An expectant mother recently asked about getting a passport for her yet-to-be-born baby. She's wondering how quickly she can get it done as she's due in early October and hopes to bring the newborn overseas for the Christmas holiday.

I went to the resident expert, Robert DeWitt, director of the Minneapolis Passport Agency.

“Babies can get passports the minute they are born,” he said. That enthusiasm notwithstanding, in practice it’s a different matter.

To get a passport for a minor, the child must be present at the time of the application and so should both parents. If one parent can’t be there, though — because she’s recovering in the hospital, for instance — the other can bring along a completed, notarized “statement of consent.” Filling that out and getting it notarized before the hospital visit, though, would require the impossible (or a leap of faith): knowing the minor’s name and birth date.

Her best best is to drive as a new family to a “passport acceptance facility,” such as a government service center or a post office, once she and the babe are dismissed from the hospital. She'll need the baby’s birth certificate, both parents’ IDs and a passport photo for the baby, which she may be able to obtain through the hospital or the passport facility.
Since she is due in early October, she should have no problem getting the passport in her hands before the family departs in December. Routine passport applications are being processed in four to six weeks.

Anyone in urgent need of a passport can head to the Minneapolis Passport Agency. This office, at 212 3rd Av. S., can process applications within a few days, but should be used only by the truly desperate. The fee for an expedited passport is $60 in addition to the cost of the passport itself, which is $105 for a minor.
Click here for more information and to print passport application forms.