Required Documents For Travel With Minors

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

Tags : Health, Insurance & Safety, Permission Forms, Step & Single Parents, Tips & Documents
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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 parents planning family getaways must obtain travel consent letters and other documents that minor children need on foreign trips.  In the special FTF report “Permission To Travel Letters And Why You Need Them,” we interview consular officers, immigration agents and tourism officials to understand current border entry and exit procedures, permission to travel letters, and other paperwork required if minors under 18 years of age leave the United States without both birth parents or legal guardians.

•  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 Consent to Travel, Children's Consent Forms or Permission to Travel documentation (this is the form used by friends and family traveling with a minor).

•  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 Minor Consent to Travel Letter (this is the form used for school / tour groups traveling with a minor).

•  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 affidavit for children may convince a hospital to admit an injured child.

A sample of each of these forms may be requested via the email form below. We suggest 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. Better safe than sorry!

•  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 Department of Homeland Security 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 these requirements and how they are enforced, read “Permission To Travel Letters And Why You Need Them."

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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Any questions? Please read “Permission To Travel Letters And Why You Need Them" before calling our office; we're busy helping other families plan their next vacation. Thanks for your understanding!

 

Comments

we organize tours in jordan , car with driver , minivan with driver , copititor rates. your contacts welcome

Submitted by Japan with children (not verified) on

I'm having trouble requesting the permission forms through this site.There is a message for a list request? Anyone know where else we can get these forms?
Thanx

Submitted by Ryan on

Information on the documents required to travel as a single parent with children can be found at http://www.thailand4kids.com/pages/freestuff.html

The download explains the requirement and gives advice on obtaining permission to travel and things for the non travelling parent to consider when giving permission.

I`ll travel with my douther to USA, do I need notaraized permisson leter from my husband .

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

It's best to have a notarized consent letter for travel with your daughter to any country; what country are you coming from?

Submitted by JACKIE TERECK (not verified) on

I will be travelling with my nephew to the US by car in July he is 15yrs. what document form to I need

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

jackie - depends on if you're coming from Canada or Mexico. Nephew will definitely need written permission letter from birth parents to travel with you to U.S. Check with your home country whether he can come to U.s. with birth certificate or if he needs passport. Safe trip -

Submitted by sreekumar (not verified) on

fantastic informations

Submitted by norm (not verified) on

4 yr old grandson traveling with grandma from st thomas, virgin islands what will i need?

Submitted by Marsu (not verified) on

I am traveling to VietNam to visit my family with my stepson. I am not US citizen but I have a green card. My stepson is US citizen. what documents should I complete? My stepson passport and the notarized authorization from my husband and his exwife, is that enough?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Thanks for your questions. Unless both birth parents or legal guardians of a child under 18 are flying into or out of the United States and most other countries with that child, the accompanying adult should have written permission from the parents/guardians of the traveling child.

It can be a simple permission letter stating where, dates of travel, who will be temporary guardian and how to reach fulltime guardian. Many countries want this letter notarized so that the signatures have been verified.

Having another letter saying that full time guardians give permission to temporary guardian to authorize medical care in case of emergency is a good thing to have to. This does not have to be notarized but it sometimes helps to have a copy of the child's medical insuurance.

Safe trip, safe home

Submitted by Vanessa (not verified) on

Hello, my USA citizen minor child is traveling to Ecuador with me and my mother. I have a general (no dates) consent notarized paper signed by his father which states “hereby authorize my minor child ………travel freely without restrain, in my absence, and without any additional written consent or authorization required from me” Is this enough to take him out the country? He has child support and we shared custody. My second question is: My son is coming back from Ecuador to the USA with my mother (I will fly back a week before) does she need a consent document from me and him to bring him back? Can it be just from me and use the same consent notarized paper I used to take him out? Thank you for your advice and help.

Submitted by Vanessa (not verified) on

Hello, my USA citizen minor child is traveling to Ecuador with me and my mother. I have a general (no dates) consent notarized paper signed by his father which states “hereby authorize my minor child ………travel freely without restrain, in my absence, and without any additional written consent or authorization required from me” Is this enough to take him out the country? He has child support and we shared custody. My second question is: My son is coming back from Ecuador to the USA with my mother (I will fly back a week before) does she need a consent document from me and him to bring back my son? Can it be just from me and use the same consent notarized paper I used to take him out? Thank you for your advice and help.

Submitted by Marsu (not verified) on

I am traveling to VietNam to visit my family with my stepson. I am not US citizen but I have a green card. My stepson is US citizen. what documents should I complete? My stepson passport and the notarized authorization from my husband and his exwife, is that enough?

Submitted by denise on

My 17 year old son is going to Canada for a basketball camp with his coach. He has an enhanced Id. What else do I need to have with them.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Vanessa and marsu,

From our experience, it sounds like you both have enough documentation already to travel with these children out of the country.

Remember, these papers are not meant to challenge you, they are meant to protect the minors and give Border and Immigration agents some legal tools if they suspect the child is being kidnapped.

However, contact the airline you are flying with and see if they will be satisfied with these papers -- it's the carrier who is responsible for checking on these documents before allowing you to leave with the minor.

This is a great resource!

I will never forget as a child I was on my Dads passport and one year something changed and we had real trouble travelling.

What caused all the confusion was my age at the time. We needed a great site like this to help us!

Submitted by alexis on

i am 16 years old and its my boyfriends 18th birthday this year and we were planning a family trip down to darian lake for the weekend. all i need is my passport and a hand written letter from both my father and mother stating his family is allowed to take me across the boarder ?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

alexis,

Are you a Canadian citizen? If so, a passport and letter of permission from parents is great to have; however, a notarized letter is better as that's what the Canadian government recommends.

Make sure to have some extra copies in case border officials want to keep a copy when you cross over both ways.

Have fun and happy birthday to your boyfriend!

Submitted by Shana (not verified) on

Hi. I'm 17 and i am trying to go to Dominican Republic in January 2011, & I am going to be going without my parents but i'm going with 3 people ages: 18,19,20. What documents would I need in order to go? and would there be any situations that i would need other documents because im not legally an adult?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Hi Shana,
Yes, in addition to your passport, you will need a notarized letter from both birth parents or guardians allowing you to travel outside the U.S., whether with friends, school group, grandparents, etc. You should also take a copy of the Medical Authorization form unless you are covered by your own health insurance policy.

We posted a "Travel Authorization for Minors Letter" on the site, so you can fill out the email form at the end of this story, and get a link by email to a PDF to download it. Have a great time, the DR is beautiful!

Submitted by Lina Dillon (not verified) on

My 16 year old daughter will be traveling with another family to
Atlantic, Bahamas. Besides her passport
what other documents will she need for traveling.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

She will need a Permission to Travel Letter as specified in this article; please read it and use the link at the end to request sample letters.

Submitted by Mavis Lesway (not verified) on

Please send link to travel permission form

Submitted by jimmy wong (not verified) on

very good side

Submitted by gloria on

I need to do a affidavit for a traveling mother of 3 children.
She is divorce from her husband.
He was deported to Nicaragua, but she doesn't know his ware abouts.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Gloria - it sounds like your friend will need some documents that verify she has sole custody of the children. Maybe the local legal aid group can help her with this. Then she will not need to have a permission letter, but she will need to carry her sole custody papers with her while traveling.

Submitted by B.L.C. (not verified) on

Hi I will traveling with my 8 year old daughter to Mexico. She has a passport. What other documents are needed to enter/exit Mexico? I have sole custody and have no contact with my former spouse.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

Sole custodians -- whether by divorce, death or another reason -- must be able to present a legal document to verify their sole guardianship of the minor who is traveling. If you have that, only passports are needed (and visas depending on the country).

Submitted by Yolanda J. Davis (not verified) on

What legal actions can you take if your child have travel out of the country without the other parent consent when both parent have joint legal custody? The other parent was not aware that a consent form has to be notorized in order for the child to travel to another country and somehow the other parent took him out of the country on several accassions.

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

You will have to check with a lawyer to determine what legal actions, if any, can be taken. As said in the story, the carrier -- airlines or cruise company, train or bus -- that transports minors without the proper paperwork is the responsible party.

Hello, I'm planning a trip with my nephew. Do I need Medical Treatment Authorization Letter? If yes, where can I get it arranged in a proper way?

todobigo's picture
Submitted by todobigo on

No, medical treatment authorization letters are optional. If you are concerned that something might happen to your nephew under 18 (like breaking a leg that might require a cast), you should ask his parents/guardians to give you a letter authorizing you to act on their behalf if he's hurt, with a copy of the medical insurance card.

Otherwise, most doctors/hospitals won't treat a child without parental consent unless it's a life threatening situation. That letter does not need to be notarized.

It is very necessary to know the formalities when you are traveling abroad with your minor children and now that we have this article which goes into all the details that you should know when you cross borders with your minor children, it will be very helpful in planning our holiday or other trips without any hassle! With even the facility to email them for the required forms you need, this is going to make things real easy for us!!

The biggest thing that I always try to remind parents is that it is not how much you do, but it is rather how much fun you had doing it. Kids like to go back to things, so if you have planned too many things, then you won't get to do it all. One of the major advantages of travelling with kids is that you pick and choose what you are going to see and do much more carefully.

Cruises make for great family vacations. One of the things I like most about cruises is that you can really give your kids a lot of freedom. You can give them more freedom on a cruise ship than you can on a land-based vacation. Where are they going to go? How far can they go? But, I think one of the other main advantages of a cruise is that it has something for everybody. It has activities for kids usually starting at about age two, up to seniors. I've seen hundred-year-old people on cruises.

Intimately, the publish is truly the top on this valuable subject. I concur with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward for your coming updates!…

great posting your article is surprisingly helpful for people that are traveling to different countries like myself and that do not have the know how to get this type of stuff figured out

I needed it badly last year when I had to visit my brother and his wife :) Thanks anyway it is definitely helpful for many of us.

Looks like you are a specialist on this because you just made it so easy to be with you, motivated me to learn more on the subject! May I ask you, do you devote a lot of effort to it because you seem to be so in tune with issue? Thanks

it is good to be informed before you start the holiday... you can have many issues with your children

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