Last Updated on Feb 26th, 2024 by Renu Dahiya, Leave a Comment
Planning a trip with your family and kids can be a bit confusing and exhausting. You’ll be bombarded with queries like what do I need to fly with my child? Do kids need ID to fly? Can my child fly alone? All of this can be very stressful. But don’t worry – we’ve you covered. Shared below are some important pieces of information and details related to ‘Do minors need ID to fly or not?’ that will help you successfully navigate the obstacles you may face at the airport so that you and your kid can have a hassle-free and smooth trip.
Please be noted that each airline has individual rules regarding ID requirements and some might ask an ID proof for children to travel. So, it is advisable to carry one ID proof of child to be on the safer side.
Now, that we have the answer to ‘Do children need ID to fly?’, it’s time to know the Minors’ ID requirements for air travel. The major problem any parent would face at the airport with kids is while getting through security. So, it is always better to plan ahead and come well-prepared to avoid security and customs issues. Let’s know what do minors need to fly & documents/IDs every parent must have when traveling internationally with minors/kids.
Suggested Read: Requirements for Passport Photo in USA
Most of the major U.S. airlines permit children above the age of 5 to travel without any adult or companion. Children, between the ages of 5 and 14, don’t have to show any identification document. But older teens (15 to 17 years old children) need to present valid ID proof to fly internationally.
Some of the major airlines apply unaccompanied-minor procedures to children over the age of 12 (or 15 by some airlines) on international flights. In domestic flights, this may apply only if you specifically request this in advance, otherwise, the airline will expect your kid to be responsible for making alternative plans if the flight got delayed or canceled.
Let’s take a look at the unaccompanied minor travel qualifications as per age that almost every U.S. airlines follow:
|Can Travel Alone or Not?
|Unaccompanied Minor Procedures
|Cannot fly alone
|5 to 7 years old
|Can fly alone on non-stop and direct flights
|8 to 11 years old (or 8 to 14 on some airlines)
|Can fly alone
|12 to 17 years old (or 15 to 17 on some airlines) – Domestic Flights
|Can fly alone
|Only after request
|12 to 17 years old (or 15 to 17 on some airlines) – International Flights
|Can fly alone
Each airline has its own unique policy when it comes to ID requirements for a child who flies alone. Let’s look at ‘what do kids need to fly alone ?’ & some of the basic standards that can be asked by almost every airline.
Children need a consent letter to fly alone that must be signed by both parents. In the case of one deceased parent, children are required to attach a copy of the death certificate of the late parent with the letter signed by the living parent or guardian.
Almost all the airlines ask for this form to be completed by the parent and should have the complete details about the adults dropping off and picking up the minor at the airport. It is also known as an unaccompanied minor form.
Children, between the ages of 14 and 18, can carry one of the following documents while traveling:
In case you do not have these identification documents or you lost your ID before traveling, you can use a birth certificate or social security card as ID proof.
A Child travel consent form ensures that the minor is allowed to fly internationally without his/her parents. There is an absolute requirement to provide this form while flying on international flights. As per the TSA minor travel consent form requirements, a passenger is required to include the following information and documents in a form:
If a child or minor is flying with only one parent, then the requirements for child ID may vary as per the airline you are flying with and the country you intend to travel to. The basic documentation almost every airline may ask to provide are:
Also, please consider arriving early at the airport when you are traveling with minors or when your minor child is traveling alone. It will help you avoid the stress of rushing to make it to the gate on time and ensure that there is enough time to get through the security and get all the formalities done on time.
Children will need to carry some sort of ID or documentation while flying with teachers or grandparents. They will need a minor travel consent form and sometimes a consent letter signed by both parents. They also require one valid ID proof like a birth certificate, passport, learner’s permit, school ID, etc. Adults traveling with minors are also required to carry valid identification documents. Always remember to check with your airline to verify if anything extra’s required.
In many cases, you don’t need anything at all to travel with a minor. But, on the other side, sometimes, if you don’t have valid ID proof, your trip could very well be ruined or disturbed or can lead to leaving you and your family headed back home from the airport. Every airline has its own ID requirements for minors. So, before going to the airport for your flight contact your airline and ask about their policies and ID requirements for kids. Knowing when your kid will or won’t be required to show the identification documents in advance can definitely reduce your stress and help you be prepared for every scenario. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
A: There is no need to remove the jacket and shoes if the minor is of 12 years or below. But, the carry-on luggage will go through the X-Ray machine.
A: As per the TSA ID requirements, children under the age of 18 are not required to provide identification documents when flying domestically with an adult companion. But, the companion needs to provide valid ID proof.
A: Every minor, regardless of age, needs a valid passport to fly internationally. So, apply for a passport for your child several months before you need it. If you are planning to travel within the U.S.A, and to Canada, Mexico, and to some Caribbean countries, then you can also apply for a less-expensive passport card.
A: Most airlines allow minors, above the age of 5 to travel without any adult companion.
A: A child will need a minor travel consent form and sometimes a consent letter signed by both parents if he/she is flying alone.
A: If children, between the age of 15 and 17 are flying with United airlines, they need a valid identification document such as a passport, driver’s license, learner’s permit, school ID, credit card, etc.
A: If a minor failed to comply with the airline’s ID requirements and does not bring the necessary identification documents, it can result in denied boarding.
Now, that you know almost everything about ‘what do kids need to fly?’, greet the sweet little explorer within you and start exploring this amazing planet. If you have any further questions regarding the same, do let us in the comment section below and our team at MyTicketsToIndia will surely provide you with all the information.
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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.