This information is about children’s passports only. For more information about adult passports go to the Australian Passport Office.
Can my child apply for their own passport?
No, a parent or other person with parental responsibility for a child must apply for a child’s passport. A child is defined as an Australian citizen under 18 years of age who has never married.
Can my child travel on my passport?
Children cannot be included on an adult's passport. Each child, including a newborn infant, must be issued with their own passport.
What do I have to do to get a passport for my child?
Before a passport may be issued to a child, the written consent of all people with parental responsibility for the child is needed (both parents must agree to and sign the application form for a passport).
If a child is in the care of the Department for Child Protection and Family Support, the CEO of the Department can consent to a passport being issued for the child.
For more information about getting a child’s passport go to the Australian Passport Office.
How do I get consent?
You should contact the child's other parent and ask them to give written consent for a passport to be issued for your child and sign the passport application. If you are not comfortable speaking to the other parent you could write them a letter. You should let them know the reason why you want your child to have a passport. If you are intending to travel overseas you should clearly set out the proposed dates of travel. Your letter should be sent by registered mail and the signed postal receipt kept. You should keep copies of all letters you send to the other parent.
Do I have to try to negotiate an agreement with the other parent?
The Family Court requires that you make a genuine attempt to reach an agreement before asking the Court to make orders. Making an agreement outside of Court also saves you money, time and the emotional stress of a Court case. There are exceptions to this, for example, where there has been or is a risk of family violence or child abuse or where something is very urgent. For more information on the exemptions to compulsory dispute resolution, see Family dispute resolution.
What if the other party will not give consent? What if I cannot find the other party to get consent? What if the other party is deceased?
There are exceptions to getting the written consent of all persons with parental responsibility for the child. The Australian Passport Office can decide to issue a passport with one signature only if “special circumstances” exist. For more information refer to the Australian Passport Office webpage Children and parental consent.
If the father's name is not on the birth certificate does he have to consent?
In most cases people with parental responsibility are the natural parents named on the child's birth certificate, and parental responsibility can only be removed by an Australian Court. However, where the father is not named on a child's birth certificate but has formally acknowledged paternity by signing a document to this effect, he has parental responsibility for the purposes of the Australian Passports Act 2005 (Cth) and is required to provide consent prior to the issue of a passport.
What if I cannot get an exemption from the Australian Passport Office?
If the other party refuses to give their consent and you do not fall under an exemption from the Australian Passport Office you can ask the Family Court to make an order allowing you to get a passport for your child. In most cases you will need to attend Family dispute resolution before applying to the Court. Generally mediation should be attempted before applying to the Court. You should seek legal advice before making an application to the Family Court.
What can I do to stop the other parent applying for a passport for my child?
If the other parent requests your written consent for a passport to be issued for your child and you do not want a passport issued you should write to them explaining the reasons why you do not want your child to have a passport. Your letter should be sent by registered mail and the signed postal receipt kept. You should keep copies of all letters you send to the other party.
If you cannot agree you may be asked to attend mediation. The Family Court requires that you make a genuine attempt to reach an agreement before asking the Court to make orders (unless an exemption applies - for more information see Family dispute resolution).
If you still cannot agree the other person can apply to the Family Court for an order that a passport be issued for your child without your consent. If this applies to you, seek legal advice.
What can I do to stop the other person fraudulently applying for a passport?
If your child does not have a passport, but you think there is a risk that the other parent might try to falsely obtain a passport (for example by forging your signature) you can apply for a child stop alert. A child stop alert will ensure that you are notified if someone tries to get a passport for your child. Further information on child stop alerts and application forms are available from the Australian Passport Office. If you receive notification that someone has tried to obtain a passport for your child without your consent, you should seek immediate legal advice about your options.
If you are concerned the other parent may try to take your child out of the country without your consent, see Abduction of children.
Where do I apply for a passport?
An application for a passport can be made at most Australian Post Offices. You can also apply for a passport online from the Australian Passport Office or ring the Australian Passport Information Service on 131 232 to make an appointment.
How much will it cost?
For more information about the costs of making a passport application refer to the Australian Passport Office webpage Passport costs.
My child’s passport has expired, can I renew it?
No, a renewal form cannot be used to apply for a child's passport. A new application must be lodged on each occasion.
How long is my child’s passport valid for?
Children's passports are normally valid for five years.
Where can I get more information?
Last reviewed: 31/10/2012