“One…two…three…smile.” Piper screams at the man trying to take her passport photo at our local Walgreens. I try to make her smile and feel comfortable by making funny faces…dancing like an idiot…having them take my photo in the white covered chair. Nothing works; she’s terrified of the man behind the camera. After 10 minutes without a smile I say “Forget it, I’ll take the photo myself at home and bring it in to print.”
We head home to try ourselves. My iPhone camera snaps 7, 8, 9 photos. None of them are up to ‘passport standards.’ I had no idea how difficult it would be to take a passport photo! Why I thought it would be easy and quick to take a perfect passport photo of a 21 month old, I have no idea. I should have known better. I went through 3 outfit changes and Popsicle bribery before giving up again….
My husband calls as I’m taking Piper outside. She has a Popsicle in hand that has turned her lips bight red. I feel totally guilty for using it as bribery to get her to sit still and look forward. He says I’m crazy to try to take a passport photo of a toddler myself, and advises me to wait until he gets home. I just wanted to get it done! But I stop, wait and when he gets home, we take the photo together in literally less then 2 minutes.
Yay! I am so relieved when I finally get a shot that’s not only useable, but also absolutely adorable! I bring the photo into Walgreens and have it printed. One hour later it’s ready. The passport paperwork is easy. I get everything we need together: Piper’s birth certificate, photo copies of both Pat (Piper’s daddy/my amazing hubby) and my drivers’ licenses, the paperwork, and the photo.
Piper wanted to fill out her own paperwork 🙂
To get a passport for a minor, both parents and the child have to be present at the County Clerk’s office or a post office that processes passports.
We take a Tuesday morning off work and head to the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office.
Quick tip: if you live in a larger area it can takes weeks to get an appointment for a passport. Try going to a smaller town that allows walk-ins. It saved us from having to pay an expediting fee!
I am ecstatic when we were in and out in less then 15 minutes! We have plenty of time to go for a walk on the Warf, visit the elephant seals, and have breakfast. It turned out to be a perfect morning. In 4-6 weeks Piper’s passport should arrive, just in time for our trip to Italy and Ireland! I can’t wait!!!