Travelling Without Your Parents: What You Need to Know

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Do you need your parents’ permission to travel without them? How old do you have to be to travel without their permission? What documents do you need? The Government of Canada, the country you’re travelling to as well as transportation companies all have their own rules. Read on to learn more.


1- Not yet 18? You need your parents’ permission.

If you’re under 18, you need your parents’ permission to travel without them, whether you’re travelling inside Canada or to another country.


2 – You might need proof of your parents’ permission.

Before you leave, it’s a good idea to have both your parents sign a consent letter saying where and when you’re going.

A consent letter is not absolutely necessary but is highly recommended. For example, it’ll be easier for you at customs if you can show the customs officers that both your parents agreed you can travel without them.

If you’re travelling with an adult who’s not your parent, the letter should name the adult, for example, the name of the teacher accompanying you on a school trip.

For more information about the consent letter, visit the Government of Canada’s FAQ web page.


3 – Going to another country? You’ll need these documents. 

Global Affairs Canada recommends that all Canadian minors who travel outside the country have a valid passport.


If you’re under 16, you need your parents’ permission to apply for a passport.  

If you’re 16 or older, you can apply for a passport on your own.  

See our article on Passports for more information.


Aside from a passport, you might need other documents, such as a visa, visitor’s permit, birth certificate or vaccination certificate.

Before leaving, contact the consulate or embassy of the country you’re visiting for more information.


4 – Important! Transportation companies have their own rules.

Transportation companies have their own rules for travellers under 18. The rules depend on these factors:

  • destination (inside or outside Canada)
  • method of travel
  • route (with or without stops)
  • state of health (for example, if you have serious allergies)
  • age

A transportation company might ask for a consent form signed by both your parents. It might also ask for a medical certificate. Make sure you find out before buying your ticket. 

Important !
This article explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. This article is not a legal opinion or legal advice. To find out the specific rules for your situation, consult a lawyer or notary.