CONSENT FOR MINOR
CHILDREN TO TRAVEL
For single (divorced, widowed, or simply married, but solo)
parents, grandparents, or family friends taking children on a
vacation, there is an often overlooked planning step that can
end a vacation before it begins the permission letter.
Airlines and immigration agents can deny minor children initial
boarding or entry to foreign countries without proper proof of
identification and citizenship and a permission letter from
absent or non-custodial parents.
According to Department of State Publication 10542: "With the
number of international child custody cases on the rise, several
countries have instituted passport requirements to help prevent
child abductions. For example, Mexico has a law that requires a
child traveling alone, or with only one parent, or in someone
else's custody, to carry written, notarized consent from the
absent parent or parents. "
Proof of identification and citizenship is relatively simple to
obtain a passport. The permission letter is a bit more vexing
since most people aren't aware of the necessity to have it, let
alone what it should include.
An attorney could prepare a formal affidavit, but a simple
letter-style document is adequate as long as it is signed before
a notary duly authorized to administer oaths. To be acceptable,
it should include specific details about the trip, the custodial
adult(s), and the child(ren). While no one wants to think about
medical emergencies while on vacation, it is also wise to
include consent for the adult to authorize emergency treatment
for the child in case the need should arise.
Some parents, particularly mothers who don't share the same last
name as their children, take no chances and also carry a copy of
their divorce decree or, in the case of widows, a death
After going to all the 'trouble' to secure proper documentation,
it could turn out that no one even asks for it. Why did you
bother? Because if you hadn't, the possibility exists that your
plane may have taken off without you and your very disappointed
Here is a sample parental consent letter that can be modified
for individual purposes and printed:
CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL
authorize my/our minor child(ren):___________________________________________
to travel to:_________________________________
and/resort :_____________________________________________ with:
date of return is _______________________.
In addition, I (we)
authorize:______________________________________ to consent
to any necessary routine or emergency medical treatment during
the aforementioned trip.
Sworn to and signed before me, a Notary Public,
this _______ day of _______________, 20____
Notary Public Signature and Seal