Crispin van de Passe was a son of engraver and print publisher Crispijn van de Passe the Elder (1564—1637), a Mennonite from Zeeland who had fled from Antwerpen to Germany, and Magdalena de Bock (died in 1635). Van de Passe was born during the period (1589—1611) when the family lived in Cologne. In 1611, the family was forced to leave Cologne and moved to Utrecht, where he, along with his brothers Simon (1595—1647) and Willem (c. 1597—c. 1637) and sister Magdalena (1600—1638) learned the art of engraving in their father's workshop.
Other than his siblings, Van de Passe focused on France rather than England. He was active in Paris from 1618 to 1630, when he returned to Utrecht. In 1639, he spent some time in Delft and Copenhagen before settling in Amsterdam, where he remained until his death in 1670. In 1648 he married Geertraut van dem Brauch, also known as Geertruyt van den Broeck, who hailed from the German town of Solingen. Van de Passe found little success as an engraver in Amsterdam and died in poverty. He was buried in Amsterdam on 19 January 1670.