Your Guide to the Passport Form DS 5525

You may learn that you need to fill out passport form DS 5525 if you are helping your child to complete a passport card or book application. This document is officially called a Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances for Issuance of a U.S. Passport to a Minor Under Age 16. When you help your child apply for a passport, both parents or guardians are required to be present when the child submits his or her documentation. If one of the guardians cannot attend, he or she must fill out DS-3053, the Statement of Consent for Issuing a Passport to a Child form.

However, if parents have no way of contacting their child’s other parent, they must fill out a DS 5525 form to notify the government that they cannot comply with this requirement. Passport form DS 5525 serves as a testimony that the present guardian made consistent attempts to contact the other parent so he or she could give consent for the passport request. Alternatively, he or she may use this document as proof that the other parent cannot be reached due to reasons relating to legal orders, incarceration or other similar situations. The following sections outline some of the reasons that could require families to use Form DS 5525. There is also a summary that explains how to obtain these documents and where to submit them once you fill them out.

Does everyone need to complete a DS 5525 request?

Not everyone needs to fill out the DS 5525 form when they submit a child passport request. In fact, only specific situations cause individuals to need to complete this document. Specifically, parents or guardians who share custody of their children may be required to complete this document. This is especially true if the parents are separated and one of the guardians cannot be contacted or located.

Remember that you only need to fill out Form DS 5525 if you cannot reach your child’s other guardian or parent, which means that parent cannot sign the passport application consent form. On the other hand, know that if you have sole custody of your children and can prove this information to the federal government, you are not required to fill out DS 5525. However, instead of DS 5525, you need to submit evidence of your custodial arrangement. This proves to the State Department that you do not need to provide a consent form for your child’s other parent or guardian.

Where to Find a Copy of the DS 5525 Form

Applicant families are responsible for obtaining a blank copy of Form DS 5525, which they need to fill out and submit to the Department of State (DOS). Since this is not a standard form that most individuals need to complete, parents may not be able to obtain these documents at their nearest passport office locations. However, the DOS does provide a blank PDF copy of this document on its official website. Applicants can visit this federal page and download the document, which they must then print and fill out by hand.

What questions do they ask on Form DS 5525?

When you fill out Form DS 5525, be prepared to provide two types of information throughout these documents. The first set of questions you need to answer relates to biographical facts about your child and his or her absent parent. Specifically, you must note:

  • The name and birth date for your child who needs a passport book or card.
  • The absent parent’s name, aliases and birth date.
  • The absent parent’s contact information, including address, telephone number and email address.

Additionally, you must provide information on this supplemental US passport application about the reasons why you are unable to contact your child’s other guardian. You must also provide some details about your past relationship with the other parent. Specifically, be prepared to address issues relating to the following topics:

  • Court order decrees – You must provide proof of any court orders that detail your custody arrangement for your child. Examples of relevant documents could include divorce records, custody orders or restraining orders. Be sure to provide proof of any of these decrees, regardless if they were issued in the United States or in a different country.
  • Parental incarceration – You need to report on the DS 5525 if your child’s other parent is currently incarcerated, if this is why you are unable to reach him or her. Examples of proof that can satisfy this requirement include a copy of the inmate locator page, a letter that came from the convicting criminal court or a copy of the individual’s incarceration court order.
  • Attempts at contact – Form DS 5525 requires that the child passport applicant’s parent also prove how many times he or she has attempted to contact the minor’s other parent. If you are able to reach out to your child’s other guardian via email, social media, mail or phone, you must do so and report this information.
  • Contact through a relative or mutual friend – If you attempted to contact your child’s guardian through a mutual friend or relative, report this information. In this section, you need to disclose how this individual knows the non-applying parent, when you reached out and the method you used to initiate contact.

How do I submit my DS 5525 document?

Once you complete Form DS 5525, you must ensure that the DOS receives this document. In fact, you must submit this document to the federal government when your child arrives at the passport office to submit his or her US passport application form. All child applicants who are younger than 16 years of age are required to file their passport card and book applications in person at a nearby acceptance facility. You must bring your completed DS-5525 form when your child comes to the office. Otherwise, the government will be unable to accept and process your child’s request.

Can my DS 5525 request be denied?

Applicants need to know that it is possible to have a DS 5525 denied. Generally, this happens because families could not provide satisfactory proof as to why they cannot contact their children’s other parents. Until these issues are resolved, the DOS is unable to process the child passport application request. Therefore, guardians need to speak with passport office representatives to determine what they must do in order for the government to accept their DS-5525 form.