A child travel consent is a document that shows authorities and foreign officials that a minor (e.g. a child under the age of 18 years) has permission from all legal guardians/custodians to travel. It may be required in the following circumstances:
- where a child is travelling with an adult who is not the sole parent/guardian of the child;
- where a child is travelling with an organisation or group and the sole parent/guardian is not part of the group;
- where the child is travelling alone.
It is particularly important when a child is travelling overseas and communication with their parent(s)/guardian(s) may be difficult. The Australian Government, in particular, advises people travelling with children to carry a child consent to travel with them.
If a child is travelling with one parent/guardian who has sole custody then it is advisable that the parent/guardian takes a notarized or certified true copy of a court order or death certificate proving sole custody, just in case any problems are encountered along the way (particularly in foreign airports).
Please note that some countries (e.g. Brazil) require specific travel consent forms for children. If you are travelling outside Australia you may wish to contact the consulate of your destination country prior to embarking on your overseas travel to ensure you have the necessary documentation. This should be arranged well in advance in order to minimise the risk that the relevant paperwork is not completed in time. If you have arranged your booking through a travel agent then do not rely on them to tell you what you need to do. You should make your own inquiries.
The LegalVision Parental and Guardian Consents are designed to be used in a number of different circumstances, as set out below.
Travel Consent by Sole Guardian
This is to be used where the child only has one guardian (because, for example, the other legal guardian has died or the family court has ordered that only one parent is to be the child’s legal guardian, in which case only one signature is required) and the child is not travelling with that guardian.
Travel Consent from Two Guardians
This is to be used in situations where a child has two guardians, neither guardian is travelling with the child and the consent of both those guardians is required for the child to travel, in which case both signatures are required.
Travel Consent with One Legal Guardian who does not have Sole Custody
This is to be used if the child is traveling with only one of his or her guardians and the consent of the other guardian is required, in which case the signature of the guardian who is not travelling with the child is required.