Planning a trip with a child under 18? Your child under 18 is taking a trip alone? Here are legal tips for smooth sailing.

1 - Passports
The Canadian government recommends that children under 18 have their own passports to travel, including to the United States.
For children under 16, a parent or guardian must request the passport from Passport Canada.
Children 16 and older can make their own requests and get an adult passport.

2 - Special Rules of Other Countries
For travel outside Canada, check with the consulate or embassy of the country. Why? You might need documents aside from a passport:

  • visa
  • visitor's permit
  • birth certificate
  • vaccination certificate
3 - Special Rules of Airlines, Trains, Etc.
Buses, trains, planes, boats … some transport companies have rules about children.Here are examples:
  • minimum age to travel
  • what you can bring on board (baby food, carriages, etc.)
  • buying a separate seat for a child
  • special rules for children with health issues
  • whether the child must be accompanied
4 - A Letter of Permission
Will the child be travelling alone? With only one parent or guardian? On a school trip with a teacher? In these situations, the Canadian government recommends getting a letter of permission, also called a letter of consent.

It should be signed by each person who has a legal right to make major decisions for the child but is not travelling with the child. This will usually be a parent or guardian.

Here is a model letter: www.travel.gc.ca/travelling/children

Important! Some airlines and other transport companies require you to use a particular permission form.
If you can't get a permission letter, check with a notary or lawyer before travelling.It might be important to carry other documents too, depending on the situation. Here are examples:
  • divorce decision
  • court decision on child custody
  • death certificate (if one or both parents are dead)
5 - Other Important Papers
On top of a passport, think about other documents that can identify your child:
  • birth certificate
  • proof of adoption·
  • recent photo of the child (for use in an emergency)
Give your child an identification document to carry in case you get separated.

Want to learn more?
Go to www.educaloi.qc.ca


Éducaloi is a non-profit organization that explains the law to Quebecers in easy-to-understand language. www.educaloi.qc.ca

Important! This article is meant as legal information, not legal advice. If you need advice about a specific situation, consult a lawyer or notary.

The information is up to date to August 30, 2016. It deals with Quebec law only.