Traveling with Children? Why You'll Need a Notarized Child Travel Consent Form
Whether you’re a parent, relative, or family friend traveling with a child, there’s a growing need for a notarized child travel consent form before heading out on a trip. Sadly, many children have fallen victim to abduction, kidnapping, or trafficking, increasing the need for documentation around travel and minors.
Before you head out on your trip with your kids, get to know the child travel consent form and what you'll need to complete it.
What is a child travel consent form?
A child travel consent form is a document that gives consent that the child who is traveling, either alone, or without both parents or legal guardians present.
For example, your child might be traveling with a close family friend, aunts or uncles, teachers, or grandparents and will need a child travel consent form. Or, perhaps your child is traveling alone for a school trip. This form typically lists out basic information about the child, the travel destination and address, as well as details about the adult they are traveling with, be it one parent, grandparents, family friends, or other.
Why do I need a child travel consent form?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) strongly recommends child travel consent forms due to the growing numbers of children who are abducted or trafficked in the United States and beyond. While the form isn't necessarily required, an immigrations officer domestically or abroad could request to see this documentation, and some countries do require it for entry.
A child travel consent form isn’t needed only in the case when a child is traveling alone or with only one parent. You might also need one in the case where the children have different last names than their parents or are traveling for a school trip. And depending on the country or situation, you may only need the form if the child is under 16, 18, or 21.
It’s a good idea to check with the country you’re traveling to and ensure you have all the proper documentation you may need aside from a child travel consent form.
Why does a child travel consent form need to be notarized?
A notary public’s main job is to prevent fraud.
Before a notary applies their stamp of approval to execute a child travel consent form, they must confirm the identity of the person signing. So in the instance when an immigration officer or airline agent needs to confirm that an adult traveling with a child is who they say they are, the notary plays a key role in doing so.
What do I need for a child travel consent form?
Child travel consent forms aren't complicated: there’s a wealth of sites that have basic child travel consent forms you can download and get notarized. Just be sure the form includes some of the following basics such as:
- Child’s full name
- Date and place of birth
- Passport details including country of issue, passport number
- Name and relationship of the adult who is traveling with the child
- Travel dates
- Travel destination address
Not sure what else to include on your form? Be sure to check on the country’s specific requirements regarding the form to ensure yours includes all the information needed.
How do get a child travel consent form notarized?
Once you’ve filled out the form, it’s time to get it notarized. The best part of getting your form notarized is that you can notarize it from the comfort of your couch, online, 24/7.
- Download a child travel consent form.
- Fill out the form (but don’t sign it!).
- Log on to Notarize and upload your child travel consent form. When uploading the form online on Notarize, you can use PDF, DOCX, ODT and HTML formats of the document.
- Connect with a commissioned, electronic notary public over your camera-enabled mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. Be sure to have your ID ready!
- Sign your document and send or download it for printing.