Every adult needs to be prepared to show identification when they travel by air; however, the id requirements for minors flying are much different. In fact, the TSA requirements for minors state that no minor needs identification to pass through the security checkpoint.
This may be good news for you, as a parent, but don’t rejoice yet, because the airline that you are flying on may still need some type of identification for your child.
Do Babies Need Id to Fly?
Most babies do not need identification for any flight, but you may want to be prepared and have it handy just in case there is any question from the airline. Most of the time, an airline will request identification for a child if you are stating they are under the age of two and you have them sitting on your lap.
A copy of the child’s birth certificate or a passport, if you have obtained one for your child, is everything you will need to prove the age of your child, as well as their relationship with you. As long as your child is the age that you say they are and their information matches what can be found on your license or passport, the airline will not question you any further.
Does a Minor Need Id to Fly?
A few airlines have child fares available for purchase, which may save you some money for the flight. However, you should be prepared to show the proper child id requirement for air travel when you arrive at the gate. The airline may request to see proof of your child’s age, especially if they look older than they really are. This is happening more often in recent years, due to children being taller at younger ages than ever before!
A copy of their birth certificate is often enough, especially if it has the special stamped seal that makes it an official document. The information on the birth certificate should match the information on your identification, so there is no question that your child is related to you and is supposed to be traveling with you.
Flying with Minors
At times, an airline may question a child to ensure you are their parent. This normally occurs when the information on identification does not match, but it can happen on other occasions as well. The questions are often very basic and are asked in a way as to not scare the child. After all, airlines do not want a hysterical child boarding a flight that is going to be taking off in just a little while!
There are times when children may not be traveling with both their parents or their parents are now divorced and only one of them is taking the children on vacation or to visit family. These situations are becoming more common, and at times, they can cause a lot of trouble at the airport.
If you are in a situation like mentioned above, we recommend being proactive by obtaining documentation to take any children on a trip. That document should be notarized, so airlines know it is official. While you may not have any issues without this documentation as you are traveling throughout the United States, you will be denied entry if you try to enter another country.
The documentation can be something as simple as, “I understand that [person’s name] is traveling with my son/daughter/children and they have my permission to do so.” Everyone’s contact information should also be included in case the airline or security personnel have any questions or concerns. Of course, some people make these documents much more detailed by including specific information about where the child is traveling and exactly whom they can travel with.
These documents are also necessary for children who are not traveling with their parents or guardian and instead are traveling with friends. In these instances, those children, or the people they are traveling with, should have a copy of any of the options for child id requirement for air travel.
Id Requirements for Minors Flying Alone
There are times when minors may find themselves traveling alone, whether across the country or to another state to visit family or to visit a close friend that moved away. In those situations, they may not be required to have identification, but it is still an excellent idea to send them with some.
While a birth certificate or passport is the best option, minors can also use a school id, library card, social security card, or any type of organization id. Any minor who is between the ages of fifteen and seventeen can also add a driver’s license to this list.
Packing identification for your children when flying may be one more thing you need to think about and add to your list of things to do before you leave, but having that documentation can save you a lot of headaches once you reach the airport. After all, you don’t want to be waiting to board your flight, only to be turned away for not meeting the id requirements for minors flying!
So, pack those id papers and have the time of your life once you reach your destination!