11 May 2018

I’m going on holiday and will bring the authorisation form

By Ryanne van Manen

After a period of hard work, you are looking forward to a carefree holiday.

If you are planning to travel with (your) children, please remember you will need permission of the parent(s) with parental authority. Without it, further investigation will be carried out at your point of departure. Please read this article carefully to ensure you don’t miss your flight!

Holiday abroad

Legally, a holiday falls within the exercise of the right of custody. This means that the parent or parents with parental authority must give permission for a minor to travel. If you travel abroad with minors, you will need to demonstrate that you have permission from the parent(s) with parental authority. Travelling without this permission can be considered as kidnapping, and you could be accused of child abduction.

Who has parental authority?

Who has parental authority depends on personal circumstances. Under Dutch law, both parents automatically have parental authority if a child is born within the marriage or a registered partnership. If a child is born outside a marriage or registered partnership, then the mother is, in principle, legally entitled to parental authority. The father can be given authority after a record has been introduced in the parental authority register or by court ruling.

Permission: yes or no?

Filling in an authorisation form is, of course, not necessary if a child goes on holiday with both parents or if a parent has sole custody over the minor(s). In the case of sole custody, you must have documents that demonstrate that you have sole custody and that no permission is required. However, if a parent with the joint parental authority travels alone with an underage child, then the other parent with parental authority must give their permission. The same applies if a minor travels with an adult other than the parent(s), for example with a family member. When a minor travels alone, permission from the parents with parental authority will be required. It sometimes happens that the other parent with parental authority does not grant permission for a holiday with the children. A judge can then be asked to grant permission in lieu for the holiday. In such a case, the judge will decide whether the planned holiday is in the interest of the minor.

Authorisation form

Permission for travel is granted by completing the form ‘Permission to travel abroad with a minor’. This form must also be accompanied by a copy of the ID of the parent(s) with parental authority, as well as an international excerpt from the municipal personal records database (BRP) of the child that contains the details of the parent.

Contact us

Are you planning to go on holiday with your children and you still have questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Ryanne van Manen

Ryanne van Manen


Ryanne van Manen works as a lawyer in the family and inheritance law practice group.

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