Last updated on Sep 5th, 2023 by Renu Dahiya
Planning an exciting family trip sparks a multitude of questions, but one particular concern often looms large: “Do minors need ID to fly? Or What ID and documents does my child need to fly?” Navigating the world of air travel can feel like solving a complex puzzle, especially when it comes to travel documentation for our little adventurers. Fear not, intrepid explorers! We’re here to guide you through this maze of travel regulations, shedding light on what identification and documents your child may need to embark on their own sky-high adventure. So, let’s get started!
In Australia, travellers aged 18 and above must possess a valid government-issued identification to board an airplane, as per the guidelines. While flying on international flights like Sydney to Delhi flights necessitates a passport or passport card, domestic flights require a driver’s license or another form of government ID featuring a photograph.
However, the rules surrounding identification for children under the age of 18 present a distinct scenario. Depending on their age and the destination, these young adventurers may not be required to carry a child passport or any ID at all.
Given the plethora of information available, comprehending these regulations can become overwhelming and perplexing. That is precisely why we are here to alleviate your concerns, offering a comprehensive breakdown of requirements. Here, you will know precisely what your child will (or will not) need when taking flight.
When it comes to international flights, the requirements are crystal clear. Regardless of age, if your destination lies beyond borders, presenting a valid child passport becomes imperative at various checkpoints, including check-in, airport security screening, and upon arrival. Even if your child is just a month old, they will need a baby passport to embark on this global adventure.
It’s essential to note that if your destination necessitates a travel visa, your child will need to apply for one as well. Since both kids passport issuance and visa processing take time, it’s advisable to complete these procedures well in advance. However, if you find yourself needing to embark on an international trip immediately after your child’s birth, expedited passport and visa services are available for an additional fee.
If you’re planning to fly internationally with your child, and both parents will not be travelling together, additional permission forms will be required. The specific requirements may vary depending on the airline and destination country. The crucial element is a notarized parental consent form signed by both parents, accompanied by a copy of the non-travelling parent’s passport or valid identification.
In the unfortunate event of a deceased parent, the living parent or guardian must sign the consent form and provide a copy of the late spouse’s death certificate. However, if the parent can provide proof of sole custody, a custody agreement signed by both parents may suffice.
Unlike international travel, the requirements for domestic flights may not always be straightforward. While it may be tempting to carry your child’s passport on every flight, it may not be necessary in all situations. Losing a passport during a trip is something we all hope to avoid. So, why burden yourself with it when it’s not required?
In most cases, children under the age of 18 can board a domestic flight without needing a photo ID as long as they are accompanied by an adult. However, certain circumstances may require a photo ID for minors or an official document. Let’s explore these requirements by age group to determine what documentation, if any, your child will need to fly.
Acceptance of newborns varies among carriers, with most airlines allowing infants as young as two days old to travel. If you find yourself boarding a plane with an infant under two weeks old, the airline may request a note from your physician stating that the child is healthy enough to fly. Specific requirements can vary by airline, so it is advisable to contact your carrier before travelling.
Once the two-week mark has passed, the primary age consideration is whether your child has reached 2 years of age. Children under the age of 2 can fly for free as lap children on domestic flights when accompanied by an adult. While you won’t need to present an ID for your child during security checks, the airline may require proof of their age during check-in to verify eligibility for the lap child policy.
Carrying a copy of their birth certificate is recommended unless your child already has a passport that can serve as proof of their birth date. Rest, it is always recommended to check with your airline about their ID requirements before heading to the airport.
Once your child reaches the age of 2, they will be required to pay the full airfare and will no longer be eligible to fly as a lap child. This also means they won’t need to provide proof of their age, alleviating the need for additional identification. Minors aged 2 to 18 will not require an ID to pass through security. They only need a boarding pass to board the plane when accompanied by an adult.
Although not mandatory, it may feel more comfortable to travel with some form of identification for your children, regardless of the destination. This could involve carrying a printed copy of their birth certificate or passport, or at the very least, having a photo of their passport stored on your mobile device.
When it comes to minors travelling alone, the specific requirements can sometimes be unclear, varying across different airlines. To obtain accurate information for your child’s solo trip, it is best to directly contact your chosen carrier. However, there are some fundamental guidelines that tend to be consistent throughout the industry.
A crucial document in these circumstances is the child travel consent form, which serves as proof that the child is authorized to travel unaccompanied. This form typically requires details about the person dropping off the child and the individual responsible for picking them up at the final destination.
If the child is travelling alone, a consent letter signed by both parents may also be required. In cases where a parent has passed away, the living parent or guardian must sign the consent form & letter and attach a copy of the deceased spouse’s death certificate. It’s important to note that these requirements may vary, particularly for international travel.
While children between the ages of 5 and 14 are generally not required to present an ID during check-in, it is always advisable for them to carry some form of identification during travel. If your child already possesses a passport, sending them with a copy can prove valuable in case of an emergency.
Children aged 15 to 17 may be asked to provide identification, which can include various documents, such as –
When it comes to the question of whether children need identification to fly, the guiding principle is clear: It’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you have an identification document for your child, it’s advisable to bring it along. While it may not be required in all situations, having the necessary identification can prevent any potential boarding complications.
Seize the opportunity to embark on exciting adventures with your young traveller and discover the wonders of this beautiful world together!
A: If you plan to take your child on an international flight, a valid passport will be required.
A: Yes, travellers aged 12 or above can travel alone. Rest, you have to check with your specific airline for details on minor travel. The child will be allowed to fly, but there may be paperwork, fees, or rules that you should keep in mind.
A: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not mandate identification from minors under 18 travelling within the United States alongside a companion. However, the companion must possess valid identification.
A: When travelling with children, it’s common for parents to bring along an excessive amount of stuff. However, even with early boarding, finding room for everything can be a challenge, and the planning process can become a nightmare. That’s why it’s important to be selective and pack only the most essential items.
A: If a minor is travelling without their parents, a signed parental consent form, consent letter and valid ID will be required.
Now that you’ve gathered nearly all the essential knowledge about “what are the requirements for children to fly?”, it’s time to embark on exploring the wonders of our magnificent planet with your sweet little explorer.
If you have any additional travel-related queries, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments section below. Our dedicated team at MyTicketsToIndia is committed to providing you with comprehensive assistance and addressing all your concerns.
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Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.