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Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

North Liberty, Iowa
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Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

I understand there is no open border and that all adults must have a passport or passport card to cross the border. The part I don’t understand though is if children under the age of 16 are required to have that. This customs and border‘s website (https:/…your-trip) says a birth certiciate is sufficient for children, as do other people I have talked to. But all passport agency employees I’ve talk to locally and nationally, tell me that is not true. Can someone verify to me if children can cross the border by car with a copy of their birth certificate?

https:/…your-trip

6 replies to this topic
tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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1. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

Here is what the State Dept info on this question says: "U.S. citizen children under age 16 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory may also present an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a Naturalization Certificate, or a Canadian Citizenship Card. A passport is only required for a minor to return to the U.S. when traveling by air."

By land, a birth certificate is OK. By air, a passport is required. In Mexico, immigration agents can question the custody of a child, and documents must clearly show the relationship of a child to parents.

If you are only going to PP, and by land, by car, you are OK IMO.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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2. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

Do you know if a 14 year old friend of my son is traveling with us will be ok with a birth certificate, or will he need a passport since he is not our child, but is just in our care duirng the vacation?

Texas Gulf Coast...
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3. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

JKZinAz,

Welcome to TA! Good on you to come here to TA before your trip asking questions vs just finding this forum to vent after an unpleasant experience with some aspect of your travel.

Regarding your son's friend, who is a 14 year old minor; I would strongly suggest that he get a U.S. passport booklet. And in addition to his having a formal U.S. passport booklet, I would strongly recommend that you get a letter of permission from his parents, both of them, authorizing you and your husband to take this child into Mexico, to whichever destination, for whichever travel dates. In addition I would strongly recommend that this permission to take him into Mexico for a specified travel date also give the two of you authorization to seek medical help for him in the event of an emergency. It would probably serve you well to have this document translated into Spanish, and notarized.

Hopefully you won't need either of these documents, but it is always much better to have them and not need them, then to need either one or both of them and not have them. Hope this helps, safe travels.

¡Diviértanse!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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4. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

Very sound advice, thank you for helping us think this through!

tucson az
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for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
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5. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

The documents which LoneStarGumby strongly advised are required by Mexico. When minors are in the company of people other than their own parents, a notarized document is required which gives permissions as described above. While the chance is very small, without those documents you can be stuck until the actual parents come to take their children.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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6. Re: Birth certificates for CHILDREN?

Thank you Bob, greatly appreciate your response.

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