March Break Travel Guide for Kids Vacationing Without One or Both Parents

January 24th, 2013

Is your child planning a fun-in-the-sun March Break vacation? Or perhaps a ski trip with his or her classmates? If so, it is important that your child be prepared to travel with the proper documentation.

Due to the increasing concern for the safety of children, many countries require that minors (17 years of age or younger), who are travelling without one or both parents, carry a notarized consent-to-travel letter. A travel-consent letter in your child’s possession will ensure that he or she is not turned away at the airport or held at the border of a foreign country upon his or her return.

The Government of Canada strongly recommends that a child travelling abroad without his or her parents or legal guardians carry a consent letter signed by “every person with the legal right to make major decisions” on the child’s behalf. “The purpose of a consent letter is to facilitate the travel of Canadian children, while preventing their wrongful removal to foreign countries.”

A notarized consent-to-travel letter ensures that the parent(s) or legal guardian(s), who are not travelling, have given their express permission for their child to travel without them.

Bear in mind that consent-to-travel letters are in addition to any other legal requirements specified by the airline or official authority. It is important to note that a travel-consent letter or consent-to-travel form that has not been notarized by a licensed notary public may be rejected by border officials because such letters or forms can be easily forged.

The following are examples of circumstances under which your child should carry a notarized consent-to-travel document:

  • Child travelling with one parent
    If a minor is travelling with only one parent, the absent parent is expected to provide a notarized permission letter.
  • Child travelling alone, with another adult, his or her classmates, a sports team, a church group, etc.
    If a minor is travelling without his or her parents, then both parents (or the solely documented custodial parent) must provide notarized consent.
  • Child has only one parent and is travelling without that parent
    If a child is travelling alone and has only one parent (as evidenced by his or her birth certificate), the child should carry either the original or a notarized copy of his or her birth certificate – in addition to the notarized permission-to-travel letter.

If you would like Red Seal Notary to prepare your consent-to-travel letter, please complete the online form located here: http://www.redsealnotary.com/consent-to-travel-document.html.

If your letter is already prepared, please request an appointment online by clicking here:http://www.redsealnotary.com/appointment.html or call us at 1-888-922-7325 to schedule an appointment for notarization.

If your children are travelling to Mexico without you, be sure to read New Rules for Canadian Minors Travelling to Mexico without their Parents.

We look forward to serving you.

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