Applying for a passport

In most Member States, children cannot apply for a passport without the consent of their parents.

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Key aspects

  • It is possible for children to apply for a passport without parental consent from the age of 15 or 16 years in only four Member States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the United Kingdom).
  • Most Member States store fingerprints of children when requested to issue a passport, particularly after the age of 12 years.

EU legislation does not foresee an age limit for children to cross borders by themselves. However, according to point 6 of Annex VII of the Schengen Borders Code (Regulation 2016/399/EU), in cases of children travelling unaccompanied, border guards shall ensure – by checking travel and other supporting documents – that they do not leave the territory without the consent of the person(s) responsible for their parental care.

Few Member States set by regulation a minimum age for children to cross the border on their own but with parental consent. Several Member States – such as France, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia – set the minimum age for children to travel abroad on their own and without parental consent at 18 years.