Travelling with an unrelated, underage minor?

Aug 15th, 2015, 06:24 AM
  #1  
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Travelling with an unrelated, underage minor?

Hi, I'm flying from Toronto to Tokyo, but we're switching planes in New York JFK. My friend is 17, she's not going with any parents but they both provided signed and notarized letters of permission that we downloaded from some government site. We also have round trip tickets and confirmation of our hotel reservations. Will we have trouble with them, or do you think we're safe? I know they're paranoid about abductions and terrorists.
Nozomi is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 08:05 AM
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I think you are good to go. Have fun.
MichelleY is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 08:13 AM
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Signed and notarized = okay
starrs is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 08:46 AM
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With the letters you should be fine. I hope they mention that you have the right to make medical decisions for the young woman if necessary.

And make sure she is prepared to answer any questions about the reason for the trip, details of where you will be going etc.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 10:17 AM
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She could be traveling on her own, so I really don't see what the issue is. I'm not even sure the letters are necessary for a 17-year old?
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 10:38 AM
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> I'm not even sure the letters
> are necessary for a 17-year old?

In the U.S., someone who is 17 years and 364 days old is, legally, a "minor." Two days later that person would be, legally, an adult.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/det...ot-a-parent-or

Try to buy cigarettes the day before you turn 18, and the store will (well, SHOULD) tell it would be illegal.
PaulRabe is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Good point by nytraveler, be sure you have a letter authorizing you to approve of medical treatment just in case.
jamie99 is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 02:15 PM
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I do not think terrorists are going to be deterred by notarized documents.
IMDonehere is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 02:22 PM
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> I do not think terrorists are going to be deterred by notarized documents.

Please don't even get me started. Future historians will read and stare in absolute disbelief. 315 million Americans forced to prove their innocence over and over (and over and over again for business travelers) to their own government, in direct violation of our Bill of Rights, because of a few dozen idiots with box cutters. Countless billions of productivity hours lost, simply to perpetuate fear and terror. Etc. A friend jokes half-heartedly that the TSA were the only domestic jobs created by GWB in eight years. I wish it was far from the truth.
fdecarlo is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 02:37 PM
  #10  
 
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You have received no voice of authority here. Just a bunch of people who 'think' they know of what they speak. I have no authentic advice for you either.
Inakauaidavidababy is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 04:25 PM
  #11  
 
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Apologoies to Fodor's mods for not checking the forum I was responding to. Please remove my last post at your discretion.
fdecarlo is offline  
Aug 15th, 2015, 04:39 PM
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This issue has nothing to do with terrorism and everything to do with the fact that a minor is leaving the country without parental permission - possibly with a predator (apologies to the OP).
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2015, 02:39 AM
  #13  
 
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A 17-year-old with a valid passport can enter the US without accompaniment of an adult.

The idea of a letter authorizing medical treatment really doesn't make much sense. The person traveling with the 17-year-old really doesn't have any authority. What defines "traveling with"?

What happens if a 17-year-old traveling alone (which is possible and legal) is stricken ill or injured? A hospital would refuse to treat him/her? No way.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2015, 03:41 AM
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I'm not sure that airlines will allow a 17 year old alone onto a plane leaving the country. And if a 17 year old was somehow injured on a trip I don't know that medical treatment would be allowed without the approval of an adult with the legal capacity to approve the treatment.

Obviously medical professionals would do anything necessary to save the young woman's life - but not sure about other treatments - and what 17 year old has the details of their medical insurance - typically this is something a parent handles. And as we know some countries check for insurance coverage before a young person is allowed to even enter the country.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2015, 05:21 AM
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>>I'm not sure that airlines will allow a 17 year old alone onto a plane leaving the country.<<

I am. Anyone 16 or older can travel to the US and Canada under the same stipulations as adults.

>>And if a 17 year old was somehow injured on a trip I don't know that medical treatment would be allowed without the approval of an adult with the legal capacity to approve the treatment. <<

I do know. Do you seriously believe that if a 17-year-old is injured in, say, a car crash, before providing treatment, medical providers (a) first check for verification of a person's age and (b) then wait around for approval by someone who's an adult?
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2015, 05:25 AM
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>>what 17 year old has the details of their medical insurance<<

That's a separate issue, and it's something that can be verified in a nonemergency situation. Has nothing to do with medical authorization. And if I had the magical letter authorizing medical treatment, how would that be effective if I didn't also have proof of the person's insurance.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2015, 08:35 AM
  #17  
 
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I agree with Vincenzo, and was trying to make the same point on Saturday. These aren't two people traveling together where one has to be responsible for the other one. They're just two people who happen to know each other and happen to be going the same place.

"She could be traveling on her own, so I really don't see what the issue is. I'm not even sure the letters are necessary for a 17-year old?"
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2015, 05:04 PM
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The fact that people under 18 are allowed into the country alone does not mean that they will be allowed out of the country alone. The airline determines who they will let fly - and they may be unwilling to risk a law suit if this has the potential to be a custody issue or a runaway (with help).
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 17th, 2015, 05:06 PM
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Sorry - I think it would be worth the time/effort to call the airline to be sure.

But since the OP already has the letter there should not be any potential issue.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 17th, 2015, 06:12 PM
  #20  
 
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As long as you have a notarized letter of permission signed by both parents, you'll be fine. Many countries now require such letters, but the US is not one of them. But this is a rapidly changing situation. South Africa, for instance, just added such restrictions a month or so ago, and many other countries are adding these requirements. I'm not sure about Japan. If you are interested, post in the Asia forum, which is quite lively. But regardless, I'd definitely carry such a latter.
doug_stallings is offline  
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