to the jurisdiction of his or her home state or habitual residence is necessary to permit a court of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate or enforce a custody determination. A passport issued due to such special family circumstances may be limited for direct return to the United States in accordance with § 51.60(e).
(iii) A parent, legal guardian, or person acting in loco parentis who is applying for a passport for a minor under age 16 under this paragraph must submit a written statement with the application describing the exigent or special family circumstances he or she believes should be taken into consideration in applying an exception.
(iv) Determinations under § 51.28(a)(5) must be made by a senior passport authorizing officer pursuant to guidance issued by the Department.
(6) Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit any Department official adjudicating a passport application filed on behalf of a minor from requiring an applicant to submit other documentary evidence deemed necessary to establish the applying adult's entitlement to obtain a passport on behalf of a minor under the age of 16 in accordance with the provisions of this regulation.
(b) Minors 16 years of age and above.
(1) A minor 16 years of age and above applying for a passport must appear in person and may execute the application for a passport on his or her own behalf unless the personal appearance of the minor is specifically excused by a senior passport authorizing officer pursuant to guidance issued by the Department, or unless, in the judgment of the person before whom the application is executed, it is not advisable for the minor to execute his or her own application. In such case, it must be executed by a parent or legal guardian of the minor, or by a person in loco parentis, unless the personal appearance of the parent, legal guardian or person in loco parentis is excused by the senior passport authorizing officer pursuant to guidance issued by the Department.
(2) The passport authorizing officer may at any time require a minor 16 years of age and above to submit the notarized consent of a parent, a legal guardian, or a person in loco parentis to the issuance of the passport.
(c) Rules applicable to all minors—
(1) Objections. At any time prior to the issuance of a passport to a minor, the application may be disapproved and a passport may be denied upon receipt of a written objection from a parent or legal guardian of the minor, or from another party claiming authority to object, so long as the objecting party provides sufficient documentation of his or her custodial rights or other authority to object.
(2) An order from a court of competent jurisdiction providing for joint legal custody or requiring the permission of both parents or the court for important decisions will be interpreted as requiring the permission of both parents or the court as appropriate.
(3) The Department will consider a court of competent jurisdiction to be a U.S. state or federal court or a foreign court located in the minor's home state or place of habitual residence.
(4) The Department may require that conflicts regarding custody orders, whether domestic or foreign, be settled by the appropriate court before a passport may be issued.
(5) Access by parents and legal guardians to passport records for minors. Either parent or any legal guardian of a minor may upon written request obtain information regarding the application for and issuance of a passport to a minor, unless the requesting parent's parental rights have been terminated by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction, a copy of which has been provided to the Department. The Department may deny such information to a parent or legal guardian if it determines that the minor objects to disclosure and the minor is 16 years of age or older or if the Department determines that the minor is of sufficient age and maturity to invoke his or her own privacy rights.

Title 22 published on 2014-04-01

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