Completing the child passport application

Child's personal information

Is my child required to sign the application form?

Children under the age of 11 are not required to sign the application form.

Information on applicant

What should I do if the whereabouts of the other parent is unknown?

Please contact us.

What should I do if the other parent is deceased?

When the other parent is deceased, enclose the death certificate with the application. If available, please submit the child's long-form birth certificate with the names of both parents.

Previous Canadian passport

Do I have to return my child's expired passport?

No, you do not need to return your child's passport if it has expired.

Can I keep my child's valid passport until a new one is issued?

No, you must surrender the child's valid passport for cancellation when applying for a new passport on behalf of your child.

Proof of Canadian citizenship

Am I required to submit a detailed birth certificate with my child's application?

Proof of parentage is required for every first-time child passport application. Proof of parentage is an official document that proves the child-parent relationship. This can be:

  • A detailed (long-form) birth certificate issued by a Canadian province or territory that indicates the name(s) of the parent(s). This also counts 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(s) of the adoptive parent(s); or
  • A foreign birth certificate that indicates the name(s) of the parent(s).

Proof of parentage is not required if your child has already been issued a passport and it is the same parent(s)/legal guardian(s) applying as did for the child's last passport. If this is the case, then you can provide just a short-form birth certificate as proof of citizenship. You do not need to submit the previous passport as we have the information in our databases.

Can I submit a laminated birth certificate?

No, birth certificates that indicate that the document is "void if laminated" will not be accepted if they are laminated.

Do I need to submit the child's original proof of citizenship?

Yes, you must submit the child's original proof of citizenship document; photocopies are not accepted. The original will be returned to you with your passport. If you apply in person at a passport office, then the document will be returned to you at that time (once it has been reviewed by the passport officer).

Will my child's citizenship document be returned to me?

Yes, your original documents will be returned with the new passport. If you apply in person at a passport office, then the document will be returned to you at that time (once it has been reviewed by the passport officer).

What document should I submit as proof of my child's Canadian citizenship?

The following are the only documents accepted as proof of Canadian citizenship for a child (under 16) passport application:

  • A birth certificate issued by the province or the territory where the child was born
  • A certificate of Canadian citizenship

Note: Child applications require both proof of citizenship and proof of parentage. For children born in Canada, parents should obtain a detailed (long-form) birth certificate that indicates the name(s) of the parent(s). This will also count as the proof of parentage.

For children born outside Canada, the child's foreign birth certificate that indicates the name(s) of the parent(s) should also be included as proof of parentage.

Does the name on the passport have to match the name on my child's proof of Citizenship?

Yes. Under the new requirements, passports are issued in the same name that is on the proof of Canadian citizenship for all children under 16.

My child's current passport's name is different than what is on his/her Canadian citizenship. Which name will appear on the passport?

The name on your child's Citizenship certificate is the name that will appear on the passport. On October 20, 2014, Passport Program's requirements changed so that the name that appears on the Citizenship certificate is the name that will appear on the passport.

Declaration of guarantor

Can a family member act as guarantor for my child?

A relative can act as a guarantor provided that he or she meets the specified requirements. However, the person acting as the applicant cannot act as the guarantor.

Who can sign as a guarantor for my child?

The guarantor must know the applicant (the parent applying for the child's passport) personally for at least two years and must have knowledge of the child. The guarantor must also meet the requirements listed in the following pages:

Miscellaneous

Do children need their own passport to travel?

Yes; all children who travel (alone or with an adult) need their own passport. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has recommended a policy requiring every individual who travels by air to have his or her own travel document. This policy has been put in place to combat the traffic of millions of children around the world who are often sold into slavery, child prostitution or worse. It increases the protection of children by ensuring that they have a valid travel document with a photo and other identifying information.

Is my child entitled to free replacement passport?

No, we no longer offer this service.

My child will soon turn 16 years old. Should I apply for a child's passport or wait to apply for an adult passport after his or her birthday?

There is no need to wait. A passport issued to a child has the same format and validity as a passport issued to an adult. It has an expiry date of five years from the date of issue, and this will not be subject to any change when your child turns 16.

Are parents required to sign their child's passport or other travel documents?

Important: Never sign your child’s passport or other travel documents. A parent’s or legal guardian’s signature makes the document invalid. Print the Signature policy and bring it with you when you travel in case you are asked to sign it.

A child’s passport or other travel document does not need a signature. A child may sign the passport or travel document and children over the age of 11 are encouraged to sign. If a child does not sign, the signature block on page 3 must be left blank.

Does my child need to sign their passport or travel document?

A child’s passport or other travel document does not need a signature. A child may sign the passport or travel document and children over the age of 11 are encouraged to sign. If a child does not sign, the signature block on page 3 must be left blank.

Important: Never sign your child’s passport or other travel document. A parent’s or legal guardian’s signature makes the document invalid. Print the Signature policy and bring it with you when you travel in case you are asked to sign it.

Is my child required to provide any documents to support his or her identity?

No, proof of identity is not required for a child application; only the proof of Canadian citizenship is required.

Will my child's passport expire once he or she reaches 16 years of age?

No, your child's passport remains valid until its expiry date. A new passport is only needed when the child's passport has expired. A passport issued to a child has the same format and validity as a passport issued to an adult.

If I am divorced or separated and want to get a passport for my child, are there any other documents that I need to submit?

All documents related to the custody of the child must be submitted with the application. Upon examination, we may ask for more information if we need clarification of the situation.

Can I prevent a passport being issued in the name of a child under 16?

If you, as a parent or legal guardian, are concerned for the safety of your child or you fear that an unauthorized passport application may be made on behalf of your child, you can request that your child's information be added to the Passport Program System Lookout List. This entry will alert staff that further attention is required when processing the child's application to ensure all legal documents are reviewed, that there are no restrictions on the child's mobility, or that there is no other reason that would prevent a Canadian passport being issued in the name of the child.

Can airline companies force parents to sign their child's passport?

No, parents should not sign their child's passport. The Passport Program is communicating with airline companies and border officials to clarify these requirements.

What should a parent do if they have signed their child's passport?

We recommend you apply for a new passport for your child to avoid potential delays at international borders.

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