Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Guided Legal Forms & Services: Sign In

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

What Do I Need to Know When My Child Travels as an 'Unaccompanied Minor'?

By Catherine Hodder, Esq. on July 18, 2022 10:58 AM

Your child may travel internationally or domestically, as part of a class trip, or with an adult who is not their legal guardian. When they do, they will need a child travel consent form. Additionally, if divorced or legally separated, you may need to show a child travel consent form signed by their other parent to travel with your child.

This consent prevents child abductions where a parent takes their child to another country in violation of the International Parental Child Abduction Act. In some cases, the parent may also need to provide the child's birth certificate.

What Is an Unaccompanied Minor?

An unaccompanied minor is a child between the ages of 5 and 18 traveling alone. Airlines have different rules based on the child's age, so check with your child's airline first. They may also have their own unaccompanied minor form.

Addtionally, many airlines charge fees for unaccompanied minor services above the ticket price. The fee covers check-in, airline staff escorts for connecting flights, lounge access, and trackable wristbands for your child.

Here are some popular airlines linking to their unaccompanied minor fees and policies:

A child travel consent form is your permission allowing your child to travel alone or with someone who is not their legal guardian. It also allows your child to travel with their parent if you are legally separated or divorced.

  • Child's name
  • Child's date of birth/place of birth
  • Child's passport number
  • Travel dates and itinerary
  • Adult's name traveling with the child (who is not the parent or legal guardian), if any
  • Emergency contact information

You, the child's other parent, or legal guardian should sign the form and include your contact information. If the child travels to another country by themself, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection advises that both parents should sign the written consent letter. You should also have it notarized.

Child's Name: {your child's name}

Child's Date of Birth: {your child's date of birth}

Child's Place of Birth: {your child's place of birth}

Child's Passport Number: {your child's passport number, if applicable}

I, {your name}, am the parent/legal guardian of {child's name}, with a current address of {street address, city, state, zip code}. There are no court orders preventing me from granting this travel consent.

I hereby authorize (check one):

__ My child to travel alone

__ My child to travel with the following individual or organization:

  • {Individual/Organization Name}
  • {Individual/Organization Address}
  • {Individual/Organization Phone}

to the following location(s): {places of travel}, from the period of {start date} to the period of {end date}.

In case of emergency, I can be contacted at:

  • Name: {Your Name}
  • Address: {Your Address}
  • Phone: {Your Phone Number}
  • Email: {Your Email Address}

Parent or Guardian Signature(s):

Parent or Guardian Name(s):

Date:

Notary Acknowledgement:

What Other Documents Do I Need for An Unaccompanied Minor?

Because your child is traveling without you, they may need other essential documents in an emergency. For example, if they need medical attention:

  • Medical insurance information: Information about your medical insurance, including a copy of the medical insurance card, member number, and group number.
  • HIPAA form: A medical records release form under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act allows someone else to access your child's medical records.
  • Medical consent form: A medical consent form allows someone to treat your child.

Child's Name: {your child's name}

Child's Date of Birth: {your child's date of birth}

I, {your name}, am the parent/legal guardian of {child's name}, with a current address of {street address, city, state, zip code}. There are no court orders preventing me from granting this medical consent.

I hereby authorize {temporary guardian's name}, as my agent ("Agent"), to obtain and consent to routine and emergency medical treatment for my child. This consent includes hospitalization, anesthesia, blood transfusions, and surgery.

My Agent may access my child's medical records, treatment, and insurance information.

This authorization is effective from {start date} to {end date}.

In case of emergency, I can be contacted at:

  • Name: {Your Name}
  • Address: {Your Address}
  • Phone: {Your Phone Number}
  • Email: {Your Email Address}

Important Medical Information of My Child: {Include prescription and non-prescription medications, medical history, and allergies}

Parent or Guardian Signature(s):

Parent or Guardian Name(s):

Date:

Notary Acknowledgement

Travel Tips for Unaccompanied Children

  • Children flying alone may be scared or confused. Talk to them about the entire process of going to the ticket counter, going through TSA or security checkpoints, boarding a flight, asking flight attendants if they need help, and where they place a carry-on bag.
  • Give them clear information on flight numbers, departure gate, destination airport, and who is responsible for pick-up.
  • Make sure along with their boarding pass and travel documents they have a photo id (such as a passport, a driver's license, or other photo identification). Additionally, give them a credit card in case of emergency.
  • Wherever practical, book non-stop flights and as early in the day as possible. Avoid booking the last flight of the day in case of flight cancellation or delays.
  • Track your child's flight status on your phone or electronic device for peace of mind.

If Your Child Is Taking an International Flight

If your child is traveling alone, first check with the airline to see what they require. Second, for international travel, check with the embassy of the place they are going to know what documentation is necessary.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard