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Traveling with Children

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a service to our visitors and no guarantee is made as to its completeness or correctness. All information should be independently verified with the relevant authorities.

Children who are U.S. citizens visiting Canada must, in accordance with U.S. laws, carry their own valid passports. Children visiting Canada with one parent, their grandparents or in the company of friends or non-custodial family members are also required to carry written authorization for travel from the other parent or custodial family members. This letter of authorization is in addition to the proof of citizenship they must produce upon entering the country.

Because of increased concerns about child abductions in Canada and worldwide, Canadian children are now required to carry their own passports. Children under the age of 16 who are already listed on a parent's passport do not have to obtain a separate passport until the passport expires or the minor reaches 16 years of age, whichever occurs first. However, children 16 and older and those traveling by themselves must have their own Canadian passports.

Children who are still traveling under their parent's passport must carry additional identification with them at all times.

Canadian children who are traveling with friends or family members other than their parents or legal guardians must have a letter stating permission for the child to cross the border.

More Information

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) telephone numbers for customer service:

  • Local: 202-354-1000

  • Toll-free (from US): 1-877-227-5511.

Also see telephone numbers listed under "Ports of Entry". For additional information, please visit either of the following web sites:

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP)

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