Travel Consent Letters

 Anytime a child is travelling with only one parent, or guardian, it is strongly recommended that you have a notarized travel consent letter.

Family Day long weekend and Spring Break are fast approaching, marking the start of the first travel season of 2018. It is a time for vacations, both spur of the moment and planned.

Maybe a quick shopping trip across the border? Sports tournaments, multi-family trips to exciting destinations, or even a blended work/personal trip? Do you have a current consent letter for travel with your child?

Top 3 Travel Consent Letter Questions:

1) When do I need a travel consent letter?

Generally, anytime a child is travelling with only one parent or guardian, regardless of custody arrangements. Even if your family lives at the same home, children may not be allowed to travel with just one parent if there is not a signed and legally witnessed travel consent letter.

2) Do I need a travel consent letter for a quick day trip to the US?

The short answer is "maybe". The longer answer is probably not, but both Canadian and American border officials can ask for a consent letter and deny travel if they wish. Our suggestion for families who regularly cross the border is to carry a travel consent letter that is updated and notarized annually.

3) What is the difference between using a Notary versus a Lawyer?

In this case, none. Both notaries and lawyers can provide this service, and the consent letter is much less likely to be questioned by border officials if it has been notarized. In fact, the Government of Canada strongly recommends that travel Consent letters be notarized.

Typically, notary fees tend to be less than lawyer fees for this type of service, and many lawyers do not offer notarization services.