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Ohiocruiser 11-09-2007 10:09 AM

Ok so i have a 15 year old and her father is deceased so i have his death cert. and i have custody, dont think she will be a problem BUT i have a 11 year old and i have custody but his father is close but there is no contact with him and if i read it right he has to sign. He is already livid thinking he is paying for this cruise with his child support lol (NOT) but i prob wont be able to get a signature. can i just take my divorce papers you think?

Maybe someone has dealt with this recently.

TrvlPro 11-09-2007 01:23 PM

The rule for taking minor children out of the country is that if only one parent is traveling, they must have a signed and notorized letter at the pier. The letter needs to state that the parent taking the child has agreement of the the other parent to leave the country with the child. The only exceptions I'm aware of are in the event of a death of one parent (you've covered this one) or if there is no second parent listed on the birth certificate of the child.

They don't usually even ask for this letter at the pier even though they are supposed to every time. If they do and you don't have the letter you can be denied boarding. Unless there is another high profile custody case in the news of a parent fleeing the custody hearing by taking the child out of the country, it's not likely to come up or that you'd be denied boarding if you have custody papers with you. I'd get the letter if possible, you never know when they'll crack down on such enforcement again or how strict the customs agent you get will decide to be. It's just not worth the chance of losing your cruise and your money.

Cheers, Neil

Cruise Fanatic 11-09-2007 01:48 PM

To clarify; if your divorce papers state you have shared custody then you need a notorized letter from the father. If you have sole legal custody you don't need the letter from the father, but take the divorce papers with you to prove it.

Island Breeze 11-09-2007 05:49 PM

Correct. If you have full custody no signature is needed from the other parent.

TrvlPro 11-09-2007 06:20 PM

Wow, thanks for the previous two posts. I have been misinformed and misinforming my clients as well. I just looked it up on the US State Dept's website (not that I didn't believe the posters, both very knowlegable folks I trust) so I have the resource at my fingertips for future reference. I'll post the info found below. Thanks Cruise Fanatic and Island Breeze!

5. Present Parental Application Permission Documentation
(for minors under age 14)

1. Both parents must appear together and sign or

2. One parent appears, signs, and submits second parent's notarized statement of consent authorizing passport issuance for the child (a notarized Form DS-3053, Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 14 , or a notarized written statement with the same information on a sheet of paper from the non-appearing parent) or

3. One parents appears, signs, and submits primary evidence of sole authority to apply (such as one of the following):

Child's certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate (with translation, if necessary) listing only applying parent; or
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only applying parent; or
Court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless child's travel is restricted by that order); or
Adoption decree (if applying parents is sole adopting parent); or
Court order specifically permitting applying parent's or guardian's travel with the child; or
Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent; or
Death certificate of non-applying parent.
If none of the above documentation is available, the applying parent/guardian should submit a Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor Under Age 14 .


A third-party in loco parentis applying on behalf of a minor under the age of 14 must submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing a third-party to apply for a passport. When the statement or affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.

Ohiocruiser 11-11-2007 08:02 PM

Thanks for all our help

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