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ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

Amarillo, Texas
posts: 1,284
reviews: 8
ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

My 13 yo granddaughter is flying to Newark, NJ with me in June. Does anyone know what form of ID is needed for a 13 yo if any. When I flew with my 6 yo grandson, he didn't need anything but wasn't sure if it was the same for a 13 yo. Ty for any advice you can give me!

Seattle, Washington
posts: 9,108
reviews: 91
1. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

She doesn't need any ID.

posts: 4,671
reviews: 1
2. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

I took both my niece and nephew on trips when each turned 13. I think one of them was asked if they had a school id but he didn't and it was okay. Did ask him his name and date of birth.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
posts: 9,600
reviews: 77
3. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

I agree. Only travelers over 18 need ID:


Amarillo, Texas
posts: 1,284
reviews: 8
4. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

ty all. I thought that's how it was but wanted to make sure.

posts: 316
reviews: 59
5. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

The above is correct... However, as any case where you are taking care of a child and you are not that child's parent, I always suggest to have documentation from the parents (preferably both parents and notarized) that you will be traveling with the child on specific dates, have permission to consent to medical treatment of the children, a certified copy of their birth certificate and any medical or insurance information. I know a lot of parents have those free cards made up for their kids with a recent photograph, fingerprint, current picture and height/weight stats of the child just in case they get kidnapped. If your grandchildren have those made up, I would take those too or have one made prior to the trip.

Hopefully we won't have to worry about the kid acting like they are being kidnapped and creating a scene in front of the TSA, having a serious medical emergency or getting lost/kidnapped, but it's important to be prepared nonetheless.

posts: 66
6. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

Does your state have a ID than can be issued to a 13 yrs old.

Minnesota has a ID that is like a drivers license until the applicant gets a DL.

Fortaleza, CE
posts: 8,172
reviews: 378
7. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

Hae you phoned Southwest? I think the idea of a letter from the parent is a good one, especially if the child dosn't ahve the same last name as you do.

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
posts: 5,325
8. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

There is absolutely no need to spend time or money on obtaining an ID for a 13 year old. Minors don't need ID, end of story. A letter from the parents is also going to be overkill for a domestic trip unless the the parents will be vacationing in the desert for a week without phone service. Emergency personnel are not going to withhold necessary medical treatment, and even with the letter, there is no guarantee that the grandparents won't also be injured in an accident and unable to produce the letter.

Just approach the TSA ID checker, hand over your ID, your boarding pass and the granddaughter's boarding pass. As long as she is not the smart aleck type that will joke about being kidnapped or carrying a bomb, you should be on your way in seconds. Unfortunately she is just over the magic age of 12 that would allow you to skip shoe removal and body scanners, so you probably won't get special kid treatment through the checkpoint.

posts: 316
reviews: 59
9. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines


As a medical professional, I can assure you that having a notarized letter from the parents legal gaurdians is a necessity for smart travelers. Yes, when lives are on the line, we don't wait for the paperwork to get sorted out, but MOST of the time, lives are not on the line. What if she gets food poisoning, an infection or an injury? It is unfair for the kid to be in pain for a second longer just because the gaurdian didn't prepare properly. Maybe other people think it's okay for a kid to sit around in pain for half an hour while some receptionist takes time to track down the parents, but I do not.

posts: 4,170
reviews: 40
10. Re: ID for 13 yo on SW airlines

I stand with TEV. Rosie, you are too dramatic in this case. It's a domestic flight and this is her grandmother--an immediate family member. What do you thinks a 13 YO needs to travel in the US with her gandparent, a living will and POA + notarized parental permission?

Edited: 12:55 pm, March 27, 2013