Sunday, March 3, 2013

Documents Required for Travel

Documents Required for Travel


Adult requirements are clear for what identification is required. However depending on the age of a child, the requirements can vary from airline to airline.

Adults must show identification at the TSA checkpoints. TSA will accept the following forms of ID including any state, federal or tribal identification card, a passport, military ID card, permanent resident card, border-crossing card, state ID card or driver's license or an enhanced driver’s license.

Kids under 14

According to the TSA, kids are not required to show any identification at TSA checkpoints. But some airlines require a birth certificate for children under 14 to prove their age. You should travel with an original of the child's birth certificate, or obtain a passport.

Kids 15 to 17

Children 15 to 17 are still minors to the TSA, some airlines require some kind of identification when they're traveling alone. A school-issued ID card, birth certificate or a library card may be all that is required. Be sure to check with the airline.

Additional Documentation

If you're traveling with children that are not yours, be prepared to provide documentation that you have permission for the child to travel with you.  Have the child's parent sign a "Travel Consent Form." Have it notarized, your bank should do this for free.

Link for Travel Consent Form,




A passport is required for all air travel overseas, both for entry into the foreign country and for re-entry into the U.S. travel. A U.S. passport card can only be used as identification if you're returning to the United States from Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Mexico. A passport card is not valid for international travel by air.
Be sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your travel date. If you need to apply for a passport or yours is about to expire, visit the U.S. Department of State website for instructions. ( Make a color copy of your passport in case the original is lost or stolen. Link to passport services


A travel visa is required for most countries, but not all countries require them in advance. Check the Department of State website ( for the most up-to-date country-specific information regarding visas. Most countries will issue a tourist visa upon entrance for U.S. passport holders. If you are on a cruise you are usually ok for the stop in port.

Flight and Hotel Information

Have a copy of your flight itinerary and any information related to where you will be staying during your trip overseas. Most countries want proof of a return ticket. The address and phone number of where you plan to stay may be needed for the entry card when arriving a foreign country.

Driver's License

 The enhanced licenses approved by the Department of Homeland Security can be used for identification. Enhanced licenses have a Radio Frequency Identification Chip and a machine-readable barcode. You can use an enhanced license for both domestic travel and to return to the United States from Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Planning to rent a car or drive any kind of vehicle while traveling, bring your driver’s license and proof of insurance or plan to buy additional insurance where you rent the vehicle, this can run up the cost of the rental, but you can just “walk away”. Countries may require an international driver’s license, but other countries grant a limited driving period.  Check with the rental agency before you go for exact rules and regulations regarding international driving. Also, what their age requirement may be, usually you must be 25 years old.

Insurance Information

Carry proof of medical or travel insurance.  For additional insurance information, read our insurance blog at

If you are a United States Citizen, you MUST have the following for you trip:
State Issued Photo ID…State Certified Birth Certificate (not a copy)…OR
US Passport…Visa…and proof of Inoculations (if needed)

Note: all non-US citizens require special visas, immigration arrangements and re-entry permits which are the traveler’s responsibility.

Cruise Line Requirements
All cruise line passengers must provide  travel documentation when boarding .  Documentation varies by the citizenship and residence of each passenger and the specific ports that the ship visits, it is your responsibility to determine what documentation is required and to acquire that documentation before the cruise. It is not the cruise line or your travel agents responsibility . Passengers who do not have the required documentation will not be allowed to board and the cruise line will not give a refund. All the cruise lines have what is required for documentation on their web sites. Requirements are complex and may change at any time. Cruise passengers should check at

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