Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How to Get a Baby Passport


Yes, we are getting Henry a baby passport. No, we don't actually have an out-of-country trip on the horizon.

Then why the passport? Well, they can take so long to get. By the time we actually plan a trip, we might not have enough time to get one.

Here's how to do it:
  1. Find a place that will take baby passport photos: Definitely call ahead! I called ahead and still had problems. When I called the Walgreens photo department, they confirmed that they do take babies' passport photos. When I actually showed up to hold them to their promise, it was another story. The teenage photo clerk took one look at Henry and said, "Oh, no, he's too young." Since I am a struggling new mother and getting my baby out and about is an accomplishment all by itself, I was not going to leave without the photos. It turned into quite the ordeal. I had to kneel on the tile ground in my skirt and hold my massively dense baby (remember he was 9.4 at birth!) above my head, which--of course--caused him to look down at me rather than straight ahead at the camera. I kept asking the clerk to talk to him to get him to look at the camera, but the clerk apparently didn't want to talk to my baby. He just kept saying, "This isn't working." I kept saying, "We're going to make it work!" Two female clerks got involved and started coaching the guy, "Click it now! He's looking!" And of course the dude's camera battery ran out, right when Henry decided to look at him. Once the batteries got changed, I asked the female clerk to hold Henry so I could talk to Henry. Then I started taking the photos myself. When we finally got one stinkin' photo uploaded into the computer, the clerk said, "Oh, this won't work. Your hands are showing in the picture." Argh! We had to go through the whole ordeal again. I recommend that you dress your baby in a shirt or a dress--rather than a onesie, so that your hands can slide under their clothes and out of sight.
  2. Find a place that accepts passport applications and make an appointment, if necessary: You can go to this website and enter in your zipcode to find locations nearest you. Also, some of these places actually take passport photos, too (although, in my experience, they were more expensive than Walgreens). Keep in mind that both parents have to be present.
  3. Drop off your application: Bring your photos, drivers' licenses, and the baby's birth certificate. Voila!



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10 comments:

Briana said...

I worked at a photo lab--we had a white towel we used as the background for baby passport photos. We'd just ask the parent to lift up the baby, lay the towel across the car seat, lay the baby back down and ask the parent to hold the towel out above their head (instead of drooping over the back of the car seat) to make a clean, white background.

Then, with the car seat sitting on the ground, they are looking right up at you! So much easier. Maybe if you brought a white towel or blanket along, they would let you do the same thing at a drugstore--or, even though it would probably cost a little more, an actual photo lab (or portrait studio) might be a little more accustomed to taking pictures of little ones.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Sara!! What an ordeal! My husband and I were actually just talking about passports yesterday (realizing that we have expired ones and our daughter doesn't have one at all) and wanting to get the whole family up-to-date. We were wondering to each other if they even make passports for babies... and then here is your blog post! What perfect timing! :) I am curious to know, though, how long a baby passport lasts? Surely he won't have that same picture when he's, say, eight or nine, right?

Anonymous said...

By the way (I'm the same anonymous from above) -- Briana, I LOVE your idea of the white towel and the car seat!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Baby passports last five years. It still cracks me up that Henry will be a big four year-old showing his infant photo!

Delray from Toledo said...

This sounds like quite the time. The clerk probably got a free show out of it! haha(: At least the next time you have to do it Henry will be able to follow directions.

Felicity said...

Just FYI- you can take you own passport photo against a white curtain or wall. Guidelines are on the gov's website and any simple photo editing program can be used to crop to size, or there are online tools. I've taken my family's photos for the past 10+ years and they all work out just fine.

Jen said...

I love this! I went to Europe for the first time when I was 3 months old. You can see my mom's hands in my passport photo. It is a keepsake I love to have now. Happy travels!

Anonymous said...

We had to get some passport-style photos last month. Costco had them for $5 a set, much better deal than the horrific one now stuck on my passport, that I paid like $20 for.

Ananda said...

Thanks for posting this - I referred to it when getting a passport for my newborn this week. Great to know! I got photos at Kinko's, and yes, they tried to turn us away but you inspired me to push through. Ultimately, we got photos there.

Nusrat Borsha said...

Last time while clicking my passport photos I came to know about an online photo studio named A1 photo. I must say,they are the best for clicking passport photos from the right angle with perfect resolution.

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