Melissa Biggs from Kingston, Ontario is warning parents travelling with young children not to sign their child’s passport because it will result in the passport being invalid.
Biggs signed her infant son’s passport at a U.S. airport in March last year, as she was told to do by the TSA agent in order to board the plane. As a result, her son’s travel document was rendered invalid when she applied for her six-month-old daughter’s first passport.
“I got my daughter’s passport back and the pamphlet that came with it clearly specified for the parent not to sign their child’s passport,” she wrote. Melissa was then forced to replace her son’s passport, which had two years left until it expired, at a cost of $57 and the price of photos.
When Biggs got in touch with the passport office, they claimed this had been happening a lot lately. She went to apply for a new passport and found warnings all over the webpage saying not to sign your child’s passport.
“In response to these difficulties, the Passport Program has made available a summary of its policy with respect to signatures on children’s passports, which can be printed from the Government of Canada website and carried by parents/guardians when travelling internationally.”
Signature Policy for Canadian travel documents (including passports) issued to children less than 16 years of age
Children under 16 years of age do not need to sign the e travel document. The signature line on page three should be blank if the child does not sign it. However, it is still valid if the child signs it.
Parents or legal guardians must never sign their child’s travel document. Their signature makes the document invalid and will have to be replaced.
Only adult Canadian travel documents must be signed by the adult themselves.
Canadian children up to the age of 16, or under 19-years-old if travelling with a school or other youth group, need only present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship at a land or sea crossing, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection guidelines.