Single parent traveling to Mexico

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Teri Bergin

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Advocate
Mar 12, 2016
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Orlando, Florida
#1
My sister passed away recently. In October, her husband, my brother and I will be taking their kids (aged 11and 10) to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. Does my brother-in-law need any proof or documentation to take the kids out of the country? (We all have passports.)
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#2
If the kids have his last name, he should be ok but I would suggest bringing a copy of his wife’s death certificate just in case he asks why she hasn’t signed a notarized statement authorizing him to take the kid himself.

Enjoy the trip- I’m sure it’s a much needed opportunity for him to bond with his kids.
 
Jun 30, 2017
494
511
93
Maui Hawaii
#3
My sister passed away recently. In October, her husband, my brother and I will be taking their kids (aged 11and 10) to Mexico for a friend’s wedding. Does my brother-in-law need any proof or documentation to take the kids out of the country? (We all have passports.)
Make sure all the passports are good for at least 6 months after your trip dates. If in doubt, renew early. Definitely carry a copy of the death certificate (sorry for the morbid advice) and even an obituary from a published source.
 

Teri Bergin

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Mar 12, 2016
9
5
3
Orlando, Florida
#4
Make sure all the passports are good for at least 6 months after your trip dates. If in doubt, renew early. Definitely carry a copy of the death certificate (sorry for the morbid advice) and even an obituary from a published source.
Luckily, the only passport in question is my brother's. It expires in January and I've convinced him (he really didn't believe me, despite my work here!), to renew before the trip. Ugh....carry both the death certificate and the obituary. That's really morbid!

Thanks for all the advice. I was a single parent for years (my daughter is grown), but I always had a notarized letter allowing me to take my daughter out of the country. This is new territory for us.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Teri Bergin I am so sorry about the loss of your sister.

I know it seems morbid to have to prove that your sister passed away but the airlines and immigration are concerned about child abduction — either from a parent (custody battle) or stranger. It is a burden and almost cruel to you, but this is what one has to do for the ‘greater good’.

Again I am sorry you even have to ask these questions.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Actually, to fly to Mexico, the passport only has to be valid at time of entry. However- the airlines often will have their own rules.

From the State Dept. website:

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Passport must be valid at time of entry

Here is the website that has the info. It also has the information for one patent traveling with a minor as well. A notarized letter from The other parent. Since this is impossible, the death certificate should suffice. I don’t think an obituary copy is needed. A certificate would override that. It’s painful enough to have to bring a copy of the certificate.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Mexico.html
 
Jun 30, 2017
494
511
93
Maui Hawaii
#7
Actually, to fly to Mexico, the passport only has to be valid at time of entry. However- the airlines often will have their own rules.

From the State Dept. website:

PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Passport must be valid at time of entry

Here is the website that has the info. It also has the information for one patent traveling with a minor as well. A notarized letter from The other parent. Since this is impossible, the death certificate should suffice. I don’t think an obituary copy is needed. A certificate would override that. It’s painful enough to have to bring a copy of the certificate.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Mexico.html
Not to be too cynical, but an average teenager these days could generate a death certificate on their computer. Download the form on the internet and fill it in, print and copy. An obit published in a newspaper is hard to fake.
https://www.pdffiller.com/jsfiller-...&expBranch=2#bff9036e77f44a09b359bda62c7ee001
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,791
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#8
Not to be too cynical, but an average teenager these days could generate a death certificate on their computer. Download the form on the internet and fill it in, print and copy. An obit published in a newspaper is hard to fake.
https://www.pdffiller.com/jsfiller-...&expBranch=2#bff9036e77f44a09b359bda62c7ee001
A cerified copy of the death certificate should suffice; that is what the banks and courts demand; include a copy of the filed letters testimony. Arrive early enough and the airline staff can verify it. And what kind of newspaper obit? An old hard copy from last October? Someone could hack the online obits just as easily.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,875
13,291
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Likes: jsn55
Jun 30, 2017
494
511
93
Maui Hawaii
#10
A certified copy has a seal in it.
"If the kids have his last name, he should be ok but I would suggest bringing a copy of his wife’s death certificate just in case he asks why she hasn’t signed a notarized statement authorizing him to take the kid himself. "
You did not specify "certified" previously.
 
Jun 30, 2017
494
511
93
Maui Hawaii
#12
The death certificates all have a stamp showing they are official.
Depending on the specific state, the stamp may be just that, a stamp, and easily downloaded or copied from a real death certificate and printed with a color printer. The ability of even casual hackers to do something like this is easily underestimated. In 50 years of medicine, I have seen a lot of death certificates from different states. Some use an embossed seal (very hard to duplicate), some do not but just a rubber stamp and a signature.
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,791
3,996
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#13
Depending on the specific state, the stamp may be just that, a stamp, and easily downloaded or copied from a real death certificate and printed with a color printer. The ability of even casual hackers to do something like this is easily underestimated. In 50 years of medicine, I have seen a lot of death certificates from different states. Some use an embossed seal (very hard to duplicate), some do not but just a rubber stamp and a signature.
Well I suspect that this is a bit of a tangent —but the airlines usually require a notarized letter from the other parent to take the children out of the country — that would be the easy to forge with a computer program and a scanner.

There are very few documents that cannot be forged (I did not say forged well).

Someone nefarious enough could pay to insert an obituary and just say private services and abscond with children.

This is all about reasonable precautions and due diligence.
 
Apr 23, 2018
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#14
I suggest the travelers themselves contact the airline and ask them to provide something in writing (email) of what they will specifically require at check-in. Not only the documents needed, but in what form to prove their authenticity. Take the printed letter/email with you. This information might already be on the airline's website in sufficient detail, but I think it's better to make a specific request, outlining the travelers' specific circumstances and relationships to the minor.
 

Teri Bergin

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Mar 12, 2016
9
5
3
Orlando, Florida
#15
I suggest the travelers themselves contact the airline and ask them to provide something in writing (email) of what they will specifically require at check-in. Not only the documents needed, but in what form to prove their authenticity. Take the printed letter/email with you. This information might already be on the airline's website in sufficient detail, but I think it's better to make a specific request, outlining the travelers' specific circumstances and relationships to the minor.
Thanks! email sent to JetBlue.
 

Teri Bergin

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Mar 12, 2016
9
5
3
Orlando, Florida
#16
Thanks everyone for all the advice. As recommended by GAT, I sent an email to JetBlue and they directed me to the US State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...ild-Abduction/prevention/prevention-tips.html

On that website, it states: Be aware the United States does not have exit controls or require two-parent consent for a minor to travel across international borders. Law enforcement may be unable to prevent an abduction without a valid court order clearly prohibiting the child’s travel outside of the United States.

With this email and the link to the website, I don't expect we will have any trouble traveling.

Thanks again for all the advice!

Also, the kind customer service folks at JetBlue upgraded us!
 
Sep 19, 2015
2,791
3,996
113
48
#17
Thanks everyone for all the advice. As recommended by GAT, I sent an email to JetBlue and they directed me to the US State Department website: https://travel.state.gov/content/tr...ild-Abduction/prevention/prevention-tips.html

On that website, it states: Be aware the United States does not have exit controls or require two-parent consent for a minor to travel across international borders. Law enforcement may be unable to prevent an abduction without a valid court order clearly prohibiting the child’s travel outside of the United States.

With this email and the link to the website, I don't expect we will have any trouble traveling.

Thanks again for all the advice!

Also, the kind customer service folks at JetBlue upgraded us!
Teri Begin the US goes not have outgoing immigration that is outsourced to the airlines. One of the issues is the country where one is going

Although Mexico technically does not require parental consent when one parent is traveling to Mexico with a child the US Embassy has had questions about notarized consent forms and reccomends:

“the Embassy recommends all minors traveling without both parents carry a notarized consent letter at all times in the event airline or Mexican immigration officials request one.”
https://mx.usembassy.gov/implementation-of-mexican-regulations-regarding-minor-travel/
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Teri Bergin

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Mar 12, 2016
9
5
3
Orlando, Florida
#18
Teri Begin the US goes not have outgoing immigration that is outsourced to the airlines. One of the issues is the country where one is going

Although Mexico technically does not require parental consent when one parent is traveling to Mexico with a child the US Embassy has had questions about notarized consent forms and reccomends:

“the Embassy recommends all minors traveling without both parents carry a notarized consent letter at all times in the event airline or Mexican immigration officials request one.”
https://mx.usembassy.gov/implementation-of-mexican-regulations-regarding-minor-travel/
Thanks for this info, but as I stated, my sister is deceased. There is no way to get a notarized consent.