Free Child Travel Consent Forms – Templates – Word, PDF

Any minor traveling alone, with one parent, or with any other adult who is not their legal guardian, like a teacher, friend, or relative, across state lines or internationally, requires a parental consent form in the United States. A minor is an individual who has not attained the legal majority age, which may vary by jurisdiction. While individuals in certain jurisdictions might be regarded as adults at 19 or 21, many consider an individual a legal adult when they turn 18.

The form is crucial as it helps travel authorities combat cases of international child abduction and trafficking. For this purpose, the authorized adult may need to present the form to airline personnel or immigration officials while traveling. This is because claiming to know the child may not suffice, and further proof may be required. The accompanying adult must verify that both parents have approved the trip. 

For minors traveling alone or with only one parent or guardian, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and air marshals play an important role in ensuring their safety and security during air travel. The TSA has specific guidelines in place for screening children, which may include additional screening measures to ensure their safety. Air marshals are also responsible for providing an additional layer of security and responding to any potential threats on board the aircraft. In the event of an emergency or security threat, air marshals are trained to take immediate action to protect the passengers, including minors, on board.

This article defines a travel consent form for a minor and the situations that warrant its use. A step-by-step guide on how to draft it and some frequently asked questions have also been addressed. Free downloadable templates have also been provided for your convenience.

A minor travel consent form, also referred to as a permission form, child travel consent form, or affidavit of consent for children traveling abroad, is a document that enables minors to travel unaccompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

It is a legal document that provides authorization from a parent or legal guardian for a minor child to travel alone or with a designated adult. The form includes important information about the minor, such as their name, date of birth, and passport or identification details, as well as information about the trip, such as the destination, mode of transportation, and dates of travel.

The form is used for the following types of travel:

  • Domestic travel: For domestic travel, the requirements may vary by state or airline, but generally, a signed and notarized consent form from the minor’s parent or legal guardian is required. Some airlines may also require additional documentation, such as a copy of the minor’s birth certificate.
  • International travel: For international travel, a minor travel consent form is typically required in addition to a valid passport and any necessary visas. The consent form may need to be notarized and/or apostilled, depending on the destination country’s requirements. The form may also include information such as the dates and locations of travel, the name and contact information of the person(s) accompanying the minor, and emergency contact information. The airline may also require additional documentation, such as proof of the minor’s relationship to the accompanying adult(s).

Free Templates

Free Child Travel Consent Form 01 for Word
Editable Child Travel Consent Form 02 for Word
Free Child Travel Consent Form 03 for Word

    Proof of parental consent is a critical factor in preventing the kidnapping of children. Relevant authorities may stop a minor from traveling alone (or without both parents) if proper documentation that proves parental consent is not provided.

    The following situations frequently require a document that shows parental consent:

    • A parent with sole custody of a child, either by divorce or death of the other parent, should have the form when their child is crossing state lines or U.S. borders. The form is also required when the parents are involved in a custody dispute over the child, and the accompanying parent has to inform the other of the trip.
    • A student going overseas or on a school trip also needs a parental consent document. It proves their parent or legal guardian has permitted them to travel with a specific teacher or chaperone. In the case of an emergency, it also authorizes the accompanying adult to make crucial decisions about the student’s safety. This can include administering medical care without requiring the parent to be present.
    • A minor traveling locally or internationally with a temporary guardian, relatives such as cousins, uncles, aunts, siblings, grandparents, or family friends must present the form to relevant authorities. 
    • For a minor traveling alone domestically or internationally on a flight, train, ship, or by road, the form may be required to prove that the child’s legal guardian is aware that the child is traveling alone and has permitted the travel.
    This infographic is about reasons for using minor travel consent form.
    This infographic is about reasons for using minor travel consent form.

    How to Write a Travel Consent Form for a Minor: Step-by-Step Guide

    A travel consent form is straightforward and easy to draft. Its essence is simply demonstrating that you have authorized your child to travel alone or accompanied by another adult.

    Follow the step-by-step guide below to draft the form:

    Step 1: Provide basic information about your child

    First, list your child’s full legal name, home address, date and place of birth, and passport number. These are necessary to verify their identity and age. Although travel requirements for children may vary from state to state, you should also attach a copy of a birth certificate or passport if your child is 16 or older, in addition to these details. Law enforcement and border control agencies recommend attaching one of these documents with the form, as it helps verify the information presented in the form. 

    Important Note: You should create individual forms for each child if more than one child is traveling.

    Next, include your information as the parent or guardian authorizing the child to travel with another adult. Include your full legal name, home address, phone number, and email address, as well as that of the other parent. If you are a single parent, include only your information. You should also include your passport details and custody information. Attach a court document or death certificate if you have sole custody. 

    Step 3: Include emergency contact details

    Specify the name and contact information of a trusted relative or friend who can be contacted in case of an emergency. Include their full name, phone number, and physical address. The emergency contact should, if at all possible, be close to where your child will be going. This individual can be called if your child needs immediate care during a medical emergency or any other emergency if you cannot be contacted.

    Step 4: Provide details of the trip

    The purpose of the trip and the mode of transportation should be included in a minor travel consent form. The purpose of the trip may be important for legal and safety reasons, while the mode of transportation can affect the type of consent required and the level of supervision necessary.

    For example, if the minor is traveling by car with a non-parent adult, the consent form may need to include information about the adult’s driver’s license and insurance, as well as any safety precautions that will be taken during the trip. If the minor is traveling by plane, the consent form may need to include information about the flight number and airline, as well as any special arrangements that need to be made for the minor’s safety and comfort during the flight.

    Specify your child’s special needs, allergies, or other health requirements. Some common medical information that may be included in a minor travel consent form includes the child’s medication schedule, allergies, and any medical conditions that require attention. Specify whether the accompanying adult has the authority to administer medical aid and the scope of assistance they can render.

    Include the preferred medical facility, the doctor’s contact information, and insurance information as well. List the specific treatments that can be rendered to your child as authorized by a licensed practitioner, such as nebulizers or insulin injections.

    Step 6: Specify the final details

    Finally, date and sign the form. If the child is traveling by air, depending on the airline’s requirements, the form may need to be notarized. The United States Customs and Border Protection recommends notarizing the form, even though some airlines might demand additional signatures from one or more witnesses.

    More Templates

    Editable Minor Child Travel Consent Template for Word

    Free Children Traveling Abroad Consent Form for PDF

    Printable Sample Letter of Consent to Travel for PDF

    Printable Minor Child Consent to Travel Form 01 for PDF

      Tips for Using a Minor Travel Consent Form

      A travel consent form for a child is a legal document; therefore, specific elements are required to guarantee its validity, especially for international travel. Outlined below are some considerations you should make regarding its use:

      Keep copies 

      Make copies of the signed and completed form and keep them with you and the minor during travel. It can also be a good idea to give copies to any other adults traveling with the minor. This ensures that every party involved with your child’s travel has a legal record of consent. It also helps ensure everyone is aware of the details of your child’s travel arrangements, including the dates, destinations, and contact information of the accompanying adult. 

      Ensure the form accurate 

      Ensure that the details about your child’s travel arrangements, such as the dates, destinations, contact information of the accompanying adult, and any crucial medical information, are up to date and accurately mentioned in the form.

      Immigration officials may scrutinize travel documents when a child is traveling alone internationally. If the form is completed inaccurately, it may lead to delays at border crossings, causing unnecessary stress.

      Make sure the form is up-to-date

      Some airlines or transportation companies may have their own specific requirements for the form, so make sure you are using the most recent version.

      Use a template

      Use a template or sample to help you save time, as they provide a pre-designed layout that can be easily customized to include the specific details of each trip. This can be especially helpful if your child frequently travels unaccompanied.

      You may need to have the travel consent form for a minor notarized, depending on your jurisdiction and the destination your child is traveling to. A notarized document helps prevent issues with travel authorities, such as denial of entry and delays, since officials may need time to verify the relationship between the minor and the accompanying adult. If notarization is not necessary, it is still highly recommended.

      To combat kidnapping and child trafficking, many countries have stringent requirements for proof of custody of children. Airlines and travel authorities require a notarized consent form to validate their authenticity. A notary public validates the identities of the individuals listed on the form to make it legally enforceable.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Do parents who are divorced or single need a travel consent form for their children?

      If one parent has sole custody of the child, they may not need a travel consent form from the other parent. However, attaching a copy of the custody order with the form demonstrating their sole custody of the child is highly recommended.

      Is a consent form required for domestic travel within the United States?

      It is not a legal requirement, but some airlines or other transportation companies may require a travel consent form for minors to travel without their parents or legal guardians.

      Do both parents need to sign the travel consent form if the child is traveling unaccompanied?

      It depends on the custody arrangement and legal guardianship status. If one parent has sole legal custody, only their signature is needed. If both parents have joint custody of the children, both signatures may be required.

      What if one parent is unavailable to sign the consent form?

      It is important to try to obtain the signatures of both parents if possible. However, if one parent is unavailable, the other parent may be able to provide a notarized affidavit indicating that they have sole legal custody or permission to travel with the child.

      About This Article

      Bryan Brown
      Authored by:
      Licensed Attorney - Asset Protection, Business Formation, Contract Drafting, Real Estate, Securities, Tax
      Bryan Brown is a seasoned attorney with a particular passion for empowering small businesses and startups. His comprehensive suite of services covers crucial areas like Asset Protection, enabling businesses to shield their pivotal assets, and Business Formation, guiding new enterprises through the foundational stages. Bryan's prowess in Contract Drafting ensures that businesses operate on robust agreements, while his insights into Real Estate, Securities, and Tax matters provide a holistic legal framework for clients. With a reputation for thoroughness and dedication, Bryan Brown stands as an invaluable asset for any business aiming to thrive in the Texas environment.

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