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View Full Version : Just passport or Birth Ceritificates too for kids?


sahmoffour
09-07-2011, 03:19 PM
Is just a passport ok to take for kids, or will we need their birth certificates too? We all have the same last name but my oldest son is from a previous relationship if that makes a difference. (I do have a notorized letter of consent from his bio dad as well as my sole custody papers).

Thanks! :)

SmilingGrump
09-07-2011, 03:29 PM
It should be all you need, but we always bring birth certificates. Glad you've already thought about the notarized letter.

We had a problem coming back into Canada on one trip because I didn't have a notarized letter (DW was on a different flight from me and DD and we didn't think to get the letter notarized). The Customs Officer was giving me the third degree and I'd had a very long day (DD was 2-1/2 and cried the entire 9 hours because US Air didn't serve milk on the plane) so I snapped and growled back loud enough for everyone in the customs area to hear that "IF I were kidnapping my OWN child I would NOT be so stupid as to return to our HOME town, we'd be LEAVING it." He wasn't impressed, but the other customs officers started chuckling so I avoided getting "the search" :lmao:

Mrs. M. Mouse
09-07-2011, 07:08 PM
we brought both and were only asked for them at the boarder crossing in the car. when getting on the planes they didn't ask for anything except the adult id. They say they don't id under 18 for air travel in the states....

a*lil*bit*goofy
09-07-2011, 08:17 PM
we brought both and were only asked for them at the boarder crossing in the car. when getting on the planes they didn't ask for anything except the adult id. They say they don't id under 18 for air travel in the states....

two flights and my children were required to show their passports for both.

I was asked for their birth certificates at customs coming back home from the 1st flight/trip.

GreatGranny
09-07-2011, 08:22 PM
I never thought they would ask for birth certificates in addition to passports. Rather silly, when you need the birth certificate in order to get a passport in the first place. I don't think my daughter needed birth certs for her kids the last time we went..I guess we should take them this time just in case.

SmilingGrump
09-07-2011, 09:09 PM
I never thought they would ask for birth certificates in addition to passports. Rather silly, when you need the birth certificate in order to get a passport in the first place. I don't think my daughter needed birth certs for her kids the last time we went..I guess we should take them this time just in case.

Actually, US customs has the right to ask for lots of things, but they usually don't. Last summer when we drove to Arizona, the US Customs officer was in a particularly foul mood and my wife didn't give him the "correct" answer to one of his questions so we had to pull over and go inside. After 45 minutes of waiting (there was no one in front of us, he just made us wait until another officer got off their break) we had to produce proof that we weren't going to be a burden on US society ... which meant providing a bank statement, a utility bill showing our address, and a deed to our house. Since we didn't have the last two items (who carries those?!) he told us he could refuse entry to us. At this point, the other officer called him a d*** and told him to stop pestering us and sent us on our way :laughing:

The next time through, I politely related this story and asked the Customs officer if all of that was required ... his response was, "Yeah, that other guy was being very picky, but those items could be required."

So now, we bring our passports, NEXUS cards, birth certificates, a bank statement, and a utility bill (we leave our house title at home). Since then, we've never been asked for more then passports/NEXUS but what's two more pieces of paper?

sahmoffour
09-08-2011, 12:25 AM
Thanks everyone, Ill be sure to bring both. I can understand them asking because the passports dont list the parents names on them, so you dont really have any proof that you are their parent other than having the same last name.

Ill be sure to be very polite to the customs official too! lol

nutc4disney
09-08-2011, 11:57 AM
Is just a passport ok to take for kids, or will we need their birth certificates too? We all have the same last name but my oldest son is from a previous relationship if that makes a difference. (I do have a notorized letter of consent from his bio dad as well as my sole custody papers).

Thanks! :)

We have in the past, been asked for letter of consent and custody papers for my spouses daughter, when we have traveled to the States, but never a birth certificate when showing a pasport for her.

GreatGranny
09-08-2011, 12:15 PM
Actually, US customs has the right to ask for lots of things, but they usually don't. Last summer when we drove to Arizona, the US Customs officer was in a particularly foul mood and my wife didn't give him the "correct" answer to one of his questions so we had to pull over and go inside. After 45 minutes of waiting (there was no one in front of us, he just made us wait until another officer got off their break) we had to produce proof that we weren't going to be a burden on US society ... which meant providing a bank statement, a utility bill showing our address, and a deed to our house. Since we didn't have the last two items (who carries those?!) he told us he could refuse entry to us. At this point, the other officer called him a d*** and told him to stop pestering us and sent us on our way :laughing:

The next time through, I politely related this story and asked the Customs officer if all of that was required ... his response was, "Yeah, that other guy was being very picky, but those items could be required."

So now, we bring our passports, NEXUS cards, birth certificates, a bank statement, and a utility bill (we leave our house title at home). Since then, we've never been asked for more then passports/NEXUS but what's two more pieces of paper?

That Customs Officer was definitely unreasonable. I checked the US Customs web site, it does say that birth certificates or citizenship cards may be required, but nothing about the other documents you mention. How could one have house deeds if one does not own a house? How could one have a utility bill if one lives in accommodation with utilities included in the rent or condo fee? :confused3 I do not carry bank statements with me, ever. My birth certificate is short-form (British) and does not mention parentage.

Thanks for the heads-up though, I will take my citizenship card along with my passport.

GG

SmilingGrump
09-08-2011, 12:32 PM
That Customs Officer was definitely unreasonable. I checked the US Customs web site, it does say that birth certificates or citizenship cards may be required, but nothing about the other documents you mention. How could one have house deeds if one does not own a house? How could one have a utility bill if one lives in accommodation with utilities included in the rent or condo fee? :confused3 I do not carry bank statements with me, ever. My birth certificate is short-form (British) and does not mention parentage.

Thanks for the heads-up though, I will take my citizenship card along with my passport.

GG

This particular Customs officer was concerned we'd be a burden on US society. He actually said "We don't want any more Canadians coming down to take advantage of our health care system and social welfare." It was at that point (when our jaws hit the floor) that the other officer stepped in :laughing:

Every customs officer has the right and duty to make sure that people are entering their country with good intentions. Some just don't see the forest for the trees.

(please note, that out of the dozens of times we've travelled between US and Canada, this was the ONLY time we've had problems with US Customs. We've had more issues with Canadian Customs, but we've also had many many many great experiences ("Only 4 bottles of alcohol? No, we won't charge you, go ahead"))

GreatGranny
09-08-2011, 12:54 PM
I've had no issues with any Customs Officers, but the Canadian ones make me more nervous, don't know why because I have never smuggled a thing in my life and always honest about what I have :littleangel: I think they are just more abrupt.

sjsjbrook
09-08-2011, 03:08 PM
I never bring birth certificates of my children, since I have passports for all of them.

For my oldest who I have sole custody of, I always carry my custody papers and my divorce judgment, never been asked for them, but always had them.

I chuckled at the last customs officer we had in Canada, asking who one child was, because he couldn't see him, ummm the picture is that of a baby, maybe he is the one in this baby stroller I have.:rotfl:

HeatherLassell
09-08-2011, 03:34 PM
I never bring birth certificates of my children, since I have passports for all of them.

For my oldest who I have sole custody of, I always carry my custody papers and my divorce judgment, never been asked for them, but always had them.



Hey there! So it took over 3.5 years but I'm finally divorced. *happy dance* I also have sole custody and he has visitation on agreement of me. I keep reading about people saying they have sole custody but still have obtained a letter from the other parent. Do you HAVE to do that? My ex moved to Alberta and we don't see him more than every other month. I didn't think I needed it until I started reading these threads. I did know that I should have my custody papers and divorce judgement.

SmilingGrump
09-08-2011, 03:46 PM
Hey there! So it took over 3.5 years but I'm finally divorced. *happy dance* I also have sole custody and he has visitation on agreement of me. I keep reading about people saying they have sole custody but still have obtained a letter from the other parent. Do you HAVE to do that? My ex moved to Alberta and we don't see him more than every other month. I didn't think I needed it until I started reading these threads. I did know that I should have my custody papers and divorce judgement.

Yes. In fact, even people who are still married but travelling alone with a child need to have a notarized letter. They don't always ask for it, but it is required to help prevent kidnappings. If your ex won't sign a notarized letter, you may be able to get authorization from the courts. As I said, they don't always ask for it, but if they do and you do not have it then they can refuse you entry.