Author Topic: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back  (Read 712 times)

MatthewK

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Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« on: January 13, 2019, 01:32:09 PM »
Family is planning summer trip to Canada this summer. Will see Niagara and then up to Montreal and Quebec. Wife and I (Michigan residents) both have enhanced ID's which allow us to cross borders (by car) with just that ID. We also have kids, all under 16, and are getting conflicting info on what is needed for them. Looks like to enter Canada just the original birth certificate is needed. But to return I have seen one site say just the birth certificate while another says a passport card, similar to our enhanced ID's. Anyone with kids travel frequently back and forth by car that can straighten this out? Thanks!

v8rx7guy

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 02:23:31 PM »
Family is planning summer trip to Canada this summer. Will see Niagara and then up to Montreal and Quebec. Wife and I (Michigan residents) both have enhanced ID's which allow us to cross borders (by car) with just that ID. We also have kids, all under 16, and are getting conflicting info on what is needed for them. Looks like to enter Canada just the original birth certificate is needed. But to return I have seen one site say just the birth certificate while another says a passport card, similar to our enhanced ID's. Anyone with kids travel frequently back and forth by car that can straighten this out? Thanks!


We go to and from Canada multiple times a month as a family of four (two under age of 5).  Original birth certificate is all you need in both directions.  It sounds like you're traveling as a complete family, but if just one of you is taking the kids, you'll need a permission slip (might be a more official name for it) from the spouse that is not traveling with the kids.  My info is based on traveling to and from B.C., but I don't see why the rules should be signicantly different going to and from Ontario.

CindyBS

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 03:52:47 PM »
Depending on the kids' ages, be prepared that they may be questioned.  On a trip back from Canada in 2012 - so things may have changed - I was shocked when my then 7 year old was asked questions like "what is your mom's first name?" "What street do they live on?" " what color is your house?"  "What is your last name?"

I get that they want to be super proactive about child kidnapping, but for an anxious, shy kid he was kind of overwhelmed. 

SimpleCycle

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 06:57:44 PM »
Family is planning summer trip to Canada this summer. Will see Niagara and then up to Montreal and Quebec. Wife and I (Michigan residents) both have enhanced ID's which allow us to cross borders (by car) with just that ID. We also have kids, all under 16, and are getting conflicting info on what is needed for them. Looks like to enter Canada just the original birth certificate is needed. But to return I have seen one site say just the birth certificate while another says a passport card, similar to our enhanced ID's. Anyone with kids travel frequently back and forth by car that can straighten this out? Thanks!

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative

Children under 16 only need an original birth certificate.

AMandM

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 08:08:11 PM »
But to return I have seen one site say just the birth certificate while another says a passport card, similar to our enhanced ID's. Anyone with kids travel frequently back and forth by car that can straighten this out? Thanks!

The rules are different depending on whether you travel by air or by land/sea. If that sites you are looking at make different assumptions about how you're crossing the border, that could explain the apparent contradictions.

Our kids are often asked to identify themselves. As US residents, we tend to get more questions entering Canada than returning to the US, I presume because that's where they're looking to prevent a child being taken out of his country improperly. The most questioning came the time my husband was driving the kids up without me (I had flown ahead).  The agent said to our then-9yo, in the fake chirpy voice adults often use with kids, "Are you happy to be going to Canada?" The answer was a grim, "NO." The agent visibly tensed and asked, as neutrally as she could manage, "Why not?" "Because," said the 9yo, "our great-grandmother is DEAD and we are going to her FUNERAL."

Paul der Krake

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2019, 09:59:03 PM »
But to return I have seen one site say just the birth certificate while another says a passport card, similar to our enhanced ID's. Anyone with kids travel frequently back and forth by car that can straighten this out? Thanks!

The rules are different depending on whether you travel by air or by land/sea. If that sites you are looking at make different assumptions about how you're crossing the border, that could explain the apparent contradictions.

Our kids are often asked to identify themselves. As US residents, we tend to get more questions entering Canada than returning to the US, I presume because that's where they're looking to prevent a child being taken out of his country improperly. The most questioning came the time my husband was driving the kids up without me (I had flown ahead).  The agent said to our then-9yo, in the fake chirpy voice adults often use with kids, "Are you happy to be going to Canada?" The answer was a grim, "NO." The agent visibly tensed and asked, as neutrally as she could manage, "Why not?" "Because," said the 9yo, "our great-grandmother is DEAD and we are going to her FUNERAL."
Death of your grandmother notwithstanding, this is hilarious.

MatthewK

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Re: Travel with kids from US to Canada and back
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 10:11:08 AM »
Ok, great thanks for the replies. Looks like we just have to dig up the original birth certificates and should be fine. Another question for those who travel there often regards cell phones. Both my wife and I have Red Pocket service so we won't have working phones there. We would use them when on wifi for data but would like to have one work " on the road" for any emergency calls and google maps if necessary. Will download our route before leaving US or when on wifi  and use old school but up to date road atlas but just for piece of mind would like one phone to work. Cheap suggestions? Buy a prepaid sim? Where to buy etc. Also we're both on android if that makes any difference. Thanks again