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MAKE YOUR FREE Child travel consent form

MAKE YOUR FREE Child travel consent form

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How to make a Child travel consent form

If you live in the UK, you need to get permission from those with ‘parental responsibility’ in order to take a child abroad. A child travel consent form provides such permission and sets out other details relating to the travel.

Use this parental consent form if your child is travelling domestically or internationally:

  • alone 

  • with one parent/legal guardian

  • with a group or organisation (eg on a school trip) 

  • with an adult that is not a parent/legal guardian (eg an aunt or family friend)

This child travel consent form covers:

  • name(s) of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s)

  • name of the child

  • details of the adult accompanying the child 

  • medical information of the child

  • emergency contact details of the parent(s)

Parental responsibility means the parents duties towards their child. Parental responsibility encompasses all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has in relation to their child and the child’s property. For more information, read Parental responsibility.

Mothers automatically have parental responsibility for their child. 

Fathers in England and Wales, automatically have parental responsibility if they were married to the mother at the date of the birth. Fathers in Scotland, automatically have parental responsibility if they were married to the mother at the date of conception or if they married the mother after the date of conception.

Even if they don’t automatically have parental responsibility, fathers can acquire it by, for example:

  • marrying the mother after the birth (in England and Wales)

  •  jointly registered the child’s birth with the birth mother (in Scotland)

A second female parent will have parental responsibility for a child if they were: 

  • married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of birth (in England and Wales)

  • married to or in a civil partnership with the mother at the time they have the egg donation, the embryo transfer, or the donor insemination treatment which produces the child (in Scotland)

Parental responsibility can also either be agreed (eg for an unmarried father, the unmarried same-sex partner or a step-parent) and confirmed in a written parental responsibility agreement, or ordered by the court. 

If both parents have died, the guardian of the child will have parental responsibility.

For more information, read Parental responsibility.

When your child is travelling abroad, the adult travelling with them (eg a parent or other, unrelated adult chaperone) may be asked to provide proof that they have permission to take the child abroad. Travelling without the proper permissions can amount to child abduction.

If your child is travelling alone, they may be asked to show proof that they have been given permission to travel abroad. 

While a travel consent form may not always be necessary when travelling domestically (ie within the UK), permission from those with parental responsibility may be required if the child is going on school trips, solo trips, or travelling with a chaperone who does not have parental responsibility. 

For more information, read Travelling with a child.

Additional information may be required by border control authorities or airlines. For example, it may be necessary to show:

  • evidence of the travelling adult’s relationship with the child (eg birth certificate or adoption certificate)

  • marriage or divorce certificate if you are a single parent but your surname is different from the child’s surname

Be aware that the country the child is travelling to may have additional requirements. You can usually find this information out from the relevant embassy or consulate.

For more information, read Travelling with a child.

In the UK, people under the age of 18 are considered children. 

Border officials at the airport are observant of children travelling alone and so having a child travel consent form ensures that consent from the parent/legal guardian is shown.

Be aware that the country the child is travelling to may have different age limits for when a person is considered a child. You can usually find this information out from the relevant embassy or consulate.

It is recommended that parents provide information regarding any medical needs and/or allergies of the child travelling, to make the travelling parties aware of the child’s health needs. Providing this information does, however, not generally amount to the parents consenting to medicine being administered to the child. Instead, a medical consent form is typically required for parents to consent to someone administering medication to their child. Ask a lawyer for more information.

For more information, read Travelling with a child.

It is recommended that a child travel consent form is witnessed. A witness should generally witness each parent’s signature. This is to ensure the authenticity of the document especially if the child is travelling internationally.

Ask a lawyer if you:

  • have questions about how to fill out the child travel consent form

  • are unsure if you have parental responsibility

Other names for Child travel consent form

Child travel letter, Travel consent letter, Parental travel consent form, Permission to travel form, Child travel form.

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