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.

 

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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!

Comments

JillianRyan's picture

Diane:

Please go to the last page of this story and fill out a request form. Then the documents will be e-mailed to you.

Jillian

Submitted by Javier dantunano (not verified) on

Hello there i am looking for a letter sample of the one paren tarvel with child,the one Canadian Embassy requiring to extend temporary resident visa. Thanks for your kindly help.

Submitted by Loris Dametto (not verified) on

Can you please send me a standard document for a minor travelling with one parent.

Thanks

Submitted by Mary Angela Haw ARNP (not verified) on

My granddaughter a minor,is travelling out of the country with me for two weeks, and I need a permission form for her parents to sign, in case of emergency, so that I can make medical decisions for her. Thank you.

Submitted by Scott Brooks (not verified) on

please send me the Permission to Travel letter for International Travel with one parent form.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi to parents and grandparents traveling with minors, in need of this Permission Letter.

You can get a free sample of this blank form by filling out the email request at the end of this story. We ask everyone to sign up this way so that we can send you email updates as these regulations change, which is often!

Please read the story through to the end so that you understand the issue in full. Thanks for your interest in family travel!

FTF Editors

Submitted by Sonja Bellavita... (not verified) on

I need sinple form traveling with my step daughter, her mother is deceased. Her Father will not be traveling with us to the Bahamas

Submitted by maria on

read the instructions first

Submitted by hilola (not verified) on

please email me. Need a sample Permission to Travel letter for International Travel with one parent.

Submitted by Paul Edwards (not verified) on

I would like to obtain a sample form or letter to authorize my mother in-law (my daughters grand mother) to travel to orlando florida where they will be meeting up with the other parent & then in a few days travel on a domestic flight to miami

Submitted by Barbara Peterson (not verified) on

THanks for this resource!

Submitted by Eva Buenavista (not verified) on

Please send me Permission to Travel Form

JillianRyan's picture

Eva, the document is available on page 4 of this story. Thanks!

Submitted by Caliber (not verified) on

The mother of my daughter left her with out my consent to D.r and left her there with her mother returning to the United State abondoning my child for 5 years and just to go visit her every year a 1 year old little girl ..Wjat u think is dat

Submitted by Pattii McMath (not verified) on

Looking for what ever we need for my Fiance to bring his daughter from Jamaica to Canada. He is a single parent and has primary custody, but I'm sure travelling internationally, that he will need a letter from her birth mother.
Thanks
Pattii

Submitted by Jim Russell (not verified) on

Would appreciate a copy of the sample formpermission letter for minor traveling with other than parent situation.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Parents and guardians with questions about transporting minors between countries other than the U.S. should ask the Visa Division of each country's Embassy for exact regulations. Canada, for example, can be very strict about granting children visas and may require a health exam.

The paperwork for vacations and short stay visits can be found at this link:
http://www.familytravelforum.com/how/advice/10545-Required-Documents-For...

Submitted by Kim Legge (not verified) on

Please send me a copy of letter of concent so that I may use it to travel with my children Thank you

Submitted by Neomi Smithers (not verified) on

I'm goin to travel to another state to see my family, and my cousin wants me to take her 6month baby boy so the family can meet him. What kind of form would I need in order for me to travel with my cousin's baby?
Please e-mail me and I woild appreciate your help.

Submitted by Marlene Hodges (not verified) on

I would like to know if a permission letter from my son and Daughter inlaw and my grand Daughters birth certificate is enough to take my 10 yr old grand daughter
on a day trip in to the U.S.A

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

We get many questions from parents about their kids traveling within the US, over state lines, with guardians other than their parents.

It is illegal to cross U.S. state lines with a minor without custodial parents' consent, and the age of "minors" varies across the states. However, the families within this travel community have never complained about having a problem when inviting friends of their children along on a trip, for example, so we have little experience with this issue.

Therefore, this article is for travel outside the United States, where there are clear international laws in place to prevent international child abduction.

Within the US, temporary guardians should use the same permission to travel letter as well as medical treatment authorization letter noted at the end of the article, when possible.

Keep in mind that these laws are in place to allow authorities to investigate a traveling party if they notice suspicious activity (such as children who resist going with adults). Of course, the majority of travelers will never be stopped and questioned. For most of you, if the birth parents are easily available by phone, then making a daytrip should not be a problem.

im goin to travel to another country( bolivia) with my daughter. what kind of form . would i need in order travel with my daughter. please email . thank you!!!!!!!

Submitted by Tiffany (not verified) on

My husband, son and I are traveling to Aruba next week for vacation. We are flying there together, but my husband is only staying one week of our two week trip. Am I going to have a problem if my husband has already left and I am trying to return home with my son by myself?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hello Tiffany,

These rules are in place to help Immigration and Customs Border officers deal with issues of potential kidnapping. In our experience, unless your son is resisting you, it seems unlikely that you both would be stopped on your return flight. But -- if you can get a letter (even an un-notarized one, with a copy of your husband's flite itinerary), we would recommend it. Better safe than sorry on a vacation!
Safe trip-

Submitted by kristi on

My sister is travelling from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Florida with her 2 children. She was told that she needs a letter of permission from their father, but that it DOES NOT need to be notarized at all...is this right?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

For all Canadian parents who ask us this question:

According to the Canadian government website for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada: "It is strongly recommended that children travelling alone or with one parent carry a consent letter for every trip abroad. It is advisable to have the consent letter certified, stamped, or sealed by an official with the authority to administer an oath or solemn declaration so that the validity of the letter will not be questioned. "

Having the letter notarized is recommended by the US Dept of State, but in the US a notary may only charge a fee of US$2 per signature for this service and licensed Notaries are widely available. We understand that this is a major hassle and expense for our Canadian site visitors, therefore we recommend that you consult with the nearest Canadian Embassy or consulate for suggestions on other acceptable forms of validation.

Good luck and please post any solutions you discover. thanks!

Submitted by anna on

If you would like to see the forms all you need to do is fill out the request for sample letters. They will confirm your email address and than email you the links. However it is also important to note that there is no formal version of this letter. What is important is that you have a letter that lists the non-traveling parents names giving consent to whichever adult with be with the child. It should list where they are going, the dates that they are allowed to go and grant your permission for that trip. You want to include your address and phone number and probably the contact info for the adult traveling as well. The non-traveling parents need to sign it before a notary and have it stamped. You should also have a form that grants the adult traveling with the child permission to make medical decisions on behalf of that child in case of emergency and it is advisable that you include any medical insurance that you have and the relationship of the adult traveling to the child (e.g. parent, grandparent, aunt...). Those two letters can be combined if you are drafting it yourself.

I am traveling with my niece out of the country and have talked to the airlines. They strongly recommend that you have the letter and that it is notarized to insure that it is not forged. Most, if not all, banks have a notary public on hand. While it is undoubtedly a hassle it is far less of one than being denied entry to a foreign country.

Submitted by Christine (not verified) on

I am a single parent who has traveled with my children to numerous countries. The only country that I had an issue with is Chile. I had to have my ex-husband sign a document that he was aware and agreed to allow me to bring my children to Chile. It was handled by the consulate in the U.S. and a notation was made in their passports and stamped by the local consular officer. I had also heard from a Chilean friend that he had brought another friend and her child to the airport and they were questioned by Chilean immigration officials as they were passing through immigration to depart Chile. I have not had this issue with other countries that I have visited with my children. The information is available on what is required in order to prevent child abduction by parents on travel.state.gov on the consular information sheets. We have traveled without incident in the EU, Switzerland, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Peru and Egypt. The main issue is just visas which in a lot of countries are required of all U.S. citizens.

Submitted by Donna on

My husband and I along with my 17yr old son are going to the Dominican Republic in March, my husband is Not the father of my son, because of my son's age, do I still need the consent letter?

Submitted by Sherry Williams (not verified) on

Need travel consent form for minor child

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi Sherry,
Please go the last page of this article and you can fill out a simple form so that our system can send you an email with the requested forms.

Thanks, FTF staff

Submitted by Jose Mendosa (not verified) on

Hi. My wife is planning on a trip to her native country with our 2 kids (ages 9 & 6). I won't be accompanying them. Can she travel with 2 minors with my consent? Or, is there a limit as to how many minors can an adult person can travel with (1 adult and 1 child only)? Please advise. Thanks.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi Jose,

No there is no limit on the number of minors that their legal guardian can travel with. Just be sure that you have all the minors' names and passport numbers noted on the Travel Permission Letter. Have a good trip!

Submitted by valentine (not verified) on

My husband and I are leaving together to France with our 2 kids, but he is coming back on his own and I stay another 3 weeks with the kids. Does he still need to sign a letter for me?

Submitted by Tiffany Keiller (not verified) on

Do you need a letter if your child is travelling with a friend within Canada by air?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Tiffany-
In the U.S., each state has its own laws about "transporting minors" over state lines, so it's recommended that the parent in charge (say, of a sports team), have written permission from all guardians, as well as a medical permission letter in the event the minor child needs medical treatment.

I would assume the same applies in Canada, but you could check with the airline your child is flying on.

Submitted by Mary Mullane (not verified) on

Looking for a Parental Form to take my daughter to US without husband/dad

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Mary,
you can find the form you need at the end of this story. Please fill out the form and it will be emailed to you.

Submitted by Mariya (not verified) on

Both my daughter and I are U.S. citizens but my husband is here on Green Card. M daughter and I are traveling to ukraine this summer without my husband. DO I need these forms from him allowing me to take her accross the border?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi Mariya,
This paperwork is not an American requirement; many governments expect to see a Permission to Travel Letter or proper custodial documents from any visitor entering or leaving their country with a minor under 18. You should do it.

Submitted by leonor (not verified) on

im a little confused on what the letter should say and its such a head ache because ex are so non helpful please advice me on what should the letter say!

Submitted by Emma Kavanaugh (not verified) on

Require sample letter to grant grandmother authorization to travel from Canada to the US with minor grand som.

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