Generally speaking, a child cannot travel abroad without prior permission from everyone with parental responsibility of that child (or from a court, where permission from someone with parental responsibility cannot be obtained).
While an informal letter of consent is often sufficient proof of permission, it is a good idea to formalise this permission in a notarised travel consent document. Since you may be asked to produce the travel consent at the UK border or at the Spanish border, by arranging the Spanish sworn translation of your travel consent, you will have all eventualities covered.
How does a notarial travel consent look like?
A notarial travel consent consists of two parts:
- A notarial certificate confirming details of the Notary Public and of the person giving consent to travel.
- A declaration by the person with parental responsibility authorising the other person with parental responsibility to travel to Spain with their child or children.
What details should a notarial travel consent include?
The notarial certificate should normally include the following:
- Notary Public’s name, jurisdiction and professional address
- Details of the person appearing before the Notary Public, such as full name and nationality
- Confirmation that the Notary Public has checked the person’s ID/passport
- Notary Public’s name, full details, protocol number and seal
The declaration should normally include the following:
- Full details of the person giving consent, such as date and place of birth, passport number and date of expiry, and address
- Explicit wording giving authorisation
- Full details of the child or children (full name, date and place of birth, passport number and date of expiry)
- Details of the person being authorised to travel to Spain with the child or children (full name, date and place of birth, passport number and date of expiry)
- Details of the trip to Spain
- Signature and full name of the person giving travel consent, and date of signature
- Signature, full name and professional address of the Notary Public as witness, and date of signature
How to get a UK travel consent ready for taking a child to Spain
1. Obtain permission
As stated above, permission from everyone with parental responsibility of a child is required before taking that child abroad. This applies in all cases. Even if you are the mother of the child (and have automatic parental responsibility), you still need permission from anyone else with parental responsibility before you can take the child to Spain.
PLEASE NOTE: if you have parental responsibility, you can take your child to another country for up to 28 days without obtaining permission if, and only if, you have a child arrangement order in place saying that the child must live with you (unless a court order prohibits you from doing so). In any other case, taking a child abroad without the other person with parental responsibility’s consent is child abduction.
2. Formalise the permission in a travel consent
While you can draft a travel consent letter yourself and take it with you to a Notary Public for notarisation, it might be a good idea to have the Notary Public draft the document. This will ensure that no necessary details are missing, that the wording is correct, and that there are no ambiguities or mistakes.
Book an appointment with a local Public Notary and make sure you bring your passport with you and documents evidencing the information that will be included in the travel consent. These may include passports, birth certificates, marriage certificate, divorce decree or travel itineraries.
3. Arrange the Spanish sworn translation of your travel consent
As an English-Spanish sworn translator, I will be happy to help with the Spanish sworn translation of your travel consent. If you have not requested a sworn translation before, visit the Q&A section of my blog, where I have answered many frequently asked questions from clients.
Once you have your travel consent ready, contact me by email and attach a full scanned copy. I will get back to you promptly with a formal quotation and my terms of service.
4. Keep all documents with you
My sworn translation service includes two types of delivery formats by default: hard-copy translation (valid for in-person or postal procedures) and digital translation (valid for online procedures). Irrespective of the delivery format, the translation will include a stamped and dated printout copy of the travel consent. However, sworn translations are considered supporting documents, so they must always be presented together with their corresponding original document.
When you travel with your child(ren), remember to take with you (1) the original travel consent, and (2) the Spanish sworn translation of the travel consent and keep them at hand and ready for inspection. The digital translation will be a useful backup, so it is a good idea to download it onto your phone and have easy offline access to it, should you need to show it.
The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication/last update. This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. ICR Translations will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from loss of data or profits as a result of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
Irene Corchado Resmella, a Spanish translator based in Edinburgh. English-Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chartered Linguist and member of the CIOL. As a legal translator, I focus on Private Client law, specialising in Wills and Succession across three jurisdictions (England & Wales, Spain, and Scotland). Affiliate member of STEP. ICR Translations is registered with the ICO and has professional indemnity insurance.