Notary Public Services – International Travel and Parental Consent

Notary public services supporting parental consent to travel

It might sound strange, but you may need a notary public if you are intending to travel to countries other than Australia with your children.

Although Australia seems to be fairly relaxed about children travelling overseas (unless, of course, they are on an Australian Federal Police airport watch list), it is apparent in our experience that other countries around the world take a more strict approach, especially when children travel with one parent or without their parents. So while you might be able to leave Australia with your child, even without the child’s other parent, it may not be so easy for you to enter your intended destination country without the right paperwork – the parental consent form.

As a leading provider of notary public services, we often witness the signature of parents or guardians who give consent for their child to travel overseas without them. In many cases, their child will be travelling with someone else, usually being the other parent or guardian or with a third party adult (ie, another family member such as grandparents, aunties or uncles). Occasionally, their child may even be travelling unaccompanied. But regardless of the arrangement, if we are asked to notarise a consent form as a notary public, it is generally because the parent who needs to sign the parental consent form will not be travelling with their child.

While the form, format and language of the parental consent form may vary between different countries, they all indicate that the person signing the form agrees to allow their child (or children) identified by name and passport to travel overseas with someone else (also normally specified by name, passport and sometimes by the local identification number or document). Some forms also indicate that the child may remain in the intended destination country and that the person specified in the form may have authority to look after and care for the child for a specified period of time. It is important to ensure that the form used is the form that will be accepted in the intended destination country, so check with the relevant foreign office for more information. What is common between all types of the form is that they need to be notarised by a notary public in order to be valid in the intended destination country.

The use of a parental consent form to travel goes one way to prevent international child abduction, or at least to ensure that there is no dispute over a child’s intended travel plans and that they not just known to both parents, but also agreed to by both parents.

If you are a parent, you are resident in Australia and your child will be travelling overseas without you, you may need to provide a parental consent form that is valid in the intended destination country to allow your child to travel. The parental consent form will be used overseas and therefore it will probablly need to be notarised by our notary public. Also depending on the intended destination country, check whether the notarised parental consent form must be authenticated and legalised.