References and guarantors for passport and other travel document applications

Guarantors and references are security measures to confirm the identity of the person applying for a passport or travel document. We may contact them while we process your application.

References

You need two references for your passport renewal or new applications. Your references must:

  • have known you for at least:
    • two years for passport applications
    • six months for Certificate of Identity or Refugee Travel Document applications
  • not be your guarantor
  • not be a family member
  • be 18 years of age or older
  • agree to you using their name and contact information for your application

Family members who can't be a reference for your application

This includes your:

  • spouse or common-law partner
    • two people, opposite or same-sex, are common-law partners if they have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least one year, but aren’t legally married
    • if a marriage or common-law relationship has ended, the former spouse or partner can serve as a reference
  • parent, step-parent, foster parent or a parent’s spouse or common-law partner
  • mother-in-law or father-in-law
  • child (biological, adopted, step or foster child) or your child’s spouse or common-law partner
  • son-in-law or daughter-in-law
  • sibling (brother, sister, step or half-brother, or step or half-sister), or your sibling’s spouse or common-law partner
  • brother-in-law or sister-in-law
  • grandparent (biological, adopted, step or foster grandparent) or your grandparent’s spouse or common-law partner
  • grandmother-in-law or grandfather-in-law
  • grandchild (biological, adopted, step or foster grandchild) or your grandchild’s spouse or common-law partner
  • grandson-in-law or granddaughter-in-law

Note: Any person not listed and related to you or your spouse or common-law partner by blood, marriage, common-law relationship, adoption or guardianship can be your reference. However, they can’t be living at the same address as you.

To avoid delays, make sure your references are:

  • available (not travelling outside of the country)
  • in your time zone so we can contact them easily

Guarantors

You need a guarantor for new passport or travel document applications that you submit by mail or in person. Your guarantor can be a family member or anyone living at your address, as long as they meet the guarantor requirements.

The guarantor must complete their duties, free of charge, including:

  • completing and signing the “Declaration of Guarantor” section of your application
  • writing “I certify this to be a true likeness of (applicant name)” on the back of one of your passport photos and signing it
  • signing and dating your photocopies of each document you have submitted to confirm your identity (if it applies to you)

You cannot help the guarantor in performing these duties. Contact us if your guarantor needs help.

If you’re applying for a regular passport (blue) within or outside of Canada

Basic guarantor requirements

Your guarantor must:

  • have known you for at least two years
    • if the guarantor is for your child’s passport, they must have known you for at least two years and must know of your child
  • be available if we need to contact them
  • be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older
  • provide the information needed that’s in their passport
  • have been 16 years of age or older when he or she applied for his or her own passport
  • hold a five-year or 10-year Canadian passport that, on the day you submit your application, is:
    • expired for no more than one year or
    • valid, meaning it isn’t:
      • expired
      • damaged
      • inaccessible
      • suspended or revoked
      • reported lost or stolen
      • found and returned
      • been destroyed by us
      • requested to be returned

If you’re the parent or legal guardian and you’re applying on behalf of your child, you cannot sign as guarantor on your child’s application. However, the other parent (not submitting the application) can sign as long as they meet the requirements.

Note: If your child was placed by provincial family services for adoption, until the adoption is final (probationary adoption), your child’s guarantor can be the:

  • Provincial Director of Family Services
  • Director of the Family Services Agency
  • Director of the Incorporated Institution (in Quebec)

If you’re applying for a regular passport (blue) from outside Canada

A family member or anyone living at the same address as you may be your guarantor as long as they meet the basic guarantor requirements above.

You may also choose an occupation-based guarantor, as long as they’re:

  • registered/licensed with the appropriate local authority to practice their profession
  • currently working in that field
  • practicing a profession such as:
    • judge
    • dentist
    • pharmacist
    • veterinarian
    • police officer
    • notary public
    • lawyer/notary
    • medical doctor
    • dean/head of university or college
    • signing officer of a:
      • bank or trust company
      • financial institution that offer a full range of banking services (cash withdrawals, deposits and savings)

You can only use retired occupation-based guarantors if their name still appears on the listing provided to us by the relevant association.

Guarantor requirements for military personnel applying for a regular passport (blue)

Regular Military Force officers may act as guarantor for other Regular Force personnel and their dependents if they have known them personally for two years or more. These officers include:

  • NDHQ Directors
  • Base Commanders
  • Commanding Officers
  • NDHQ Career Managers
  • NDHQ Director Generals
  • Personnel Administrative Officers
  • any other commissioned officer (Captain and above) with access to service records
    • instead of indicating the number of years they have known you, they must write “through service records which I have verified”

Only when the applicant is military personnel can military police act as a guarantor. They must personally know the applicant for two years.

Guarantor requirements if you’re applying for a Refugee Travel Document or Certificate of Identity

Your guarantor must be:

  • living in Canada
  • available for verification
  • a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen
  • personally knowing you (the applicant) for at least six months
    • if the guarantor is for your child’s documents, they must have known you for at least six months and must know of the child
  • an occupation-based guarantor and:
    • registered/licensed with the appropriate local authority to practice their profession
    • currently working in that field

Your guarantor must be a member of one of these groups:

  • mayor
  • pharmacist
  • postmaster
  • optometrist
  • veterinarian
  • notary public
  • dentist, medical doctor or chiropractor
  • principal of a primary or secondary school
  • senior administrator or teacher in a university
  • professional engineer (P. Eng., Eng. in Quebec)
  • senior administrator in a community college (including CEGEP)
  • judge, magistrate or police officer (municipal, provincial or RCMP)
  • professional accountant (member of APA, CA, CGA, CMA, PA or RPA)
  • lawyer (member of a provincial bar association), or notary in Quebec
  • minister of religion authorized under provincial or territorial law to perform marriages

You can only use retired occupation-based guarantors if their name still appears on the listing provided to us by the relevant association.

The other parent, legal guardian, family member or person who lives at the same address as you may be the guarantor, as long as they meet the requirements above.

If you cannot find a guarantor

If you haven’t known an eligible guarantor for at least two years, complete form PPTC 132 (Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor) available from any passport office or by telephone.

The form must be sworn to or declared before, and signed by a:

  • person authorized by law to administer an oath or a solemn declaration
  • qualified official for those submitting outside of Canada, Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor including:
    • Canadian or British diplomatic or consular representatives
    • qualified local officials, such as a civil servants or members of Parliament

Important: A person listed as a reference on the Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor cannot be listed as a reference on the passport application.

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