When Jude was six weeks old, I dressed him in his finest collared outfit and took him to the Walgreens photo department to have his passport photo taken. Here's how it turned out:
And yes, that's a smiling crab on his shirt. Cutest photo ever.
Until the lady at the counter told us it was unacceptable for the application.
Maybe the crab was too much?
It turns out that my hand behind Jude's head was not discreet enough. Strict rules, folks. Has to be just the baby's head against a white background. So what's one to do if your baby can't hold his head up on his own?
The post office lady showed us the trick. Check it out:
Place a white sheet over the carseat, put the baby back in the carseat, pull the sheet up so it's taut. Dance around the camera to make your baby smile (he's going to have this passport until he's 5 years old, so it better be a good one!).
And voila. An acceptable passport photo for a infant who can't hold his head up.
The actual passport arrived in the mail today, and it's adorable.
What's most exciting, beyond the cute photo, are the blank pages that wait in anticipation to be stamped by countries and places that will teach and shape my son just as they have for me and James. Watch out world, here he comes (eventually - maybe after he can hold his own head up!).
A few lessons in securing a baby passport:
1. Collect the right documents:
- A completed DS-11 Form (you can also pick it up at your local post office)
- Birth Certificate (shows evidence of child's US citizenship & evidence of parents' relation to child)
- Social Security number
- 2"x 2" photo
- Photo IDs of both parents/guardians
- Payment for fees (expect to pay $130)
2. Apply in Person
- Locate the nearest passport acceptance facility
- Some places require an appointment
- Make sure both parents/guardians are present (if not possible, you need a notarized consent form)
- Child must also be present
3. Get the extras
- It's cheaper to apply for both the passport book and the passport card - and then you have a secondary form of ID for your child