Do Kids Need ID to Fly? What’s Required and Extra Peace of Mind

Do Kids Need ID to Fly? What to Know for Peace of Mind

The Situation

You’re getting ready to visit out-of-state relatives or take a big family vacation. It’s exciting, but it’s also your first time flying with the kids. Besides worrying about tantrums on the plane, you might be wondering: Do kids need ID to fly? Is TSA going to card my 3-year-old?


Short answer: Probably not. Long answer: We think it’s a good idea to invest in a child ID bracelet anyway for your own peace of mind. Read on for the ins-and-outs of airport rules and how to worry less about lost kids on your big trip


What Happens at the Airport

Kid ID Bracelet by ROAD iD

Let’s start with the official rules about kids, flying and ID. For domestic flights, the TSA - and most airlines - don’t require ID for travelers under 18 if they’re with an adult. If you’re taking advantage of a free or discounted child fare, check the airline’s requirements. You may need a birth certificate or other documents to prove age and eligibility.

If you’re trying to recreate National Lampoon’s European Vacation, you’ll need a passport for every member of the family. A rule that stands for all international destinations. If both parents aren’t traveling - or you’re bringing along one of your kid’s friends - U.S. Customs and Border Protection recommends traveling with a letter from the absent parent(s) that gives you permission for international travel. It’s also crucial to check the requirements of any destination countries.


Beyond the Official Rules

OK, now that you know how to get on the plane with your kiddos, let’s talk about your parental sanity. Taking a family trip means navigating a lot of busy, confusing places. The airport is crowded, and it’s easy to lose sight of your child. Not to mention an amusement park or just navigating an unknown city. It’s incredibly scary to look up and think: Where’s my kid?

Many parenting blogs and travel safety articles recommend writing your phone number on your child’s arm with a Sharpie. But, trust us, there’s a better way. Invest in a snazzy ROAD iD for kids. These simple kids ID bracelets come in a whole bunch of fun colors, so you can let your children pick bracelets that match their style.

Plus, there’s plenty of room on the face plate to put their name, your name, your phone number and even any health or allergy information. Heck, you might even be able to fit in a fun saying or family motto to make this safety item loved by all. If your child wanders away with a ROAD iD, it’s easy for a kind stranger to quickly call and reunite you.

We think the peace of mind alone makes it worth investing in a kid ID bracelet. Even if the TSA doesn’t require you to have it for that big trip to Disney, the beach or Grandma’s house.

The Superpowers of Child IDs

Alright, folks, let's delve a bit deeper into this kiddo ID situation. We've chatted about flying rules, the beauty of the ROAD iD, and how to hold onto your sanity when the world around you feels like a scene from Jumanji. 

But let’s get real about why these little wrist wonders – or any child ID, be it a valid passport or birth certificate – are game changers for parents everywhere. Here’s the skinny:

Immediate Help in Medical Scenarios

Imagine this scenario: your tot's snacking on something they shouldn’t at the airport, waiting for their boarding pass. A quick peek at their ID or even their birth certificate, and anyone can spot those allergy warnings. If your kiddo needs specific meds, that information is right there on the ID, ensuring there's no guesswork in emergencies.

Quick Kiddo Return Policy

For unaccompanied minors flying domestically, the Transportation Security Administration often requires more than just an ID to fly. They might need their child's birth certificate, especially if only one parent is present. It's different than when you're there to hand them their boarding pass. 

But with an ID, someone can ring you up before you even finish your panic spiral. And for places like amusement parks and zoos? Those thrilling spots can be kiddo-losing hotspots for unaccompanied minors. An ID acts like a beacon, signaling their way back to you.

Teaching Responsibility 101

Having their birth certificate or an ID can be seen as their very first "license" to the world. Sure, they can’t drive, but they can learn the importance of keeping essential documents close. It’s also an early lesson for unaccompanied minors in understanding the vast world out there.

Navigating through bustling airports or crowded train stations, even the youngest travelers get a taste of grown-up accountability. It's like giving them their first pair of wings, teaching them to soar safely while staying grounded with their credentials.

Peace of Mind – Priceless

Imagine you have sole custody and you're about to send your child on a trip. A child travel consent form is critical. Equally, there's a certain zen mode that comes with knowing your child has a boarding pass, birth certificate, or a valid passport, allowing you to breathe easier, even if they're just heading for a sleepover.

To wrap it up, while your unaccompanied minor might not strictly need an ID to fly or even their birth certificate to board that plane, think of child IDs as their superhero cape in the big world. Every superhero needs their gear, right?

Final Boarding Call on Child IDs

Well, jet-setting parents and guardians, it’s time to touch down on our whirlwind tour of the child ID airspace. From the high-flying benefits of wrist IDs to the nitty-gritty of navigating the airport maze with unaccompanied minors, we've unpacked quite the suitcase of knowledge. 

Whether it's ensuring the kiddos have their boarding pass, birth certificate, or a swanky ID bracelet, it’s clear that a sprinkle of preparation goes a long way. It's not just about ticking off the Transportation Security Administration's checklist; it's about giving you that sweet, sweet peace of mind. 

The next time you find yourself questioning the need for an ID or diving deep into the birth certificate archives, remember this: Every superhero - big or small, flying solo or with their sidekicks - needs their trusty gear. And in the grand airport of life, that little piece of identification might just be the cape your child needs. 

Safe travels, and may your adventures always come with an extra dash of peace and a side of parental zen!


Ready to invest in ID for your kids? Check out our ROAD iD bands in kid-friendly sizes and colors.