Does My Baby Need A Passport?

If you're considering travelling abroad and have a baby, it's probably a question you're going to ask. Surprisingly perhaps, the answer is yes, your baby will need their own passport. Even more surprisingly, this passport will be valid for five years - five years that will inevitably see your baby's appearance change dramatically.

What do I need to include in my application?

When you apply for your baby's passport you'll need the following:

A completed application form that can be picked up from your local passport office
Documents that prove your child is of British nationality, such as a birth certificate or other forms of identification document - please note that they must be the original documents as copies are not accepted
Two identical colour photos of your baby with a signature on the back from a professional (not a family member) who has known you for two years

We're pretty sure you took a big gulp when you digested that last bullet point. While it may be true that there are many great photo opportunities whenever your baby is awake, getting the passport shot right is not one of them.

The Baby Passport Photo Guide

Eyes open, neutral expression, mouth closed and no trace of a smile - these are just a few of the rules that WON'T apply to your baby's passport photo. Cue sigh of relief.
Fortunately, the authorities are willing to be more flexible with passport photos for very young children.
These are the rules:

Photos must be taken against a white, off-white, cream or light grey plain background
There must be no toys (that includes dummies) or other people in the photo
The full face must be visible
Both eyes must be open if the baby is older than six months

Still tricky, right?

Here are some tips that should help:

The IPS say that if you wear a plain top that's a similar colour to the background of the photo, you can either hold your baby or have them rest on you and not be visible in the picture.

If your baby has their own car seat, you can line the seat with an appropriately coloured plain blanket for the photo.

Babies don't have to be looking at the camera or have their mouths closed for the photo (this is true for all children up to five years old).

The IPS generally advise parents to try their hardest to meet the requirements, saying that the application should be fine as long the photo is of good quality.

Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

Call Passport Advice Line

Lines open 9am-5:30pm

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Passport Office Blog

Our blog is full of useful tips and interesting facts about the world of Passports and Travel.

Passports Office provides relevant information about new passports, renewing an existing passport, and the contact details of key UK passport offices.

This website is not affiliated with Her Majesty's Passport Office from which similar information is available from We are an independent service provider offering services & advice. We charge a service fee of £15.00, £19.00 or £29.00 per applicant, for further support in addition to HM Passport Office fees for your passport.

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