Now that summer vacation is here, more families are traveling both locally and internationally. Traveling outside the United States with a child may require more preparation. If a child is under the age of 18 and is traveling with only one parent or guardian, remember the child’s passport and also bring a letter of consent signed by the child’s parent(s). Many countries require that you have this notarized letter of consent. A notarized letter of consent is necessary because of rising child abductions due to custody battles. Without this letter of consent, you may face travel delays. It is best to check with US State Department International Travel website, as some countries have different documentation requirements.
Preparing a letter that allows the child’s travel can be simple. The letter should state that one parent gives permission for the child to travel out of the country with the other parent (or with another accompanying adult). It should also include the travel dates. on Several websites let you download and print parental consent forms for free. An example of letter of consent is shown below.
Typically, the letter of consent must be notarized, as mentioned before. Banks usually have notaries available. Call your local bank and ask if they can help you with a notarized letter of consent. Some banks have a policy that does not allow them to notarize a non-bank document. Mobile notaries are also an excellent resource when documents need to notarized after business hours. A mobile notary is any notary who travels from location to location to notarized documents, such as a letter of consent.
Enjoy your family vacation. And make sure you know the rules and regulations of your destination country as it pertains to a notarized letter of consent for traveling with a child.
Below are links to information you may find helpful in traveling with minors outside the United States.