Children traveling domestically have less stringent ID and consent requirements than those traveling internationally, but it’s still a good idea to come prepared with documents in case you run into an issue. The two most important documents are the child’s ID and a consent form from their legal guardian.
The TSA does not require minors under the age of 18 to show ID when traveling with an adult companion within the United States, but some airlines do. So before you get to the airport, be sure to check with your airline about ID requirements for minors—especially if your child will be traveling alone. A copy of your child’s birth certificate does triple-duty as proof of age, ID, and as proof that you are the child’s parent, especially if you don’t share a last name. If your child is old enough to have one, a DMV ID like a driver’s license is accepted almost everywhere, too.
Consent Forms: If you’re traveling alone with your own child on a domestic flight, you don’t need a parental consent form from your child’s other parent to fly. But if you don’t share a last name with your child, it’s a good idea to have a copy of the child’s birth certificate on hand to prove your relationship. If you’re traveling with someone else’s child and the parents are not with you, be prepared to show documentation that you have permission to travel together. There’s no official consent form, so you’ll need to make one yourself. We recommend a signed and notarized consent letter from the child’s parent or parents, such as our Child Travel Consent Form.
Be sure to include the child’s name, the companion’s name, the dates of travel, the destination, the parents’ names and contact information, and a statement of permission from the parents. You may never be asked for a consent letter on a domestic flight, but it’s good to have just in case.