So baby's taking her first dream vacation. The flight to Hawaii is a long one, no matter where you start from, and making that trip with an infant does require plenty of advance planning and strategic packing. One thing you can cross off your to-do list is securing a passport for your baby. As long as she's an American citizen, your baby probably doesn't need any documentation to travel to Hawaii.
Who Requires a Passport to Visit Hawaii?
Maybe because it's so far removed from the contiguous United States, some travelers forget that Hawaii is as much an American state as any of the other 49. As long as you're traveling to Hawaii from within the U.S., you aren't required to carry a passport. Passports are required, however, for any traveler who enters Hawaii from another country or plans to travel from Hawaii to another country.
What Does a Baby Need to Visit Hawaii?
Adult passengers are required to show government-issued photo IDs to board a flight or cruise ship to Hawaii. Requirements vary slightly between airlines and cruise lines, but a valid driver's license or passport is generally acceptable ID. Typically children under 16 aren't required to show ID to travel within the U.S. In addition to your own ID, bring a copy of your baby's birth certificate just in case you need to prove her citizenship or your relationship to her at any point during your trip.
Check your carrier's rules before traveling, as some have their own guidelines. For example, JetBlue allows newborns under 14 days to fly only with a physician's letter; other airlines won't accept babies younger than 14 days.
How Do I Get My Baby a Passport?
If you plan to continue on from Hawaii to another country, or if your baby will be traveling internationally in the next few years, start the passport application process early. Even newborns are required to have passports for international travel. Standard passport processing can take a few months; expedited processing takes just a few weeks, but costs extra.
It's not possible to apply online or by mail for a baby's passport. Both parents should visit a passport acceptance facility together with the baby. If only one parent can appear in person, that parent must show proof that she's the child's sole legal guardian or bring a notarized copy of form DS-3053, a letter of consent to travel with the baby from the second parent.
Complete form DS-11, available from the U.S. Department of State website. Bring your child's original birth certificate, a copy of the birth certificate, proof that you're the baby's parent (if you're listed on the birth certificate, that's sufficient proof) and a photo of the baby that meets the Department of State's requirements for passport photos. Both parents must also show ID, like a valid driver's license or passport, and copies of that ID.
Present all your documents to an acceptance agent and pay the necessary fees, which range from $40 to $160, depending on whether you're applying for a passport book or a passport card and whether you need expedited service. The baby's passport will be mailed to you and is valid for only five years.