Permission to Travel and Child Consent Form Letters

Solo Parents, Grandparents and Guardians can satisfy legal requirements before crossing international borders with minor children by using these Permission to Travel Letter 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.

Learn more:

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.

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. Please note that new Canada regulations request adults entering the country with minors carry a photocopy of the signature page of the passport belonging to the guardian whose signature is on the permission letter.

Note that South Africa, which used to require much more stringent paperwork for foreign minors arriving by air, sea or land, has waived all document requirements except a valid passport. See a full list of Requirements for Children Travelling Through South African Ports of Entry.

Family at airport security
Be sure to have the proper documents for travel with minors.

Before you head out on a family vacation, protect your loved ones with much-needed travel insurance. Kids traveling with parents or grandparents are also insured free through Allianz when traveling on a family vacation.

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. Your reply email includes instructions to download three forms that you can fill out and use. Remember that Permission to Travel Letters 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!

Please fill in this form to request Travel Documents by email, and check your spam filter if you do not receive them within a few minutes. Safe Travels!

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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.

•  Additional Useful Papers

A March 2019 report by Scott McCartney in the Wall St. Journal noted some other documents which might prove essential, depending on the destination. These include an original, raised stamp birth certificate for each minor in your party, extra passport photos on white backgrounds, plus about US$50 in small bills so that you can purchase entry visas on the spot. Be sure to assign a neighbor or relative back home the responsibility of retrieving some of these documents and sending them, if you need them after departure.

•  Travel Insurance Really Works!

If you’re prepaying a big vacation with flights, hotels, cruises or any other non-refundable fee — or just worried about a “what if” moment when traveling with someone else’s child — getting a family travel insurance policy is a good investment, and costs less than you think.

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!

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.

203 Replies to “Required Documents For Travel With Minors”

  • Dan Ritter

    Do you know if the Philippines are offering any kind of residency or tourist visas right now with covid-19 going on? I’d like to take my family there, thanks.

  • Kris

    Hi, nice blog. Very informative and helpful. Please take a few minutes to share your unaccompanied minor flight experience. Several popular airlines are listed on which will help real people like you to be better informed. This is the only site that offers actual unaccompanied user travel feedback as well as all of the information you might need. This site is new so we are also anxious to hear from you if you yourself have in the past used the Unaccompanied Minor service. Thanks!

  • Lady

    If a court order states that one parent can travel abroad with the child without the consent of the other parent, what documentation is required? We recommend carrying a copy of the court order stating that the other parent’s consent is not needed to travel abroad with the child. Any questions about the wording of the court order should be directed to a family lawyer.

  • Worries

    Is a consent letter mandatory? There is no Canadian legal requirement for children to carry a consent letter. However, a consent letter may be requested by immigration authorities when entering or leaving a foreign country, airline agents or Canadian officials when re-entering Canada. Failure to produce a letter upon request may result in delays or refusal to enter or exit a country.

  • Andrew Owens

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  • DenizatmCom

    Note that Global Affairs Canada cannot provide you with advice about the Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad beyond what is offered on this website.

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  • Ismael Nash

    Hey, This article posted at this website is really good.

  • rann utsav

    great useful info you have shared , being a traveler i need it most and it’s really helpful for the first time travelers. thanks for sharing.

  • Trang Tran

    Traveling with kids is fun but also very tired as we have to take care of them and don’t have much time for ourselves. Sometime I prefer traveling alone.

  • Amarnath Yatra

    Thanks for posting, very valuable information .

  • Stacy


    I would like to travel out of the US with my son. I understand that I would need his father to sign and notarize a letter. He had not been a stand up dad to take care of his responsibilities so he left and I can’t find him. What can I do in a situation like that to travel with my son?

  • darjeeling honeymoon package

    Very Useful especially who travel with there kids

  • Cheapest Tour Packages for Kashmir

    Good information thanks for posting

  • todobigo

    For Richard re: dual citizenship US-Nicaragua… can I use the same to travel back to Nicaragua with the same Power of Attorney (Specific to Minors) since wife is staying back in Nicaragua to keep eyes on the house.

    Hi Richard, In our travel experience, this type of document should work well for your travels, but if your wife is available, it can’t hurt to download the sample forms we have online and also have her fill out and notarize one for your trip with your child. The agency responsible in your case will be the carrier — we assume an airline — and if they can make a note in your travel record that they have approved the Nicaraguan documents you should be fine on both departing and entering.
    Safe Travels!

  • Priyanka

    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.

  • Naveen

    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.

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  • Richard

    Hello guys my wife and I have dual citizenship US-Nicaragua, I’m planning to travel to the US with our son also dual citizenship for 3 weeks, with a Power of Attorney (Specific to Minors) from Nicaragua, can I use the same to travel back to Nicaragua with the same Power of Attorney (Specific to Minors) since wife is staying back in Nicaragua to keep eyes on the house.

  • Kashmir Tour

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  • todobigo

    Hello Dr Ramesh,
    If both legal guardians or birth parents of the child are traveling with the child, you will not need any other documentation, except everyone’s visas and passports. Check with your employer about medical insurance. If they will not provide medical coverage overseas, you can inquire with your U.S. based insurance company about what they provide. Some travel insurance companies sell one-year policies to cover students studying overseas and that might be another option. Safe Travels!

  • Dr Ramesh

    Sir, we both are going Europe with work visa on base of permit. Taking our 3year old child with us. Any letter or medical form/ paper we need to carry with us?

  • MFT Admin

    Hello Annetta,
    Yes, one Permission to Travel or Consent Letter can list more than one child on it, if the contact information for the legal guardians/birth parents is the same.
    Safe travels!

  • Annetta greaves

    Can I use one concept form to apply for two sibling from the same father

  • Travel Forum are always helpful

  • todobigo

    Hello Clary, we are not attorneys but we do not see a need to have a power of attorney over your cousin for your trip. A permission to travel letter from the guardians, as well as a medical authorization letter — in case your cousin needs medical treatment — should be fine for your trip. This letter should come from the guardians, not you, so they should do it now rather than wait till your arrival to finish the paperwork. When they fill it out does not matter, since the letter will have the travel dates that your cousin will be with you. Have a safe trip and enjoy!

  • Clary


    I’m traveling with my cousin who is a minor to South Korea in July 2018 its less than 20 days away along with the travel to consent letter should I get a temporary power of attorney. Also should I set a specific time frame to do these things or can I do it the day before we leave. I ask because I have to travel to where she lives and we are flying out of her city two days after I get there.

  • kuyamo2004

    My wife and I (US citizens) want to to take my 16 year old niece (who is a FIlipino citizen) to Korea for a graduation gift.  We plan to pick her up in Philippines and fly together to Korea.  We have all parental permissions and have proof of ability to support her trip.  Is it possible for my niece to obtain the visa?  A travel agent in the Philippines is telling us no.

    • todobigo

      What a wonderful graduation present! We cannot speak on behalf of the government of Korea, as they determine their visa policy for citizens of all countries who want to visit. What we suggest is that you contact the Korea Embassy in the US – 202-939-5600 – as you are U.S.citizens, and ask them for their advice.

      Regardless of the visas, it is important that when you travel with your minor niece you have the Permission Letters, so that is a great first step.

      Have a safe trip, please let us know if we can be of  help.

  • admin

    My 16 yr old is planning to go to Costa Rica with an 18yr old and a 19 yr old.  What papers do I need to fill out and have him bring?

    Submitted by D.A. to moderator

  • admin

    Traveler Carla K asks:

    My eleven year old son will be traveling with his grandmother to Vietnam and Cambodia. They will have a plane change in Korea (which will be a port of entry, so I assume they will go through immigration and customs here as well). 

    This is my question: Do I need to sign and notarize three separate forms (one per country)?

    Our answer:

    We are not attorneys but we recommend that you have several copies of the same form, and that the form include the travel information about the whole itinerary. In terms of changing planes, there may not be a need to go through Immigration in Korea. However, if you have an original form that mentions all the flights/countries within a broad range of travel dates, and have photocopies that grandparents can leave behind if requested by an Immigration official, they should be fine.

    We wish your son and his grandmother a safe and fun trip — it certainly sounds like a fascinating journey to us.Thank you and please get in touch with other questions.

  • admin

    The CPB has some useful advice on this topic on their web page:

  • admin

    Hi Debbie,

    You will want he Medical Authorization Form from each child's parents with a photocopy of their insurance card.

    Then you can use the last form which is for group tours, school outings etc. It is fine for domestic travel, Include travel info for each child so that parents assign you guardianship for certain period of time only.

    Get these forms notarized. Make several photocopies in case an adventure tour operator wants to keep one. Or, if you all travel on same flights, get one long form, like a petition, and be sure both of each child's parents or guardians sign it.

    You should be fine with it. Does the hotel know? Many states say it is illegal for a minor to occupy a room without an adult present. You may need connecting rooms guaranteed.

    Enjoy the trip and write about what you did!

  • admin

    JaguarZ writes to the Admin with a very good question:

    I will be traveling to Hawaii, originating on the eastcoast, with 4 minors (only 1 is my child) – they will all be 17 at the time of travel.  I need to be able to "act as their guardian" — for example, sign waiver forms for activities, seek medical coverage if necessary.
    I found a form or two on the site, but they seem geared toward international travel and do not seem to include the ability to "sign the waiver forms" I mention above.  Any suggestions?  I realize I may be able to get some of these forms signed before we leave, BUT for those activities they decide on when we are there — H E L P!
    Thank you so much for your anticipated support

  • FTFstaff

    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

  • Anonymous

    Does Australia require a PERMISSION TO TRAVEL letter?

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    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

      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!

    • Anonymous

      Great travel guide and form description for new travelers.. helps a ton..

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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. 

    • Anonymous

      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.

  • Anonymous

    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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    I was looking for a simple medical authorization and found so much more.   Excellent resourse.  Thanks!