A child is defined in the Australian Passports Act 2005 as a person under 18 years of age who has never married.
Children cannot be included in an adult's passport. All children, including babies, must travel on their own passport.
Passports for children under 16 are normally valid for five years. Child applicants aged 16 or 17 are issued with 10-year passports. Each time a child needs a new passport, a full application must be completed, using an:
- Australian Passport – Child (PC4) form, if the child is in Australia
- Application for an Australian Passport – Overseas (PC8) form, if the child is overseas.
Written consent must be given by each person who has parental responsibility for the child to have an Australian travel document. For more information about consent and parental responsibility see below.
For a child application, the declaration must be read and signed by the parent or person with parental responsibility for the child who is lodging the application. The declaration affirms that the information is true and correct and acknowledges that you understand how the child's personal information will be handled by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. For more information on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, see Protecting your privacy.
Children aged 10 and over are required to sign the application form in the box provided separately from the declaration (which is signed by a parent or a person with parental responsibility).
A child's passport application must be lodged by a parent or another person with parental responsibility for the child. The person who is lodging the application must show proof of their own identity, which includes a photo, signature and residential address. Child applicants aged 16 or 17 must accompany their parent to lodge an application. Children under 16 do not have to do so.
Before lodging your child's application, use the lodgement requirements to make sure you have everything that will be required.
If you have concerns about a child for whom you have parental responsibility being issued with a passport, see Child Alert requests.
Taking your child overseas without the consent of the other parent may be a criminal offence. See child abduction.
Changes to Australian citizenship laws that came into effect on 20 August 1986 mean that all persons born in Australia on or after that date, who are applying for a passport, need to provide evidence of their citizenship.
A child's passport is issued in the name recorded on their birth or citizenship certificate, unless a different name has been formally registered with an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages or a foreign equivalent authority and you can provide an original change of name certificate or a revised birth certificate. Foreign certificates must be legalised by the issuing government – contact the diplomatic or consular representatives of that country in Australia for information about their notarial services.
Anglicised names are not acceptable without a formal change-of-name certificate.
If the child's parents' current names differ from those shown on the child's birth certificate, documents that explain the difference must be presented.
A child's passport application should include the written consent of each person who has parental responsibility for the child, or an Australian court order permitting the child to have an Australian travel document, travel internationally, or live or spend time with a person outside Australia.
For the purpose of obtaining a passport, parental responsibility is defined in section 11(5) of the Australian Passports Act 2005. Generally, people with parental responsibility are the parents named on the child's full birth certificate; their parental responsibility can only be removed by an Australian court. In some cases, other people or entities (such as welfare agencies) are considered to have parental responsibility.
If persons with parental responsibility are in different locations when the child's passport application is lodged, the non-lodging parent can provide written consent through a passport office, Australia Post or an Australian diplomatic or consular mission overseas.
Each person's consent must be witnessed as per the instructions on the application form. The witness cannot be related to the child by birth or marriage or be in a de facto relationship with either of the child's parents or live at the same address. A different person may witness the signature of each person giving consent. The child's guarantor may witness the consent.
If you are unable to obtain the consent of all persons with parental responsibility for your child, you can request that the child's passport application be considered under the special circumstances provisions in passports legislation.
Child passport applications that do not include full consent take longer to process. Normal turnaround times do not apply. Priority service cannot be provided until the application has been assessed and approved for passport issue. As there is no guarantee the application will be successful, it is advisable not to make firm overseas travel plans until you know whether a passport will be issued.
See also Child and parental consent.
If your child is the subject of foreign court orders, see Foreign court orders.
If you are applying for a passport for a child adopted from overseas, see Intercountry adoption.
If you are applying for a passport for a child born through surrogacy, see Surrogacy.