Do children need identification to fly?

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Baby at the airport (Photo: Duncan Babbage/iStockphoto)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on April 21, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, family travel, government regulation, Jessica Labrencis, passport.

As summer approaches, you're likely preparing to take the kids on a vacation to Disney World, Grandma's house, or elsewhere. If you're traveling by air, you may be wondering what identification you'll need to have for your children.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), each airline sets the identification requirements for minors on domestic flights. Generally, children are not required to present ID for travel within the U.S., but you should contact your airline before you travel to check exactly what, if anything, is needed.


International flights are a whole other ballgame, however. All children, including infants, must present a passport for travel outside the U.S. The State Department offers step-by-step instructions on applying for passports for minors.

If your child will be flying alone, Ed Perkins has an article on air travel for unaccompanied minors that you may find useful.

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