Unfortunately, even though birth fathers have no legal rights unless there is a court order, the state department has not followed this and requires the signature of both parents if they are both listed on the birth certificate.
There is a form that does allow a parent to request issuance of a passport without the other parent’s consent. That form is here:
There is no guarantee the state will issue the passport based on that document as it depends on the individual agent reviewing the form.
Alternatively, one may petition the court for either sole legal custody, or for authorization to apply for a passport without the other parent’s consent. The court will typically grant that relief when the other parent is an absentee parent.
The problem is that typically it takes 4-8 weeks (depending on the local court calendar) to get a court hearing. One can request an emergency hearing but most judges will only grant that if the child is at risk of physical/emotional harm.
If there are no current orders re: custody, then the proper court is the court where the child has resided the past 6 months (per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act). You may want to write the other parent a letter, with a copy of the consent statement, requesting that they complete the form and return it by __ date, or one will have no choice but to file with the court for permission to apply for a passport without their consent, and that the motion will include a request for attorney fees and court costs (which the court may award if they deem the other party’s refusal to sign as unreasonable -ie no legitimate basis for the refusal)
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.