passport for 13 vs. 14 yr old

Jul 14th, 2004, 04:56 PM
  #1  
emd
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passport for 13 vs. 14 yr old

I thought about posting this on the "Other" forum but it is not well attended.
I am taking my son to Japan in mid-March 2005. He is currently 13 but turns 14 at end of Dec. 2004. I am wondering if I should go through the hassle of getting a passport for him now, with all of many extra requirements that getting a passport for a child under 14 entails (it's a failry long list if you haven't seen it; the parents need to appear together and sign documents or a statemnt of consent must be submitted for the seocnd parent, etc.) or if I can safely wait til Dec. 30 to apply for a passport when he is 14 to avoid the extra work. The U.S. State Dept website says that if you apply for a pasport at a Passport Acceptance facility it takes 6 wks by mail to receive the passport. We would have just over 9 wks from the time he is 14 til we leave.
I would appreciate experience w/this process for minors vs the regular process, and also whether the 6 wk time frame is reality for receiving a passport if I wait til he is 14.
emd is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 05:32 PM
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I would think you will have time to get his passport after his birthday. If you are unsure, you can pay an additional fee to expedite the service. You might want to go that route if the hassle of providing all documentation is a real hinderance at this time.
SamH is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 07:25 PM
  #3  
emd
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The only info I see on expedited service on the State dept. website is for paying $60 fee for expedited service to get the passport within 2 wks, but it says that that is only for imminent departures within two wks of application. It says the expedited service is only available at Passport Acceptance Facilites which are open by appointment only and require proof of travel date. I do not want to wait that long and try to get a passport within two wks before leaving, so it seems to me from what is on the website that expedited service is not the answer for us.
As I said previously, the website says it takes 6 wks to get a passport from a regular passport acceptance facility. What I would like to know is this: Has it been people's experience that it really takes only 6 wks and not longer to get a passport by that route?
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Jul 15th, 2004, 04:44 AM
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We got some in 2002 and it took far less than six weeks. In fact, I was surprised how quickly they came, but I imagine the processing time depends on the office, and on how busy they are.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 05:38 AM
  #5  
sandi
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Do you already have your airline tickets? If you do, include a copy with the passport application for your son. Do you also need a Visa for travel to Japan? If no, fine; but if yes, I would print out the requirements and along with copy of ticket and application (and photos) send in for processing. I would include a cover letter requesting that the application be processed and returned to you so you have sufficient time to obtain the required Visa.

If no Japanese Visa required, the passport should be processed within 4-weeks (maybe even less). Believe they stipulate a 6-week turnaround so that you are pleasantly surprised when you receive the new passport earlier and rave about how efficient they are.
 
Jul 15th, 2004, 06:18 AM
  #6  
emd
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sandi: It is my understanding that no Visa is required for Japan. But I am curious re your suggestion that I include a copy of his airline ticket in his application. We are applying in person, at the local postoffice, and there is nothing at all in the requirements about needing to show a ticket (unless you are trying to get an expedited passport for travel in less than two wks, and you can't do that at the regular passport venues like postoffices). Why would we need to produce his ticket? The post office employee I spoke to yesterday said to bring exactly what is on the state dept requirement list, and nothing more or less, to get a regular passport (not expedited for travel in 2 wks). Has it been your experience that you need to have a ticket or that it somehow is better to have it?

Thanks cleveland, I am glad to hear from you that you actually got your passport by regular application in less than 6 wks. That's what I am looking for- real experience w/timing of a regular passport application.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 11:47 AM
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I renewed my passport recently and received the new one in about 2 weeks. My son's first ever passport arrived within 3 weeks. No expediting fee in either case was paid. And both were post 9-11. You can pay for expedited service without showing iminent travel documentation.
I think you would be safe using standard procedures and obtaining the passport right after his birthday.
Good luck and enjoy Japan.
SamH is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 12:37 PM
  #8  
mjs
 
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I would think getting passports during the winter would be fairly quick as it is not close to the summer traveling season. I seem to recall it only took three weeks in the fall to get our passports. However, I do not recall getting passports for 8 and 9 year olds to be that difficult. Perhaps thing have changed recently? I personally would just get the passport and that way you have one less thing to worry about as your trip draws nearer. Japan by the way does not require a visa and as we were just in Tokyo in April I think it is safe to assume you also do not need a visa.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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mjs, I was thinking the same thing...I got a passport 3 years ago for my son who was 12 at that time. I don't remember having to do anything extraordinary to apply for his passport and I KNOW that his father didn't participate at all in the process. I guess things have changed...
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Jul 15th, 2004, 01:29 PM
  #10  
emd
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The rules for requirements for passports for minors under age of 14 changed on July 2, 2001. Requirements are listed on the state dept. website at http://travel.state.gov/specialreq.html
Both parents have to be there w/the child or else have froms filled out by the absent parent, proof of realtionship to the child must be shown (and if the names are different on the documetns for the parents, eg a mother's maiden name on the kid's birth certificate, it says you must show evidence of legal name change), etc.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 03:03 PM
  #11  
sandi
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emd - Glad to hear there is no Visa requirement. As to the airline ticket, I've always sent a copy of my airline ticket if I need something expedited or to just let them know I'm definitely scheduled to be traveling and when. So whether it was my very first Passport, renewals, request for additional pages be inserted - never felt the need to pay for expedited service - the copy or airline ticket worked fine. And though I've always left myself enough time for processing, rarely has this taken but a few weeks, 3-weeks at the most.

And while I have up till a few years ago when you couldn't even walk in to the Passport office without an appointment, haven't even done the Post Office option. I've found it just as easy to type a letter, include
copy of airline ticket, application and photos and drop it in the mail.

But in your case, and with almost 10-weeks prior to travel, you'll have the new passport in no time. Have all the documents prepared so that you can stop at the post office as soon after your son's birthday - voila, it's all taken care of.
 
Jul 15th, 2004, 03:28 PM
  #12  
 
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We renewed 2 of our passports last year in april.. They came back in about 2 weeks. I think they say six weeks to cover the busiest times, also so people will not wait till the last second, then blame the governement if the passports are late.
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Jul 15th, 2004, 03:58 PM
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emd, I guess I was lucky because I got my son's passport a few months before the changes as he needed it for a trip to Europe in July, 2001. Sounds like quite the hassle now, but I guess it's maybe to help prevent estranged parents from taking their kids out of the country without the other parent's knowledge/permission. btw, I don't really remember how long it took to get my son's or my passport back, but I got my daughter one more recently and I seem to recall that it came back pretty quickly (sooner than 6 weeks).
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Sep 25th, 2004, 11:59 AM
  #14  
emd
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I thought I would update this. I now wish I would have gone ahead and gotten the passport early when I posted this. I didn't get my son's passport this summer. This week I wanted to make reservations at the Ghibli museum, a private museum in Tokyo which is very difficult to get into. It is very popular and you must have timed tickets for a particular day to get in. You also have to have a passort number to give them to make the reservation if you are a foreigner. So I went ahead and applied for my son's passport this week, but we will now have to wait til we get it to make the reservation. I don't know if there are other museums or private collections like this where one must have a passport to make a reservation, but it is something to consider when you start thinking about timing of getting the passport in relation to your planning.
emd is offline  
Sep 25th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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Why don't you just use the old passport number? They give you back your old passport, so you can take it to tokyo with you along with his new one.
A word of warning to other parents too...Our daughters' passports will expire next Feb, which is not long enough to use them for a trip in December. Because they were minors when they last got passports, they could not renew by mail. We had to go down in person to apply for a new (not a renewal)one.

In addition, the 17 &1/2 year old needed to have a signed form from my husband saying it was okay to give her a passport with only me accompanying her.
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Sep 25th, 2004, 05:38 PM
  #16  
emd
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Hi Icuy. Good idea, but unfortunately he had never had a passport before, so no old number to use. I am curious, why is your daughter's passport that expires in Feb. (of 2005, right?) not good for a Dec. (2004) trip? Are they not good right up til they expire?
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Sep 25th, 2004, 05:47 PM
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Many countries say that to enter your passport must be valid for at least 3 or 6 months more than your stay.
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Sep 25th, 2004, 07:47 PM
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emd, I'm surprised that anyone would ask for a passport numbrt to make a reservation for a museum. In my many years of travels all over the world, no one has ever asked me for a passport number in advance! This is a very unusual request in my experience.

By the way, as KimJapan notes, most countries in Asia require 6 months remaining on your passport to admit to the country. European countries aren't as vigilant.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 07:53 AM
  #19  
emd
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Maybe I am just very unlucky and I've stumbled upon the only private museum that requires a passport number for verification when reserving. But this museum doeswww.jtbusa.com/enhome/gbl.asp)
JTB is the only agent designated to accept reservations for this museum for making reservations in the U.S. before you go, and I have been told by those who have gone there on another board that you can't get tickets unless you get them months ahead of time, for a specific date and time. This is a popular museum (it's an anime museum) so if you have teens or you yourself are interested in that part of Japanese culture like we are, then be aware that that museum requires a passport number, and you must have the same passport number to present to them when you enter the museum.
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Sep 26th, 2004, 07:36 PM
  #20  
 
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Did you call one of the local Branches and ask them if they are going to require the passport number or if you could just give them yours until your sons passport comes in. That's very odd they are requiring a passport number to buy a ticket.
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