Sunday, November 06, 2011
Letter of Parental Consent to Travel
Don't let this happen to you: You and your child are at Newark Airport and are ready to board a flight to Europe. You are asked for a letter from your child's father indicating that he has given permission for the child to travel out of the country with you and you don't have one. What now?
This is just one scenario. Maybe your child is going to travel with grandparents, a school group, a sports team, or a friend, without either parent or guardian. What documentation is needed?
While there are exceptions, travel out of the country will require a passport, even for a child. You will also need a notarized Letter of Parental Consent to Travel for the child. The letter should include the dates of travel, the name of the adult traveling with the child, contact information for the parent(s) not traveling, and if the child is traveling without either parent or guardian, both parent's signatures must be on the form and notarized.
If the minor child has only one parent/guardian, as in the case of divorce, death, or adoption, then bringing a copy of the divorce decree, death certificate, or adoption papers or a letter from your lawyer, will be required. And if the parents/guardians have different last names, such as the mother keeping her maiden name, bring along the child's birth certificate so authorities can see the parents' names.
A second form for authorization of medical treatment is also important. A Medical Treatment Authorization Letter will give permission for the adult accompanying the child to be responsible for medical treatment in case of emergency.
Some cruise lines have their own letters which they require for minor children so make sure you have the proper documentation with you. For example, in Carnival's case, without the Letter of Parental Consent to Travel the child will not be able to leave the ship in Mexico, even for a shore excursion.
Give yourself enough time to obtain a passport (especially if this is the first time applying for one) and to complete the letters and have them notarized. And while you are getting them notarized, have a couple of the letters notarized in case you need them.
Here are some government links to check out:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of State
Country Specific Information
If you need a copy of a Letter of Parental Consent to Travel or a Medical Treatment Authorization Letter, please contact me and I will send it to you.
Contact Mary at 732-747-8187 or email Mary@thetravelbugonline.com for more information