5 Documents To Get Translated Before Travelling Abroad With A Child

Posted on: 23 June 2015

Most travelers know the list of important documents that they should copy and take with them if they are going abroad. However, if you are going abroad with a child, there are several documents that you may want to have translated and notarized before you leave on your trip. Translating documents before you go can help tedious interactions, such as customs and renting a car, pass more quickly, which is important when traveling with a young child. 

Driver's Licence 

While many countries accept an international driving permit, there are countries that do not accept the permit but still accept driver's licences from the United States for short term usage. If you are going to one of these countries, it is important to get your driver's licence translated into the correct language before you leave. This will make renting a car easier and can also make any interactions with the authorities easier. 


You should get your official prescriptions translated into the native language of the country you are travelling to. This can help if you need to prove to the authorities that the medication you have belongs to you or your child. It will also be useful if you lose your medication and need to get a refill, experience a medical emergency while abroad, or plan to leave your child with a caregiver in another country. 

You should also get a list of common non-prescription medications translated, such as over-the-counter medicine that you or your child uses for motion sickness or allergies. This will make ordering the proper medication in a local pharmacy easier. While translations of prescription medications may need to be notarized, depending on their status in the country you are travelling to, translations of over-the-counter medications will not need notarization. 

Your Child's Birth Certificate 

There may be times during your travel when you are required to prove that you are the legal guardian of the child you are traveling with. Checking into hotels and purchasing international train tickets are two common times when you may need proof of guardianship. 

Usually, your child's passport will suffice if you share a last name with your child. However, occasionally you may need to show a birth certificate or adoption certificate, depending on the country you are in. These documents should be translated and notarized. 

A Letter From Your Spouse 

If you and your child are travelling without your spouse, you may want a notarized, translated copy of a letter from your spouse stating that they give you permission to travel internationally with your child. This letter should include specific dates and places as much as possible and will aid in interactions with boarder officials and the purchasing of international tickets. 

Even if you are travelling as a couple with your child, you may want to have each guardian write a letter for the opposite guardian to have in case you want to go on an international day trip on your own. 

If you are the sole guardian of a child, you should have the court record of your guardianship translated or make a statement yourself and have it notarized and translated. 

Vaccination Records 

You should have your and your child's vaccination records translated into the local language before you leave. This will help when you enter a country that requires vaccinations. It will also be useful during a medical emergency and can be helpful if you plan to enroll your child in a summer camp or daycare program while you are abroad. 

While these documents may not be required while you are abroad, it is better to have them quickly accessible in case of an emergency. Prepare for your next international trip by hiring translation services to translate each of these documents.