Why do you need a consent to travel letter for your kids?
Imagine this; you’re at the airport after spending days packing up the luggage for you and the kids. You’re ready to fly to Florida and enjoy some sunny beaches. Everything’s ready to go.
“So, where’s your husband?” asks the border agent.
“He’s in Calgary for business,” you answer. “He’ll be joining us later.”
“Do you have a consent to travel letter from him?”
Now, you have a problem. You’re left getting a hold of your husband to tell him what happened. He has to prepare the letter, get it notarized and send it back home by express courier. In the mean time, you’ve lost days of your vacation, you have penalty to rebook the flights and everyone’s stressed.
Why does the government want you to have consent to travel letter?
A letter giving consent is required when children are leaving the country without one or both parents. The reason governments require these letters is for the safety of your children. It is to ensure they cannot be taken out of the country without you knowing about it.
Even if you have a letter, you may not be allowed to cross a border with your children if it is not notarized. This is to prevent forgery and offer extra protection. It also has to contain the correct legal terminology for parentage and guardianship.
For this reason, you are best off approaching a notary public who will help draft the letter, confirm the signatures and notarize it.
In which situations do they require it?
A minor is anyone under 18 years of age. They will need a letter granting consent to travel if they are:
- with a chaperon (e.g. friend, school trip or a service offered by an airline)
- with only one parent
In all three cases, it means that either one or both parents are not travelling with the child. The government wants to ensure that both parents or legal guardians know where their child is.
When do they not require it?
If you are the only parent or legal guardian of your child, you will not need a consent to travel letter. However, you may be asked to provide evidence that you are the only parent. For this, you will need to show a birth certificate or document proving guardianship.
Remember that travelling with originals increases the risk of loosing them. You can protect your originals by having a certified true copy made by a notary public.
Of course, these safety precautions for children are a good thing! But, you don’t want these precautions to cause complications, interfering with your vacations or other travel.
If your children will be travelling without you, your spouse or both, contact us at Golden Notary to help you draft a consent to travel and notarize it.