Travel Documentation for Minors

If you are visiting another country — including Mexico — with a child under 18, you need more than just the usual travel documents. To help prevent cases of parental abduction, many countries now require proof of your relationship to the child an your legal right to have them accompany you in an out of the country.

This is not just an issue for single parents, but also for grandparents, adoptive or step parents, guardians, and even two-parent families traveling together — if a travel glitch makes it necessary for family members to travel separately, the additional documents will be necessary.

What do you need?

A letter of permission form the absent parent(s) signed before a notary public and including details of the trip, the child and the accompanying adult, should always be carried. Have a copy translated into the local language, if possible. If the minor has a different surname from one or both of you, be prepared to provide legal evidence of your relationship. Alternatives can include;

  • A legal decree of divorce showing that you have sole custody.
  • A birth or adoption certificate which lists you as the only parent.
  • A death certificate if the child’s other parent is deceased.

For more information visit the U.S. Dept of State travel site or talk to your AAA travel professional about additional requirements in the countries you are visiting.