Required Documents For Travel With Minors

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

Tags : Health, Insurance & Safety, Multigen, Permission Forms, Step & Single Parents, Tips & Documents
You'll need more than a passport when crossing borders with minors.

Solo Parents, Grandparents and Guardians can satisfy legal requirements before crossing international borders with minor children by using these Permission to Travel And Children's Consent forms.

The Family Travel Forum community has learned the hard way that you need this paperwork: in the special FTF report “Permission To Travel Letters And Why You Need Them,” we interview consular officers, immigration agents and tourism officials to explain why.

•  Permission to Travel or Consent to Travel Letter

Whether you’re married and leaving a spouse behind to work; grandparents taking grandchildren on vacation; same sex couples with adopted children; a divorced parent on a road trip to Canada -– even a military family trying to reunite for a holiday -- you should be carrying notarized copies of the proper Children's Consent Forms or Permission to Travel documentation. This is the form to use if you're friends and family traveling with a minor child.

•  Minor Consent to Travel Form

The same regulations apply to minors under 18 who are leaving the United States with school groups, teen tours, or friends on a vacation. If the supervisors of your child's tour have not provided their own, you can use the email request form below to obtain a sample one. This is the form used for school / tour groups who are supervising travel with your minor child.

•  Medical Treatment Authorization Letter

Additionally, FTF recommends that travelers vacationing with children other than their own carry a Medical Treatment Authorization Letter assigning them responsibility for a child’s care in case of medical emergency. This optional affidavit does not have to be notarized but we strongly recommend you also carry a copy of the minor child's health insurance information..

Obtain the Necessary Forms Now

A sample of each of these forms may be requested via the email form below.

Get Blank Consent Forms & Required Documents Now

Crossing borders with children is serious business, and Permission to Travel, Medical Treatment Authorization and Consent for Minor Travel Letters could save your next vacation.  To obtain them, please complete the following request, then check your email inbox and/or spam filter. After you confirm your email address, you will be sent instructions to download the three forms that you can fill out and use.  Remember that Permission to Travel and Consent Forms for Minor Travel should be signed and notarized. Keep blank copies to use on future trips.

To keep you up-to-date with ever-changing travel safety and security regulations, you will be subscribed to the FTF travel alerts e-mail list  You may unsubscribe at any time. We do not sell, barter or trade your personal information. Read Family Travel Forum's Privacy Policy if you have concerns.

And most importantly, safe there and safe home!


Request Sample Travel Consent Letters

Already an FTF member or e-news subscriber? Download forms here.


* Your Email Address:

* Preferred Format:

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* First Name:

* Last Name:

* Postal Code:



Don't Forget! A Few More Tips!

Be sure your child carries two copies of every notarized document (even a photocopy may work) in case an immigration or border official decides they need to keep one for their files.

•  Additional Travel Documentation and ID

Regardless of where you travel outside the United States, when you are crossing a border by land, sea or air you will need to have proper identification documents for each traveler in addition to the above letters.  Please see the Customs & Border Protection Site if you are unsure about the type of ID documents you and your family need.

If you have any questions or would like to read more about why these papers are requirements and how rules are enforced, read “Permission To Travel Letters And Why You Need Them."

If you're still unsure, feel free to get in touch with our office and we'll do our best to help out. Thanks for your attention to this critical matter!


Submitted by santa on

Those traveling with minors must take extra steps to ensure that they are not detained, delayed or even refused boarding.A passport is the best form of ID, but any government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, will suffice. Thanks for sharing.

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I'll travel with my friend to  USA, do I need notaraized permisson leter from my father.

Submitted by lenovo on

I really enjoyed this article. It is always nice when you read some thing that is not only informative but entertaining. Excellent and want to read such more posts in near future. Thanks.

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Submitted by hema on

Car must be in Pittsburgh by December 1st. Non-smoker, please and no more than 2 passengers. Car will be packed with some of our household items.

Submitted by jessyjen on

I really enjoyed this article. It is always nice when you read some thing that is not only informative but entertaining. Excellent and want to read such more posts in near future. Thanks.

FTFstaff's picture
Submitted by FTFstaff on

Good morning,

I wanted to give you some feedback….  We went to your site to determine what documentation was needed for my grandson to travel with me to Canada, and printed out two forms.  We had one of the forms notarized as suggested, and set out on our trip the next day.  When we arrived at the border, I was told we did not have proper identification!  The page we had been working from on your site did not say anything about a birth certificate or photo ID, which they said I should have had.  PLEASE amend that page to say something like…  “In addition to a birth certificate and photo ID, these other documents are recommended…” 

Thank you so much for your responsiveness.  You may mention this on other pages on your site, but it really should also be on the documentation page.

Janet Gill

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Does Australia require a PERMISSION TO TRAVEL letter?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Very informative and nice post. This post will be good guide for people who trvavel frequently and do not care about the leagal issues. This post will really help them to understand the involoved leagal issues and other things related to traveling in forrign countries.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

this is really good to know, as Im really affected by this "Solo Parents, Grandparents and Guardians can satisfy legal requirements before crossing international borders with these Permission to Travel And Consent forms.

regards by
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

What should the letter of consent say if I, a single parent, am taking my daughter to Germany, but then crossing other borders into bordering countries on our vacation? I may not know specifically what other countries we will be visiting until we get into Europe (we are staying with friends in Germany and they will be taking us around Europe for a bit).

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

It's best to be as specific as possible, because these letters include the dates and destinations for your trip.  We would suggest that you note the full date range (from... to ..... and make it a bit longer just in case), then you put down as many countries as you think are possible. List Germany and all the contiguous countries and add a few more, better more than not mentioning one you will visit.

Also, you should carry 2 notarized copies of the Permission to Travel Letter (put one with your passport to show at Immigration and flight check-in; keep the 2nd one in the child's luggage in case you lose one or an Immigration official wants to keep it).  Enjoy your trip!

Thanks for being part of our Family Travel Forum community!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Taking children with you when you travel all over the word can be a hassle. I have had to do it myself on occasion. When my family and I were looking into moving ( over seas for work, it became even more difficult getting the documentation together. Though once you have al of the paperwork squared away you can save it again for another time.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

My childrens mother gave my 8 and 9 year old daughters to me to raise 2 years ago.  She hasn't seen them in 2 years.  She wants a 2 week visit with them in another state.  I need a form to have her sign to make sure she returns the children to me by a certain date. 

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

if I were you...I would be making the "Mom" come to her children for a visit NOT the other way around. The kids should not be put out by her especially if they havent seen her in 2yrs.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I certainly enjoyed the way you explore your experience and knowledge of the subject! Keep up on it. Thanks for sharing the info -- The World Current Affairs

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Information about the documents required for the children for traveling abroad is great! You have provided the required form is appreciated and made more convinient.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Again, politic caused a mess. I do not know what is wrong with politic, but I think it just make everything hard. I never found that politic bring good things to society.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Long time ago all was whiteout documents -- Now document are used to protect the Gold acumalted and to Deny acces to foreigns to see that ...

admin's picture
Submitted by admin on

Sorry for any inconvenience, but the migration of our site to new servers has made the Permission Letter forms temporarily unavailable to users. Should be resolved by 8 March 2011. Please contact us by email if you need a copy before that date. Thank you for your understanding.

Thanks for being part of our Family Travel Forum community!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

I need to get a International Travel Consent form.  I'm sorry but I can not wait until March 8th.  My exwife is taking our son on a Carribean Cruise.   Should I also get her an Authorization for Medical Consent form?  I want the two of them to be covered no matter what may happen.   Thank you for your help!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Don't go to your sister's wedding. Don't worry about any one else other than your child. Your ex-husband is waiting for an opportunity to prover you more concern over others than your child. The wedding is an example.I'm sure your sister will understand your situation. Your main concern is your child and getting full custody of him/her. As a signal parent, your life, world, actions are based on your childs well fair. Not your happiness or anything that has to do with you.

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on

I've made two requests for permission travel letters and have not received an email. I have a that a problem?

Submitted by anonymous (not verified) on

I was able to get the docs, cancel the request. If all else fails, read the directions, right? Thanks

Submitted by Chua on

That sounds too strict for travel lovers.

Submitted by Sue on

Parents are splitting with kids right and left, something needs to be done. Children without passports are fairly protected but once the passport is issued there doesn't seem to be a procedure in place for revoking that passport until such time it must be renewed and even then I'm not sure it can be revoked. In some ways this policy is good and the right thing to do, but, it could also be a way for a controlling ex to make somebody's life miserable. As clogged as the courts are these days it can take months to get a hearing for a judge to order than the child can leave the the moral is, if the ex is going to be a butt about it you better start planning about a year ahead of time and make sure whatever order you get has the required information contained in it or the airline/shipping line etc. may just refuse to honor it. Kids need to be protected, especially from middle eastern fathers/mothers that take the kids to non-hague countries. It's a very nasty situation and it's heartening to see this done but it can be a dual edged sword and may cause a lot of problems no one thought about.

Submitted by Eura (not verified) on

I am having a problem getting a passport for my infant. We are currently in court - I only have temporary custody so far and his father refuses to sign the application for my son to get a passport. His father is from the middle east and had threatened to take the baby. I want to go to my sister's wedding in August in Trinidad and I don't know what to do. My lawyer is unsure if he will be able to succeed in getting a court order demanding that the father signs the document. Does anyone have any information regarding my problem. Thanks.

Submitted by david dyer (not verified) on

looking for single parent or one-parent authorization form letter

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi David,
This same document "Permission to Travel Letter" is good whether a minor under 18 years is traveling with one birth parent or none. Just adjust the information you provide in it.

thanks, let us know if you have problems!

Submitted by Derek Slater (not verified) on

I do not have legal custody of my soon to be step-daughters and their mother needs me to take them with me to Alaska (I am staioned up there) before she can head up there herself. she has to stay behind for another week to finish selling the house. What legal documentation am I going to need for them to fly with me to Alaska?

Submitted by SameProb (not verified) on

Same problem -- if you go thru the hassle of requesting these via the email link, you get sent to a page that isn't working. Don't bother trying to get them!!!

Submitted by Kyle, FTF Editor (not verified) on

Hi Derek,
Although there are regulations about transporting minors between some U.S. states (and they vary), our members have never reported a problem with this. It's mainly an issue transporting minors over national borders.

In any case, we subscribe to the "Better safe than sorry" school of travel. Therefore, why not ask the girls' mother to fill out the Permission to Travel letter with her contact info, and give you a copy of the girls' birth certificates to verify the Mom's identity, so that you have some paperwork with you.

While traveling, it sounds like you may be able to reach her by phone in case there's any trouble at the airport, but we don't anticipate there would be.

Let us know if you have any other questions and safe move -

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

SameProb -
we hear some users have been having trouble getting these documents via email. It's really hard to troubleshoot this, so if you don't get the documents, can you please email us at ftf[at] and we'll make sure to send you the links. Posting your complaints here won't help at all! thanks, and sorry for the hassle-

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Here is all the letter needs to say:
I (parent's name), authorize my child/children, (child/children’s name) to travel to (destination) on (date of travel) aboard Airline/Flight # (flight information) with (accompanying adults), returning on (date of return).

Signed by parent or parents

Notary Public Signature/Seal

Submitted by Angela on

I am currently traveling with our youth group in New York and would like to cross the board to Canada. DO i need their parents promission to cross into Canada?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Angela, you can read more about the requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative at this link:

According to the WHTI website, you are required to obtain parents' permission, and we quote from them:

Groups of Children:
Beginning June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizen children under age 19 arriving by land or sea from contiguous territory and traveling with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team, 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.

The group should be prepared to present a letter on organizational letterhead with the following information:

* The name of the group and supervising adult,
* A list of the children on the trip, and the primary address, phone number, date of birth, place of birth, and name of at least one parent or legal guardian for each child,
* A written and signed statement of the supervising adult certifying that he or she has obtained parental or legal guardian consent for each participating child.

Submitted by Crystal on

this works fast and efficent thank you so much and im not bluffing this is a really efficient site and it works

thank you for having this

i didnt even know that you needed one of these until a friend told me you did and i didnt think i would find it anywhere but when i googled it it came up and all you have to do is give them your name email and zip code and then you have this sheet in your email inbox

Submitted by Sue Morse (not verified) on

please email me a travel permission letter and also a medical permission letter.
Thank you

JillianRyan's picture

Sue Morse: Please see the form at the end of the article. Fill it out with the proper informatin and the forms will be sent to you. Thanks!

Submitted by Al (not verified) on

What kind of form need kid to have to travel with no parents. Parents will met him(her) at distanation aeroport.


Submitted by Joan Poole (not verified) on

Need a form traveling with my daughters and my dog to Canada