U.S. requires minors show for passports

In an effort to prevent child abduction and trafficking, all minors applying for U.S. passports must now make a personal appearance before a passport agent.

The U.S. Department of State announced Feb. 5 that it has begun requiring the personal appearance for all children under the age of 14, even if they previously have been issued a passport. Parents will have to provide documents proving relationship to the child and consent, the State Department said in a press release.

“The personal appearance requirement for all minors is a further step towards ensuring the integrity of the passport application process,” the department’s announcement said. “This change will help to verify the identity of minor applicants and aid in the prevention of international child abduction and trafficking.”

Further information about the passport application procedure is availalble from the Bureau of Consular Affairs Web site, travel.state.gov.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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