Do you need a Child Travel Consent Form or a Child Medical Consent Form? If your minor child will be traveling out of the country alone or with someone other than a parent or legal guardian, the answer is yes.
No Documentation Required for Travel Within US
In the United States, children do not usually need to carry a written parental consent to travel. Children under 18 traveling within the United States are not required to carry identification, even when going through airport security prior to a flight. Teens who may appear 18 or older may be questioned by the TSA at the airport security checkpoint, however, so it's a good idea to carry a photo ID such as a driver's license or permit, or a school ID.
Flying with kids within the US? You should also know about REAL ID, the new identification required for domestic air travel.
Child Travel Consent Form
The requirements change when a child leaves the country, particularly if it is without one or both parents. Because of increasing instances of child abduction in custody cases, and a growing number of children who are the victims of trafficking or pornography, government and airline personnel are now more vigilant. When a minor travels outside the country alone, with one parent, or with adults other than his or her parents, it is likely that an immigration officer or airline staff member will ask for a letter of consent.
Each adult in your party will need a passport and minor children will need either passports or original birth certificates. (Find out how to get an American passport for each family member.)
All children require a passport (or in some cases a passport card) to travel outside the US, just like adults. If your child is leaving the country, a Child Travel Consent Form is a legal document that allows a minor child to travel without both parents or legal guardians present. It is advisable for all travel, and is particularly important when a minor is traveling outside the country.
This form can be used when a child is traveling as an unaccompanied minor, or with another adult who is not the legal guardian, such as a grandparent, teacher, sports coach, or friend of the family. This form can also be required if a minor is traveling with one parent outside the U.S.
The document should include:
- Minor's name, birth place, and passport information.
- Permission from the non-traveling parent or guardian, including their contact information.
- Relevant information about the traveling parent or guardian, including name, custody information, and passport details.
- Travel information, such as the destination and start and end dates for the trip. Note that the consent is temporary and specific to this one trip.
- Allergy and special needs information pertaining to the child.
- Signature of the non-traveling parent who is giving permission for the child to travel.
Be aware that specific rules about documentation can differ substantially from country to country, so you should check the US State Department International Travel website for information about requirements for your destination country. Find your destination country, then the tab for "Entry, Exit, & Visa Requirements," then scroll down to "Travel with Minors."
Child Medical Consent Form
If a minor child is traveling without a parent or legal guardian, a Child Medical Consent Form grants authority to a chaperone to make medical decisions. The form grants temporary medical power of attorney to another adult in case of a medical emergency. You've probably filled out such a form in the past for your child's daycare or school, or for field trips, sleepover camp, and other situations.
The document should include:
- Minor's name and birth place.
- Authorized medical treatments
- Health information about the child
- Identity of the person being granted responsibility
- Health insurance information
There are a number of websites that offer free templates for travel forms. Here are some reliable options:
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