References and guarantors for passport applications

Guarantors and references are used as a security measure to confirm the identity of the person applying for a passport.  They may be contacted during the processing of a passport application.

References

Two references are needed for passport renewal applications and new passport applications.

References must:

  • Have known you for at least two years
  • Cannot be family members
  • Must be 18 years of age or older

You cannot use your guarantor as a reference. To avoid delays, is it better for your references to live in the same country as you.

Guarantors

A guarantor is needed for all new passport applications submitted by mail or in person. A guarantor can be a family member or any individual living at your address, as long as they meet the requirements.

The guarantor must do the following, free of charge:

  • Complete and sign the “Declaration of Guarantor” section of your application.
  • Write “I certify this to be a true likeness of (applicant name)” on the back of one of the passport photos and sign it.
  • If applicable, sign and date the photocopies of each document you have submitted to confirm your identity.

You cannot help the guarantor in performing these duties. If your guarantor needs assistance, contact the passport program.

Guarantor requirements if you are applying in Canada

Your guarantor must:

  • Hold a 5-year or 10-year Canadian passport that is valid or has been expired for no more than one year, on the day you submit your application.
  • Have known you (the applicant) personally for at least 2 years.

    In the case of a child, the guarantor must have known you (the parent or legal guardian who is applying on behalf of the child) personally for at least two years and must have knowledge of the child.

  • Be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older.
  • Have been 16 years of age or older when he or she applied for his or her own passport.
  • Provide the requested information contained in his or her passport.
  • Be accessible to the passport program for verification.

If you are the parent or legal guardian and you are 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 the requirements are met.

Note: In cases where provincial family services have placed a child for adoption with a family, the Provincial Director of Family Services, the Director of the Family Services Agency or the Director of the Incorporated Institution (in Quebec) may also sign as guarantor until the adoption is final (probationary adoption).

A guarantor's passport is not considered valid if:

  • It is damaged or inaccessible;
  • It has been suspended or revoked;
  • It has been reported lost or stolen;
  • It has been found and returned to the Passport Program;
  • It has been destroyed by the Passport Program; or
  • The Passport Program has requested that it be returned.

Guarantor requirements if you are applying outside Canada

Your guarantor must:

  • Hold a 5-year or 10-year Canadian passport that is valid or has been expired for no more than one year, on the day you submit your application.
  • Have known you (the applicant) personally for at least two  years.
  • In the case of a child, the guarantor must have known you (the parent or legal guardian who is applying on behalf of the child) personally for at least two years and must have knowledge of the child.
  • Be a Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older.
  • Have been 16 years of age or older when he or she applied for his or her own passport.
  • Provide the requested information contained in his or her passport.
  • Be available to the Passport Program, if they need to be contacted

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

Note: If you are the parent or legal guardian applying for a passport for your child, you cannot act as guarantor. However, if he or she meets the eligibility criteria above, the other parent or legal guardian can act as the guarantor.

You may also choose an occupation-based guarantor, as long as the individual is registered/licensed with the appropriate local authority to practice their profession, and is currently working in that field.

The occupation-based guarantor must practice one of the following occupations:

  • Medical doctor
  • Dean/head of university or college
  • Dentist
  • Judge
  • Lawyer/notary
  • Notary public
  • Pharmacist
  • Police officer
  • Signing officer of a bank or trust company, or a financial institution that offer a full range of banking services (cash withdrawals, deposits, savings)
  • Veterinarian

Retired occupation-based guarantors are not eligible unless the guarantor's name still appears on the listing provided to the Passport Program by the relevant association.

Guarantor requirements for military personnel

The following Regular Force officers may act as guarantor for other Regular Force personnel and their dependents, if they have known the applicant personally for two (2) years or more:

  • Base Commander
  • Commanding Officer
  • Personnel Administrative Officer
  • NDHQ Director General
  • NDHQ Director
  • NDHQ Career Manager

In addition to the above, any other commissioned officer (Captain and above) with access to service records can sign as guarantor. Instead of indicating the number of years they have known the applicant, they must add the following statement "through service records which I have verified".

Also, military police with two  years personal knowledge of the applicant can act as guarantors for other military personnel only.

If you cannot find a guarantor

If you have not 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.

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.

The "Statutory Declaration in Lieu of Guarantor" form must be sworn to or declared before, and signed by, a person authorized by law to administer an oath or a solemn declaration. If completed outside Canada, a qualified official includes a Canadian or British diplomatic or consular representative, or a qualified local official (for example, a civil servant, or member of Parliament).

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