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Sample Permission Letter for Traveling Child

Question: Mike M. asks: My daughter is traveling out of the country on vacation with another family. Do you have a sample letter or can you give me an idea of what the letter should say? I am told that the family should have a notarized letter giving them permission to take our daughter with them.

Answer: Renuka Sastri, who travels frequently with her children answers:  We recently used such a letter when I planned a trip for our children. You can paste the text below into a Word document and have it notarized at a local Kinko’s or any place that offers notary services. You will need a new letter for each trip.

Letter of Authorization for Travel

I (parent's name), authorize my child/children, (child/children’s name) to travel to (destination) on (date of travel) aboard Airline/Flight # (flight information) with (accompanying adults), returning on (date of return).

Signed by Parent or Parents

Notary Public Signature/Seal

Some points to note: You can use the same form for parents or legal guardians. I’ve used “parents” here for simplicity.

If your child is traveling with someone other than a parent: If both parents’ names appear on the birth certificate and/or passport, be sure to include both names in the letter. If multiple adults are going to be responsible at different times for your child on the trip, be sure to include all the names.

If your child is traveling with one parent: The letter needs to be signed by the parent not on the trip. I recommend you take two originals in the event immigration authorities need to keep one on entry at your destination.  You will need a valid ID for the notary. The documents must be signed at the time of notarization, not before.  Be sure to include a copy of the child's proof of medical insurance coverage. It is recommended that divorced parents take a copy of their custody agreement as well.
Other resources:
- Country Specific Information from the US Department of State
- Family and Children's Passport Issues
Other blog posts worth reading:
Travel Documents For Children
- Travel Documentation for Solo Parent Travel 

Complete international travel planning, including independent and escorted European tours, passport photos and International Driving Permits are available at your local AAA office.