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.

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Do you have any questions regarding this article?

Whether you're notarising a document for the first time or the hundreth time, the requirements, processes, and terms can be confusing and daunting - or just a pain and a hassle (especially if you need an apostille, or to authenticate or legalise as well). Don't worry! We're here to simplify it, explain it, and help you with what you need to achieve it.

Contact us or visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about our notary public services. We've also created a flowchart to help explain notarisation, apostille, authentication and legalisation.

So, what's next?

Visit our Notary Fees page for a free quote for our notary public services or just call us on +61 2 9687 8885 to speak with our friendly team about your requirements.

Why choose Phang Legal for your notary public services?

We're a leading provider of notary public services in Sydney known for our experience and expertise in notarising documents for other countries, our low-cost fixed fees and service offering, and our availability to help on short notice. With our offices conveniently located in Parramatta, the geographic centre of the Sydney metropolitan area, we help clients from across Sydney and beyond with personal, professional and timely notary public services.

Ern Phang, Notary Public
Ern Phang
Notary Public

This website is maintained by Phang Legal, a boutique law firm in Parramatta and a leading provider of quality notary public services to satisfied clients across Sydney.

Ern Phang is a director of Phang Legal and a notary public (since 2005). Ern regularly writes about his experiences as a notary public and the issues faced by his clients in sending documents to other countries.

All information contained in this article is for general purposes only and correct at the time of publication. Only rely on information and advice specific to your situation and current at the time you wish to rely on it.