Law For Under 18s Travelling Alone – Spain

A law was brought out in September 2019 regarding under-18s travelling alone, with a friend, or family member or even on a school trip.

For those of you who live here in Spain with kids under 18 who may travel alone, it’s worth being aware of this law, especially if your child holds a Spanish Passport – although according to the Spanish Airport Authorities this law affects other passport holders too!

What The British Consulate Says

On 1 September 2019, the Spanish authorities implemented a new regulation. Children (under 18 years old) resident in Spain, who travel out of Spain without a person who has parental responsibility, may need a certified authorisation by that person. This is required in addition to a valid travel document.

The Spanish authorities have confirmed that the regulation does not apply to foreign children resident in Spain who are subject to the law of their country of nationality, or to non-resident foreign children visiting Spain.

We have notified the Spanish immigration authorities that there is no similar standard regulation in the UK, so British consulates do not provide travel authorisation documents. British children do not need written permission to travel unless they are subject to a court order which states that written permission is required from those holding parental responsibility. If the child is subject to such a court order, or to ensure that an unaccompanied child will be able to leave Spain without delay, you must obtain a certified authorisation from a public notary in Spain.

If you have parental responsibility for Spanish children in Spain, you can obtain a certified authorisation at a notary, national police station (in Spanish), or at the Guardia Civil (in Spanish). See full page here

What AENA, Spanish Airports Authorities Say

Spanish children under 18 travelling abroad not accompanied by their parents or legal guardian, must carry, besides the current valid ID card or passport, an authorisation for travel of minors abroad. In the case of foreign minors living in Spain, their legal guardian must contact their consulate to complete the documentation in accordance with the regulations of their country. Continue reading

Our Case – Under 18 British Passport Holder with Spanish Residency – School Trip

Our daughter was born in Spain, and is a resident of Spain but holds a British Passport. She was going on a school trip from Spain to France. The school sent through a form with all the details of the teacher who will be in charge.

We went along to the National Police Station with the following documents;

  • All Passports (mum, dad & daughter)
  • Resident Cards (mum, dad & daughter)
  • Letter from the school with all the information
  • Dates of the trip

The police entered all the details and gave us a form with the authorization for our daughter to travel. However, they were a little confused about her being a British Passport Holder. They said they think it’s ok, but we should check with the British Consulate. I called the British Consulate who said… If the police have issued the authorization then that should be ok. They have had issues where the police have refused to do this for British Passport Holders and in the event of anyone being refused, you would need to go to a Public Notary with all the details.

Forms for under 18s travelling alone

Guardia Civil – Form for under 18s travelling alone

National Police Form for under 18s travelling alone

Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

Many people say their kids have travelled alone or with friends and family and never been questioned. But you never know! It´s better to be safe than sorry and check whether or not you need some form of authorisation. The last thing you want is to have your child stopped at an airport and have the stress of dealing with airport security, police and consulates.

If anyone does have first-hand experience with this new law, please do let us know.

Find more Malaga Airport information here and feel free to come and join our Facebook Group The Costa Del Sol Travel Forum for more advice.

Car Bookings

malaga airport car hire

How can we help?