Everyone who enters an airport, including babies, needs to show some form of ID, but while a government issued photo ID is required of adults, often a birth certificate will do just fine for infants and children when traveling domestically. For a journey outside the country, however, each passenger, regardless of age, must possess a valid passport. Make sure that infants have the proper ID to board the plane before they reach the airport, or the trip might be cut drastically short.
The Baby's Birth Certificate
The most acceptable form of ID for babies traveling within the country is a birth certificate. This will prove the baby's age and parentage, so be sure the certificate contains the names of both parents including the mother's maiden name. In order to obtain the baby's birth certificate, make sure to write to your local county Department of Vital Records in order to order it. Sometime, hospitals will provide the parents with an order form for the birth certificate while still at the hospital.
Parent's Letter of Consent
If traveling without the baby's other parent or legal guardian, the lone parent might want to have the other parent write a "letter of consent," stating that the accompanying parent is allowed to travel with the baby. It is important to consult with the airline to see if this step is necessary when traveling domestically or internationally. Similarly, if one parent is deceased, make sure to carry that person's death certificate when traveling with his or her baby.
Passport Requirements for Babies
It is important to know that babies, just like children and adults, are required to have a valid passport and the requisite visas when traveling internationally. No person, regardless of age, will be allowed on board an international flight without a passport. Make sure to check with the U.S. State Department about obtaining a passport for an unborn or newborn infant before traveling.
Traveling with Babies
As an adult traveling with a baby, the parent will need the same type of ID as when flying solo. Furthermore, the ID should ideally link the parent to the baby. For example, the parent's name should be on the baby's birth certificate. If traveling with an adopted baby, it is important to be sure to travel with the child's birth certificate and adoption papers, as they should verify that parent as the legal guardian of the baby.