Passports are paramount if you plan to travel internationally with your chosen fam for a holiday getaway and if you are an LGBTQ+ parent planning a trip abroad with your kids during a school break. It’s always helpful to make sure all travel logistics are taken care of well before you head to the airport – including your U.S. passport for American travelers.
Before booking an international excursion with your family, it’s important to understand how and when to get a passport for every traveler. Know the requirements and timeframe to get valid U.S. passports in time for your trip.
For trans and nonbinary travelers, the U.S. no longer requires medical documentation to change the gender marker on your U.S. passport. So, you can now select male (M), female (F), or unspecified or another gender identity (X) as your gender marker if you are applying for a U.S. passport book or passport card. You can apply in person or renew by mail, which is noted below.
Also, LGBTQ+ travelers should be aware that processing times change throughout the year. As of October 2023, it can take as long as 11 weeks to receive your passport with routine processing. Use this guide to plan ahead and make sure everyone has a valid U.S. passport before making travel arrangements.
Understand the requirements for all U.S. passports:
Be a U.S. citizen, or a qualifying U.S. non-citizen national.
- Apply in person at a passport acceptance facility for a new passport. You cannot do this online or by mail.
Bring these documents to apply for a new passport:
- A completed Application Form DS-11
- Original proof of citizenship
- An acceptable photo ID
- A photocopy of both your citizenship document and photo ID
- Passport photo
- Proof of paid passport fee
Know the requirements for minors under 18 years of age:
- Children under 16: All children under age 16 must apply for a passport in person with two parents or guardians using Form DS-11. Passports for children under age 16 are only valid for 5 years.
- Applicants ages 16 and 17: A different U.S. passport is required for family members over the age of 16 and younger than 18. These passports are valid for 10 years.
Need to renew your U.S. passport? If you already have a passport, you may need to renew it. You can also update information on your passport or report it lost or stolen.
Before traveling with your family abroad, visit travel.state.gov to be sure that everyone meets the proper requirements before jetting off on your family vacation abroad. You can also learn more about U.S. passports and what your family may need to travel internationally at USA.gov.
Vacationer Magazine also has helpful holiday travel planning tips for queeer folx traveling during the holiday season!
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