Passports for children

Starting October 20, 2014, the name that appears in the passport will be the same name that is on the proof of Canadian citizenship. There are some exceptions.

There are no exceptions for child applications. For all children under 16, passports will be issued in the same name that is on the proof of Canadian citizenship.

Also, there will be new requirements for supporting identity documents and for legal name changes. Find out how these requirements affect your adult passport application.

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.

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.

Important notice

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. Passport Canada may contact the other parent/legal guardian.

If applying in person, the parent/legal guardian should submit the child application. If this is not possible, an acceptable third party may submit it.

If it is an urgent or express request, the parent/legal guardian must submit it.

A third party may pick up the new passport if they provide written consent from the applicant (the parent/legal guardian), as well as valid identification.

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)

This new requirement enhances the security of a child’s passport.

All documents submitted in a language other than English or French must be accompanied by a translation from a certified translator. More information.

Has a Canadian passport previously been issued to a child?

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, a proof of parentage document is not required.

You will still need to submit proof of citizenship, but, in this case, a short-form or wallet-sized birth certificate that doesn't indicate the name(s) of the parent(s) is acceptable.

All other documentation is still required.

Custody, separation or divorce

Both parents must participate in obtaining passport services for their child and must 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.

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.

Validity period

Passport

All children under the age of 16 receive ePassports that are valid for a maximum of five years.

Travel document

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.

Once the child turns 16

The passport of a child who turns 16 remains valid until it reaches its expiry date.