Passport requirements for Minors


Passport requirements for Minors

What are the rules when a child is traveling with one parent internationally?

Two children standing in airport watching airplanes through the windowAn issue that routinely crops up in Family Court matters concerns traveling.  Most often, parenting plans allow for each parent to vacation with the child.  Passport requirements for minors, and the parameters when a child is traveling with one parent internationally, are necessary aspects of navigating travel once people are divorced or are no longer in a relationship together. Travel plans, preparations and the child spending an increased amount of uninterrupted time away from one parent can be stressful for people to adjust to following a separation. Understanding the necessary information can make the process move more smoothly for everyone involved, especially the children..

What identification is needed for a child to fly?

Every person, no matter the age, is required to have a passport if traveling internationally, i.e. leaving one country and entering another.

Do I need a notarized letter to travel with a child?

Parents who frequently cross the border by land with a minor must always carry a letter of permission from the other parent.  If one parent has sole custody of the child, a copy of the custody document can take the place of the other parent’s letter.

According to, “if you travel or are going to travel with a child, consider taking the following documents: if the child is traveling with only one of their custodial parents, they must have a letter of consent, preferably in English and notarized from the other parent or signed by both parents. The letter should state, “I acknowledge that my son/daughter is traveling outside the country with {the name of the adult} with my permission.”

Do kids need a passport to go on a cruise?

Depending upon the cruise line, an original, notarized or certified copy of the child’s birth certificate may suffice. However, to avoid any travel, delays or disruptions, a passport is always best.

Can a child travel with an expired passport?

Expired passports cannot be used to travel from the United States to an international destination, or to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection on route to the US or to a US territory.” US Customs and Border Protection.

What identification is needed for a child to fly?

Can a child travel with a birth certificate instead of a passport? According to the Federal Aviation Commission, “Typically, minors under the age of 18 do not have to present identification for domestic U.S. travel. Airlines will accept identification from the responsible adult on behalf of the minor(s).”

Here at DeTorres and DeGeorge, we focus on ensuring that our clients understand their rights. We are compassionate and understand the issues that parents face when traveling with minors, and appreciate how stressful it could be when navigating vacations and understanding passport requirements for minors. If your child is traveling with one parent internationally, and you have questions about travel documents for minors, contact us today for a consultation. We are here to help.


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