With our trip to Denmark a few months away, I figured it was time to get moving on #ToddlerGoodwin’s passport.Filling out the application was easy, but scheduling the appointment and getting a proper passport photo would be tricky.
I decided to just have Tommy fill out the DS3053 form and get it notarized so that I could just take the kid myself, rather than trying to schedule a passport appointment around work, the toddler’s nursery school, and nap time. (Everything revolves around nap time.)
I called up the post office to arrange an appointment and could get one soon, I could either take the 11:45 or the 3:00 the following day. I took the 11:45. I figured I’d try my luck with a tired toddler BEFORE nap time, rather than trying to deal with a tired toddler who was woken up EARLY from nap time.
When we headed to the post office, I filled my bag with
bribes special stuff to entertain #ToddlerGoodwin in case we had to wait, or in case he wasn’t cooperative, or in case of who knows what. I had snacks, a squeeze pouch, juice, toys, keys, mini M&Ms, a Kindle so he could mess with his apps if need be… and I hoped for the best.
When we got there, we were a few minutes early for our 11:45 appointment, but we were called behind the counter anyway to take #ToddlerGoodwin’s picture. He leaned back against the blank white wall and kind of gazed off to the side, watching the hustle and bustle of the post office. The lady crouched down with the camera, and when I pointed to it, #ToddlerGoodwin looked at her, in awe of the camera and the resulting big ol’ flash.
“Oh… I got it!” the lady said. Even she sounded surprised. She showed me the picture. “It’s perfect!” she said. #ToddlerGoodwin and I returned to the other side of the counter where we turned in all of our paperwork and paid the processing fees.
We walked out of the post office at 11:45.
I thought I’d have a more difficult experience to share, but I got really lucky. However, here are some tips for applying for your kid’s first passport:
Know what you need: a passport book is good for international air travel. A card will only get you in and around the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.
Leave yourself enough time to receive the passport. (In a time crunch, you can pay extra to have the passport expedited.)
Double and triple check your information.
Make extra copies of all of your forms, your identification, and the kid’s birth certificate. You’ll have to mail in the birth certificate with the passport application, but it will be mailed back to you a few days after you get the passport in the mail.
You can check the status of the passport online.
When it comes to taking the passport photo, make sure your kid is feeling well, isn’t hungry, and is well rested. Make sure to take something to keep them occupied in case you’re stuck having to wait for your photo. And a treat afterwards for cooperation and good behavior doesn’t hurt, either!
Added: We got SUPER LUCKY. We applied for our passport on February 8th and received it in the mail JUST TEN DAYS LATER!