Due to increasing concern for the safety of children, many governments including that of Canada have initiated special requirements when children under 18 years of age are travelling without both parents.
Specifically, many countries now require that documentary evidence in the form of a notarized consent to travel letter be presented to establish the permission of the parent(s) / legal guardian(s) for a minor to cross international borders with an accompanying adult. This requirement is in addition to other legal requirements as specified by airlines and official authorities.
Also, it should be noted that a simple letter or consent form that has not been notarized by a licensed notary public may be rejected by border officials due to the fact that such letters or forms can be easily forged. The following are examples of circumstances under which you should consider having a notarized consent to travel document:
Child Travelling With One Parent – If a minor is travelling with only one parent, the absent parent is expected to provide notarized consent.
Child Travelling Alone or Without Either Parent – If a minor is traveling alone or is accompanied by an adult other than a parent, both parents (or the sole documented custodial parent) must provide notarized consent.
Child Has Only One Parent – If a minor child has only one parent as evidenced by its birth certificate, a notarized copy of the birth certificate or the original will be sufficient proof allowing for travel.