Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Bratbrey

Passports required for minors?

Recommended Posts

Do minors have to have a passport or would a birth certificate be ok?  (Kids would be age 14 and 16 at time of travel)  I am not in contact with their father so getting him to sign off on a passport would extremely difficult.  Considering Bahamas or Mexico cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Bratbrey said:

Do minors have to have a passport or would a birth certificate be ok?  (Kids would be age 14 and 16 at time of travel)  I am not in contact with their father so getting him to sign off on a passport would extremely difficult.  Considering Bahamas or Mexico cruise.

The minimum ID requirement (legally) for US citizens on a closed loop cruise (begins and ends in the same US port) is a birth certificate, plus (for those 16 and older) a government issued photo ID (like a driver's license, or state ID).

 

That said, some cruise lines require minors not traveling with both parents to have a passport, regardless of what the law says.  As well as some cruise lines require everyone to have a passport, even if not required by law.

 

Plus, it's possible that a minor traveling with only one parent will need to have a "permission to travel" release from the non-accompanying parent.

 

I'd suggest you ask the cruise line involved what their requirement would be for you.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Bratbrey said:

Do minors have to have a passport or would a birth certificate be ok?  (Kids would be age 14 and 16 at time of travel)  I am not in contact with their father so getting him to sign off on a passport would extremely difficult.  Considering Bahamas or Mexico cruise.

You might need him to sign off on the travel itself. As Shmoo here said, while the regulations do not require a passport for US citizens on a closed loop cruise some cruise lines do require it if only one parent is sailing. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto Sparks - while they usually are able to travel without a passport, without a notarized letter authorizing travel outside of the country from the other parent might be an issue

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the US Customs and Boarder Protection:

 

Children - Child traveling with one parent or someone who is not a parent or legal guardian or a group

 

If a child (under the age of 18) is traveling with only one parent or someone who is not a parent or legal guardian, what paperwork should the adult have to indicate permission or legal authority to have that child in their care?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups*, a note signed by both parents) stating "I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling out of the country with my son/daughter/group. He/She/They has/have my permission." See our Q&A parental consent.

U.S. citizen children under the age of 19 arriving by land or sea from Canada or Mexico and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization or sports team, may present an original or copy of their birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.

The group should have a letter on organizational letterhead with:

  • The names of the children on the trip and their primary address, phone number, date and place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child.
  • The name of the group and supervising adult(s) such as: School groups, teen tours, vacation groups.
  • A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has parental or legal guardian consent for each child. CBP also suggest that this note be notarized, to easily verify the validity of the parental authorization.
  • For frequent border crossers, the letter should not exceed one year. It is recommended to have the letter in English.

While CBP may not ask to see this documentation, if we do ask, and you do not have it, you may be detained until the circumstances of the child traveling without both parents can be fully assessed. If there is no second parent with legal claims to the child (deceased, sole custody, etc.) any other relevant paperwork, such as a court decision, birth certificate naming only one parent, death certificate, etc., would be useful.

Adults traveling with children should also be aware that, while the U.S. does not require this documentation, other countries may have a requirement and failure to produce notarized permission letters and/or birth certificates could result in travelers being refused entry (Canada has very strict requirements in this regard).

Additional information on children traveling alone, can be found on our website at Answer ID 449.

 

Edited by WisconsinFan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, and also to stop noncustodial parents from taking the child out of the country with no plans to return. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Birth certificate or passport for a closed loop cruise, if you use the BC be advised that most cruise lines require a photo id for a child 16 and over.  With a passport you will need to show it or a photo id for the 16 yr. old when getting back on the ship at ports.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, dkjretired said:

Birth certificate or passport for a closed loop cruise, if you use the BC be advised that most cruise lines require a photo id for a child 16 and over.  With a passport you will need to show it or a photo id for the 16 yr. old when getting back on the ship at ports.  

Hmmm... it's always been photo ID for those 18 and over to reboard the ship in ports on our cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Shmoo here said:

Hmmm... it's always been photo ID for those 18 and over to reboard the ship in ports on our cruises.

 

Sorry, I've been cruising for over 25 years with my kids and in my experience it has been 16.  This is also highly dependent on the port on you are in, I know Bermuda requires 16 and over. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have paperwork awarding you sole legal and physical custody, you can bring that to show that the father isn't a consideration in allowing the children out of the country. 

If you want to get a passport for the children, and have been awarded sole legal custody, you don't need the father to do that.  From Children Under 16 :
 

Children Under 16.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, brillohead said:

If you have paperwork awarding you sole legal and physical custody, you can bring that to show that the father isn't a consideration in allowing the children out of the country. 

If you want to get a passport for the children, and have been awarded sole legal custody, you don't need the father to do that.  From Children Under 16 :
 

Children Under 16.png

 

There is no problem if you are on a closed loop cruise, generally the concern is when on land trips. 

 

As as far as quoted paperwork three points should be made.

 

1. It is not leaving the US which is the problem, the problem is the countries that you are visiting that have different rules. We only see it at boarding because the cruise lines follow the entering countries rules.

 

2 Foreign governments are under no obligation to follow court orders issued by US courts.

 

 3 just as an FYI. A passport does not serve as permission to travel.

Edited by dkjretired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, dkjretired said:

 

There is no problem if you are on a closed loop cruise, generally the concern is when on land trips. 

 

As as far as quoted paperwork three points should be made.

 

1. It is not leaving the US which is the problem, the problem is the countries that you are visiting that have different rules. We only see it at boarding because the cruise lines follow the entering countries rules.

 

2 Foreign governments are under no obligation to follow court orders issued by US courts.

 

 3 just as an FYI. A passport does not serve as permission to travel.


I've been on multiple cruises with my son without his father, and I've also been on a cruise with my son's under-age girlfriend.  I also did border crossings USA/Canada this weekend with the under-age girlfriend.

With my son, nobody ever even blinked an eye or asked about his father.  

With my son's GF, I did have a notarized letter from her mother giving me permission to take her out of the country, but nobody ever even asked about it --  not Royal Caribbean at check-in, nor Canadian or American Border Patrol agents (crossed the Canada/USA border at Michigan and New York on the way there, and again on the way back).

On a closed-loop cruise, if Royal doesn't ask for it at check-in, the countries you visit aren't going to ask for it either. 

If you have custody papers that state you have sole custody, that's going to suffice for a Caribbean cruise (and that's even if anyone bothers to ask, which if the kids aren't crying and acting scared to be with you, nobody is going to blink an eye).  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, brillohead said:


I've been on multiple cruises with my son without his father, and I've also been on a cruise with my son's under-age girlfriend.  I also did border crossings USA/Canada this weekend with the under-age girlfriend.

With my son, nobody ever even blinked an eye or asked about his father.  

With my son's GF, I did have a notarized letter from her mother giving me permission to take her out of the country, but nobody ever even asked about it --  not Royal Caribbean at check-in, nor Canadian or American Border Patrol agents (crossed the Canada/USA border at Michigan and New York on the way there, and again on the way back).

On a closed-loop cruise, if Royal doesn't ask for it at check-in, the countries you visit aren't going to ask for it either. 

If you have custody papers that state you have sole custody, that's going to suffice for a Caribbean cruise (and that's even if anyone bothers to ask, which if the kids aren't crying and acting scared to be with you, nobody is going to blink an eye).  

 

 

Agree, that's why I said you are okay with closed loop cruises and also said the Cruise line will follow all rules of the other countries, that's why you won't have a problem.    Real problem as I stated is traveling on land or flying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, you don't need the documents, until you NEED the documents.

 

And it does not matter how many times no one asked for them, the next time, they may, and if you don't have them, there will be major issues.

 

Why take the chance?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, SRF said:

Basically, you don't need the documents, until you NEED the documents.

 

And it does not matter how many times no one asked for them, the next time, they may, and if you don't have them, there will be major issues.

 

Why take the chance?

 

That was my thought also.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, SRF said:

Basically, you don't need the documents, until you NEED the documents.

 

And it does not matter how many times no one asked for them, the next time, they may, and if you don't have them, there will be major issues.

 

Why take the chance?

 


In a situation where one parent is simply not in the child's life at all, getting the "document" is problematic if not impossible.

In those situations, provided the other parent has paperwork awarding sole custody, then having a "permission letter" from the other parent is patently unnecessary and irrelevant.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, brillohead said:


In a situation where one parent is simply not in the child's life at all, getting the "document" is problematic if not impossible.

In those situations, provided the other parent has paperwork awarding sole custody, then having a "permission letter" from the other parent is patently unnecessary and irrelevant.

 

But, then, the parent with the sole custody does have the correct paperwork.  I wouldn't suggest a parent with sole custody not have the necessary paperwork to show that when cruising.  Same as I wouldn't suggest a parent who doesn't have sole custody not have the necessary paperwork.  

 

Will they ask to see it?  Probably not.  Can they?  Yes.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, brillohead said:


In a situation where one parent is simply not in the child's life at all, getting the "document" is problematic if not impossible.

In those situations, provided the other parent has paperwork awarding sole custody, then having a "permission letter" from the other parent is patently unnecessary and irrelevant.

 

 

Yes, but in that case, you should have a copy of the court order for sole custody.  Then only the parent who is the custodian needs to approve of the trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2019 at 11:24 AM, SRF said:

 

Yes, but in that case, you should have a copy of the court order for sole custody.  Then only the parent who is the custodian needs to approve of the trip.


That is exactly what I said....????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • SPECIAL EVENT: Q&A with the Quark Expeditions Team!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...