Guide to the travel documents a child needs to carry to Fly:
When it comes to Air Travel, travel documents for children can be a bit confusing. Do children need Travel IDs to fly? How old should they be to get a travel ID? Do children need it? What about the older children?
If you are thinking about and asking yourself or Google, what documents does a child need to fly? Don’t you worry about it? You are not the only one. Let’s see what you will be going to need before your next family vacation.
What does the TSA say?
According to the TSA, individuals who are older than 18 years old have to show their valid ID If they are traveling on domestic flights with friends or family members within the U.S. Children under 18 don’t have to show a valid form of identification for air travel
However, the TSA does not say anything about the airline policies, instead, it is advised to consult every airline on the children's ID requirements. Since every airline has different travel policies, it's better to consult every airline before making the travel plan.
So, minors don’t have to bring ID if they are traveling with an adult, and it's better to check the airline’s requirements and confirm it to ensure optimal processing times.
What do the Airlines say?
While it's better to ask them before making the travel arrangements if kids need the ID to fly? Most airlines allow children with adults to board the plane. However, if the children are getting any discount, then they may be asked to show their ID cards to prove their actual age, but this is not happening in the case of smaller kids, but if the child is closer to 18 years to 10, then you may want to get them a right passport or at least birth certificate as an ID proof.
What documents does a child need to fly alone?
If the children are flying alone, they have to bring a photo ID, depending on the airline they are flying with. For instance, in the United States, children aged 5-14 don’t have to show any ID, BUT that's not in the case of older ones.
If the child is between 15-17 years old, they have to show the ID to fly. They can choose any one ID From an extensive list of documents. For example, passport, credit cards, school ID, social security card and driving license, etc.
If you are flying with Southwest Airlines it requires children between the ages of 5 to 11 who are traveling to present a form of identification listing age. They can use their birth certificate, or they may be asked to show their ID card at the airport gate. Again this ID process varies from airline to airline, so they should need the ID to fly with the airline.
International Child ID Requirements
Above we mentioned the ID rules within the US. but, if you are flying international flights with the children, or if they are flying alone, The ID requirements are unlikely. According to the TSA, all travelers need a valid passport when traveling internationally. So, make sure your child applies for the passport before making the travel plan, so that they can fly easily without any hassle.
This is not just important for verification purposes, but it also proves that they are a citizen of the U.S. They can fill out the passport application DS-11 to get their children's passports. If you are applying from Canada, then you can use the form DS-82.
If the child is only traveling to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean, then they can get them a passport instead of the actual passport. And it is the best and accurate way if you are not planning to have them fly to more countries and remote destinations.
Even if your child is one month old, and you are thinking what documents does a child need to fly? Then, They also need a passport to fly internationally. If you don’t have a passport for your child? Don't worry, check out the information on how to get a baby passport.
In some situations you need to take an international flight immediately after the birth of the child, then it's possible to get the passport and visa, you just need an extra amount for that.
In case, if the children are traveling alone internationally, then they will need a passport and the child travel consent form. This form ensures that the children are allowed to travel individually without their parents.
You should also be needing the following Documents in a child travel consent form
The child's name, birthplace, and passport details.
Medical details( allergies if they have, or any special needs)
Details of parents or the Guardians
And the signature
The children can also get this form for domestic Flights.
If the child is flying internationally with only 1 parent
You should be more attentive if your child is flying without the other parent, especially if they are flying to Europe. Make sure you do some research before visiting any country and get in touch with the airline customer service or with the embassy for more details. As you may be required to boring with you a notarized Letter of Consent.
This is also similar to the Child Travel Consent Form, but the purpose of this form is to get permission and consent to travel alone with your child. Letter of the Consent basically includes:
The parent's name
Your travel dates
The name of the parent or guardian accompanying the child
the contact information
And both the parents have to sign the form. If you are separated or get divorced, you will need a copy of the custody agreement.
Does the child need a Travel ID to fly with the grandparents/school/ Teacher?
If the child is traveling with other people who are not their parents, they have to get the ID, and in some cases, they can get the Consent Letter signed by their parents.
If the child is traveling with the school teacher, then, you will definitely have to sign a child Travel Consent form, and make sure they have a valid ID, a birth certificate is also okay.
You can also follow the same process if your child is flying with their grandparents.
The same rules apply on the Child Travel Consent if you are flying with someone else’s child, for instance, going on a vacation with your child and the child's best friend.
So, follow the ID requirements, and fly safe
While security officials and the airports have a lot of understanding, you don’t have to take a risk to go back home to look for your child's ID, especially if you are going on vacation to your dream destinations. So, make sure, before you get to the airport, check out the TSA and the airline’s children's ID requirements and check out what documents does a child needs to fly? make sure you contact your travel embassy for any additional requirements. Traveling should be exciting and fun, so make sure you follow all the rules to have an amazing and stress-free experience with your children.
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