Passports for children
Table of contents
- Persons who may apply
- What to include in the application
- Custody, separation or divorce
- Proof of parentage requirement
- Does the child sign the passport?
- Validity of a child's passport
- Once the child turns 16
- Children in foster care or in the process of adoption in Canada
- Persons adopted abroad
- Travelling with children
All children who travel, including newborns and infants, need their own passport or travel document. This section contains extra information and resources related specifically to child passports and child passport applications.
New proof of parentage requirements for all child passport applications.
Persons who may apply
- One of the child’s parents,
- The custodial parent in the case of separation or divorce, or
- The legal guardian (proof of legal guardianship must be provided).
Important: Each legal parent or guardian should sign the application form.
If you submit the passport application in person: A parent, legal guardian or authorized third party may submit an application in person on behalf of a child. Passport Canada may also contact any other parent or legal guardian.
What to include
- Both pages of the application form completed and signed within the last 12 months, and certified by the guarantor;
- Two (2) identical passport photos of the child, one certified by the guarantor;
- Proof of Canadian citizenship (original only);
- Proof of parentage;
- The required fees;
- Any valid Canadian passport or travel document issued in the name of a child;
- Proof of legal guardianship, if applicable; and
- All documents that refer to custody of, mobility of, or access to the child.
Additional documents or information may be requested.
All documents submitted in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation from a certified translator. More information.
Proof of parentage
Effective October 1, 2012, a passport application for a child under 16 years of age must include one (1) of the following proof of parentage documents that demonstrates the child-parent relationship:
- A detailed (long-form) birth certificate issued by a Canadian provincial or territorial vital statistics office that indicates the name of the parent(s) This document is also accepted as proof of Canadian Citizenship;
- If born in Ontario, a certified copy of birth registration is acceptable.
- If born in Quebec, a copy of an act of birth is acceptable.
- A court-issued adoption order indicating the name of the adoptive parent(s); or
- A foreign birth certificate that indicates the name of the parent(s)
Note: documents in a language other than English or French must be translated into English or French by a certified translator.
Exception: A proof of parentage document is not required with an application only if a Canadian passport or travel document has previously been issued to the child and it is the same parent(s)/legal guardian(s) who applied for the previous passport or travel document participating in the new application process. All other documentation is still required, including proof of citizenship (however, in this case a short-form or wallet-sized birth certificate that doesn't indicate the name(s) of the parent(s) is acceptable).
This new requirement enhances the security of a child’s passport.
Custody, separation or divorce
Both parents are requested to participate in obtaining passport services for their child and to sign the application form. The other parent may be contacted. Where a legal guardian is the applicant, the other legal guardian, as the case may be, is also requested to participate. Proof of legal guardianship is required.
Where a court order or agreement exists referring to custody of the child, only the person with custodial rights may apply. All documents that refer to custody or mobility of, or access to, the child must be provided. If a divorce has been granted, a copy of the divorce judgement or order must also be provided. Where joint custody provisions exist, either parent may apply.
A certified translation (in English or French) must accompany any documents submitted as part of a passport application that are in a language other than English or French.
Once you receive the child's passport
Make sure the information in the passport is accurate, especially the child’s personal information. If there are any errors, contact Passport Canada immediately to have the problem corrected.
Signature on a child's passport
Parents must never sign the passport of a child.
Children 11 years of age or over must sign the passport, in ink, in the signature block on page 3 only if their signature appears on page 2 of the passport. Otherwise, the signature block on page 3 should be left blank.
Children under 11 years of age do not sign the passport—the signature block on page 3 must be left blank.
Address and emergency contact information
Complete the section provided on page 4. For the emergency contact, we recommend that you name someone who would not normally travel with the child.
If the address or emergency contact changes, cross out what is there and write the new information in the space above. Do not use correction fluid. If there isn’t enough space on page 4, write the new information on a separate piece of paper and insert it into the passport.
All children under the age of 16 receive ePassports that are valid for a maximum of five years.
To ensure that the travel document and the photo reflect the appearance of the child, the validity period of a child's travel document is determined by the child’s age and proof of immigration status.
Replacement passport for children
This service will only be available until June 30, 2014.
Children who are issued a passport in their first year of life (between birth and their first birthday) before July 1, 2013 are entitled to a one-time gratis replacement passport.
To apply for a one-time gratis replacement passport, you must submit:
- A new application completed in full and signed by an eligible guarantor;
- new photographs taken within one month of the date the request for the gratis replacement is received (one must be signed on the back by the guarantor);
- original proof of Canadian citizenship;
- proof of parentage, if applicable;
- custody documents, if applicable; and
- the original valid passport (it will not be returned).
The replacement passport will expire on the same date as the original passport.
The original passport will not be returned.
Once the child turns 16
The passport of a child who turns 16 remains valid until it reaches its expiry date.
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