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ID requirement young children

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I’m taking my young kids on their first Carnival cruise which starts and ends in Tampa. My understanding is they can travel with both parents and birth certificates. Can anyone confirm? Thank you 🙂 

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I believe the age cutoff is 16 and under don't need an ID to accompany the birth certificate. mine are under 10 and I know they qualify.

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Yes, they may ask the kids identifying questions from the birth certificate (usually how old they are), or expect them to respond when they say their name. Nothing to stress over. Something I've seen, but have not done is people carrying the certificates in Gallon-Sized plastic bag to ensure they are protected, though I think the agents make you take it out of the bag, so I'm not sure it is worth the hassle unless you are from an area that charges a lot for additional copies (*cough* Oklahoma).

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3 hours ago, Jamesatgsu said:

Yes, they may ask the kids identifying questions from the birth certificate (usually how old they are), or expect them to respond when they say their name. Nothing to stress over. Something I've seen, but have not done is people carrying the certificates in Gallon-Sized plastic bag to ensure they are protected, though I think the agents make you take it out of the bag, so I'm not sure it is worth the hassle unless you are from an area that charges a lot for additional copies (*cough* Oklahoma).


just make photo copies and avoid the extra charge.

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13 minutes ago, Illbcruzn4life said:


just make photo copies and avoid the extra charge.

I don't think photo copies are acceptable. I know they aren't for flights.

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3 hours ago, Jamesatgsu said:

Yes, they may ask the kids identifying questions from the birth certificate (usually how old they are), or expect them to respond when they say their name. Nothing to stress over. Something I've seen, but have not done is people carrying the certificates in Gallon-Sized plastic bag to ensure they are protected, though I think the agents make you take it out of the bag, so I'm not sure it is worth the hassle unless you are from an area that charges a lot for additional copies (*cough* Oklahoma).

Oklahoma??? I have received several copies of my birth certificate from Oklahoma  at no cost.

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9 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

Oklahoma??? I have received several copies of my birth certificate from Oklahoma  at no cost.

When we went to order my wife's for getting a passport a couple years ago they wanted like $200 (Maybe we needed it rushed).  They've changed the site a lot since then and now says $20.08.

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11 hours ago, Jamesatgsu said:

I don't think photo copies are acceptable. I know they aren't for flights.

Yes, photo copies are acceptable. The regulations that allow the use of birth certificates on a closed loop cruise say that an original or copy may be used. It is better to have the original available but a copy will do (and one could bring both and keep the original in the carry on for safekeeping and present the copy). 

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

Yes, photo copies are acceptable. The regulations that allow the use of birth certificates on a closed loop cruise say that an original or copy may be used. It is better to have the original available but a copy will do (and one could bring both and keep the original in the carry on for safekeeping and present the copy). 

Per CBP:

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth.

 

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-74?language=en_US

 

Copy and photocopy are not the same when it comes to birth certificates. Official copies are equivalent to the original, but photocopies are not. If you bring both obviously no need to worry. They aren't always super stringent, so it's possible they sometimes allow a photocopy, but I definitely wouldn't rely on one.

Edited by Jamesatgsu

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42 minutes ago, Jamesatgsu said:

Per CBP:

U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises will be able to enter or depart the country with proof of citizenship, such as an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL), a government-issued birth certificate (issued by the Vital Records Department in the state where he or she was born) or passport, and if 16 or older, a government issued driver's license, picture ID, denoting photo, name and date of birth.

 

https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-74?language=en_US

 

Copy and photocopy are not the same when it comes to birth certificates. Official copies are equivalent to the original, but photocopies are not. If you bring both obviously no need to worry. They aren't always super stringent, so it's possible they sometimes allow a photocopy, but I definitely wouldn't rely on one.

Carnival could not put in the FAQ that photocopies are allowed unless they are, a carrier can impose a stricter standard then the regulations but they cannot impose a lesser standard. Here is what the regulations themselves have to say:

When traveling entirely within the Western Hemisphere on a cruise ship, and when the U.S. citizen boards the cruise ship at a port or place within the United States and returns on the return voyage of the same cruise ship to the same United States port or place from where he or she originally departed. That U.S. citizen may present a government-issued photo identification document in combination with either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services before entering the United States; if the U.S. citizen is under the age of 16, he or she may present either an original or a copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department, or a Certificate of Naturalization issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; or

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2008/04/03/E8-6725/documents-required-for-travelers-departing-from-or-arriving-in-the-united-states-at-sea-and-land#h-111

 

As you say the official copy that you receive from the issuing authority is the original so that's what is meant by "original" in the regulations and "copy" means just that, a photocopy. The CBP info you site isn't an exhaustive list (since it says "such as") and it also doesn't say that a photocopy is prohibited. The reason that this is allowed is because CBP vets every passenger through government databases during the cruise. Carnival says that a clear legible copy of an official birth certificate is acceptable and that is what is allowed. I presented a photocopy of my birth certificate when I boarded the Pride in 2012 and no one batted an eye at it, not security at the terminal, not the check in person and not the CBP officer at the end of the cruise. I have read of many cruises being saved by the timely faxing of a birth certificate to the port, which would not be allowed if the original was indeed required. It may be a best practice to have the original but a photocopy does the trick.

Edited by sparks1093

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One reason against photo copies. They are acceptable for closed loop cruises however if you have a problem and need to fly back into the states they are not acceptable for international air travel. 

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3 hours ago, stetucke said:

One reason against photo copies. They are acceptable for closed loop cruises however if you have a problem and need to fly back into the states they are not acceptable for international air travel. 

Neither are the originals. 😉

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I have never seen anyone whip out a birth certificate for airfare

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Having left and returned to Tampa on a Carnival cruise, you might want to consider the wait time at Immigration with birth certificates vs passports.

 

Those of us with passports whizzed through a line for passport holders.

 

Those with birth certificates were on a loooooooooooong line that did not move very fast.

 

I am sure experiences may vary, but passports were definitely the way to go for that cruise. 

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It's interesting to me  they are being less strict on birth certificates than they were 15-20 years ago when a photocopy of birth certificate wasn't acceptable --- it had to be a certified, raised seal copy and government issued photo i.d. 

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There are copies, then there are copies.  In California we do not get an original BC, those are located at the County.  We get an official copy on official paper.

 

Be aware that if you need to leave the ship early, you will need a passport to fly home.  Many of the islands share embassies or consulates.  These are usually located on other islands or mainland.  When Daughter broke her ankle overseas she was in no way physically able to get photos and travel to the Embassy nearest her.

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4 hours ago, Homosassa said:

Having left and returned to Tampa on a Carnival cruise, you might want to consider the wait time at Immigration with birth certificates vs passports.

 

Those of us with passports whizzed through a line for passport holders.

 

Those with birth certificates were on a loooooooooooong line that did not move very fast.

 

I am sure experiences may vary, but passports were definitely the way to go for that cruise. 

I only cruise once a year so having a passport just to avoid a wait in line wouldn't be high on my priority list (and we've traveled with both types of documents and haven't noticed a substantial change in processing time).

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2 hours ago, Host Carolyn said:

It's interesting to me  they are being less strict on birth certificates than they were 15-20 years ago when a photocopy of birth certificate wasn't acceptable --- it had to be a certified, raised seal copy and government issued photo i.d. 

Government databases contain more info now and everyone's information, whether passport or birth certificate, is vetted during the cruise. In the proposed regulations this was discussed at length because someone specifically asked "why can a copy be used for a cruise but not for a border crossing" and the short answer was vetting the birth certificates at the border would be too time consuming leading to extended waits.

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1 hour ago, SadieN said:

There are copies, then there are copies.  In California we do not get an original BC, those are located at the County.  We get an official copy on official paper.

 

Be aware that if you need to leave the ship early, you will need a passport to fly home.  Many of the islands share embassies or consulates.  These are usually located on other islands or mainland.  When Daughter broke her ankle overseas she was in no way physically able to get photos and travel to the Embassy nearest her.

The process to return home from a closed loop cruise is different than what it would take from Europe or other locations. The regulations contain provisions for the passport requirement to be waived for emergencies or for humanitarian reasons for those instances where passengers need to return home mid-cruise.

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9 hours ago, coevan said:

I have never seen anyone whip out a birth certificate for airfare

 

I usually whip out a credit card for airfare, but that's just me.😛

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21 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Neither are the originals. 😉

It made more sense in my head. 

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OP, If you do want an official ID for your children, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

 

There may be an official ID available that is similar to a driver's license which will contain a photo.

 

Because we traveled a lot when my daughter was young, we did obtain the state ID for her as it useful to have.

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28 minutes ago, stetucke said:

It made more sense in my head. 

LOL, I have many moments like that myself.

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