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Child Travel Consent



Last Updated February 2, 2024

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This document grants permission for a minor child to travel without one or both of their legal guardians. For example, a child may need to travel:

  • With an adult who isn’t a legal guardian (e.g., grandparent or family friend)
  • With only one of their legal guardians
  • With a group (e.g., school or sports team)
  • Alone

Travel authorities often require a Child Travel Consent form when a child travels internationally. However, requirements can vary by country, the age of the child, their reason for travelling, and who they’re travelling with. 

What’s more, parents who’ve separated may have an agreement that requires each parent to give permission for the child to travel. Or, if they’re divorced, they likely have a court order that addresses custody and decision-making authority when it comes to travel. In these situations, a Child Travel Consent form is crucial evidence of parental permission.

Often, these checks are in place to help prevent international child abduction—which is why it’s so important to prepare the right forms before you head to the airport.

Looking for a Child Travel Consent in French?

Use our Consentement au voyage d’enfant.

It’s generally best practice for any minor children to travel with parental consent; in Canada, this means anyone under the age of 18 or 19 (depending on your jurisdiction). An exception to this standard would be if a child were legally emancipated.

While some transportation companies have policies that don’t require a consent letter, authorities at the child’s destination may ask for proof of permission. That being said, it’s essential to research the requirements of both the travel company and the destination country.

Use LawDepot’s Child Travel Consent template to generate a custom document in minutes. Simply answer our questionnaire to populate the template, then download a PDF or print your copy.

To write your Child Travel Consent, be prepared with the following information:

1. Travel details

Add a brief description of the child's travel plans, including:

  • The city and country the child will visit
  • Their accommodations
  • The start and end dates of the trip

2. Child’s information

List your child's full name, birth date, and place of birth.

Note that if your child’s last name is different than yours, you may need to prove your relationship to them with government-issued I.D. (e.g., birth certificates, adoption paperwork, or proof of a name change).

If the child will travel with extra documents (e.g., passport or birth certificate) you can also include these details in the consent letter. This information helps prove your child’s identity and relationship to you.

3. Supervision

If applicable, give details of the person/organization in charge of supervising your child during their trip:

  • Legal guardian: State their name, home address, and whether they have sole custody or not. You can also include their passport details if needed.
  • Another adult: State their name, home address, and relationship to the child. You can include their passport details if needed.
  • Group or organization: State the organization’s name and address. You’ll also need to state the name of the supervising adult (and their passport information, if needed).

If your child will travel alone, you may want to assign an adult to pick them up once they reach their destination. These details are essential if travel staff will supervise your child during the trip but not once it’s over.

4. Final details

If needed, you can add the details of the person who should be contacted in case of an emergency. 

You should also consider whether you will notarize your document. If so, LawDepot’s Child Travel Consent template will automatically include a space for the notary acknowledgement.

Signing requirements vary depending on your family dynamic and travel advisories. However, if both parents retain legal rights and responsibilities to their child, it’s generally best to get their consent. For example, this is true if both parents have legal custody, but the child will travel with only one.

If it isn’t possible to obtain consent, or if the other parent has no legal rights, you should carry a court order (or equivalent documentation, such as a child custody agreement) to prove that you have sole custody.

If the other parent is deceased, you should carry the original (or a notarized true copy) of the death certificate.

Although Canadian laws don’t require a notarized consent letter, border patrol officials may ask for proof of parental permission whenever a minor child enters or leaves a country (i.e., international travel). Generally, a notarized travel consent is all that’s needed to show consent for the child to travel

However, some foreign countries have specific requirements for travelling with minor children. That said, if your child travels outside North America, you may wish to contact the consulate of the destination country to ensure you meet legal requirements.

What other documents should my child have when traveling?

Travelling with the right paperwork can help ensure your child’s trip goes smoothly. For instance, the following documents help identify your child and ensure they’re properly cared for:

  • Passport and/or birth certificate
  • Proof of relationship to parent or guardian
  • Travel itinerary and addresses for accommodation 
  • Child Medical Consent form to give another person authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the child

Related Documents:

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Child Travel Consent

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