Passport for a 3 year old entering Canada?
April 20, 2004 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Would my 3 year old son need a passport to travel into Canada from the US for a day trip? He'd be travelling with 3 other adults (all directly related to him), all of whom have unexpired passports. We'd be crossing at the Queenston/Lewiston bridge (outside Buffalo, NY). I have his birth certificate.
posted by gnomeloaf to Travel & Transportation around Canada (8 answers total)
No, a birth certificate is OK. This was easily found via Google, fyi.
posted by reverendX at 1:44 PM on April 20, 2004

You may want to write a letter, possibly with a photocopy of your photo ID, where you state that the adults he's traveling with have permission to take him to Canada. The main thing they're worried about in terms of children going across the boarder are kidnappings. When I was younger and we went to Canada, the border agent made my mom wake up by younger sister to make sure we hadn't drugged her or anything. :)
posted by skynxnex at 1:46 PM on April 20, 2004

One other point from reverendX's link:
single parents, grandparents, or guardians traveling with children often need proof of custody or notarized letters from the other parent authorizing travel. (This is in addition to proof of citizenship as explained above.)
So in case both parents aren't traveling (you don't specify), having a notarized authorization from the other parent may be a good idea.
posted by Vidiot at 1:47 PM on April 20, 2004

(errr...what skynxnex said. But with the addendum that notarized proof may be required.)
posted by Vidiot at 1:48 PM on April 20, 2004

he doesn't need one, but wouldn't it be cool and fun for him to have one and have it stamped on the way in and out? It could be the start of making him a world traveler.
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on April 20, 2004

No, a birth certificate is OK.

If they're all Americans. Third-country citizens nominally need passports, though that's not always enforced.

Hell, most of the times I've crossed at Port Huron / Sarnia, they haven't even checked ID (and this after the recent unpleasantness!).

And they wouldn't normally stamp a passport even if used, except maybe for a third country.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:31 PM on April 20, 2004

you can ask them to stamp...i've done it in Europe (they stopped stamping there too)
posted by amberglow at 3:29 PM on April 20, 2004

Birth cert is fine - that's how we bring our 8-mth-old son with us over the border whether travelling together or alone (we usually cross at the Peace Bridge at least once a month if not more, and last week we crossed on the Queenston/Lewiston twice). They never ask to see it, but I always carry it just in case (I have been asked by the customs people if I am carrying it).

We have a .ca citizenship photo ID for him too, and have never been asked for that either, but again always carry it. We do not have a .us passport for him yet, but plan on getting one. You never know, right? If it's a day trip coming up soon, I wouldn't bother, but if you have time, why not get it? =) Just 'cause it's cool and useful!

Although if you are a US citizen, amberglow, they don't stamp it unless you're getting a visitor's visa. Too bad!
posted by Melinika at 5:29 PM on April 20, 2004

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