The Canadian Government strongly recommends that children who will be travelling alone, with a group or with only one custodial parent do so with a consent letter from the non-accompanying parent. In other words, if you have shared custody of your child you should travel with a letter proving you have the permission of the other parent or custodian to take that child outside Canada.
A consent letter does not guarantee a smooth border crossing or entry into another country since permission to enter is entirely up to the officials of that country. The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) also strongly recommends that such travel letters be certified, stamped or sealed by an official (e.g. Notary Public, Commissioner for Taking Oaths, or Lawyer) so that the validity of the letter won’t be questioned. One letter can be used for all siblings travelling together.
What you need:
If the child is travelling with one parent, the non-travelling parent must attend the appointment in person. If the child is travelling without a parent (with relatives or a school trip for example) then both parents must be present at the appointment and bring with them:
- Identification: You will need to have two government issued (Federal or Provincial) pieces of identification. The first must be a photo ID with your address (Health Cards do not qualify). Used together with the second piece of ID, I basically need to see your photo, your address, your signature and your date of birth to establish your identity. Examples of acceptable ID include, Provincial Driver’s License, Passports, Permanent Resident Card, Citizenship Card, First Nations Card, Age of Majority Cards (e.g. the Ontario Photo Card), Health Card (as a second piece of ID only), Government Employee Photo Cards, etc.
- Passport Numbers (if travelling with passports, including those of the children if issued) .
- A completed but unsigned Consent Letter (if you’re drafting your own). Please ensure that it contains at a minimum: i) your child’s full name, date of birth and passport number if available, ii) your full name and contact information, iii) the full name and contact information of the parent travelling with the child, iv) emergency contact, and v) travel dates (departure and return) and some information about the nature of the trip. NOTE: If using a form from the internet make sure to add the following (if not already there) after the space for your signature:
“Sworn before me on this ?? day of <month>, 2012 in the city of <?>, in the Province of Ontario.” [and add some space for my signature]
- The fee for notarizing a consent to travel letter if already drafted is the basic notarization fee, namely $44.25 + $5.75 HST= $50.00.
- The fee for drafting a letter and notarizing it is $61.95 + $8.05 HST = $70.00.
More about prices.
Payment: Bank Debit Cards, Cash (exact amount appreciated), Visa and Mastercard accepted.