Whenever we fly or travel, we need to show multiple forms of ID. Our kids don’t, which is a good thing, because have you ever tried to get a child ID card? They don’t exist. I called AAA and my state DMV, and both said they won’t issue one for kids. My little girl is still a bit too young to spout off her home address reliably, and I can’t expect that she’d have important contact information while traveling. You’re not actually supposed to carry your passport out and about in a foreign country, and it doesn’t have all the contact info I want it to have anyway. So what to do? Print your own child ID card.
I’ve printed a child ID card at home both years that we’ve traveled internationally. I make the little one carry a tiny purse with her card in it. We talk about what to do if we get separated (look for a mom with kids and ask for help), and when to share her ID card with police or other uniformed folks who can help. Mostly, I hold her hand tightly non-stop, but the identification card is an extra layer of protection.
The free child ID card template that I like best is over at Just Something I Made. If you can reasonably manipulate computer files and digital photos, you can do this at home. If you aren’t really friendly with PDF’s, I recommend downloading PrimoPDF as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat Pro. With PrimoPDF you can type the text right onto the template linked above, then print it out all ready to fold and laminate.
You’ll still have to add a photo, which you can also do from home. I haven’t found an easy way to add a picture right to this file, although can you save the PDF as a JPG, then edit the photo to add another JPG onto it with whatever editing software you like to use, but that’s getting a bit fancy. To fit the space on this card, print a paper photo no larger than 1″ square.
I just purchased a home laminator and am kind of in love with it, but last year I just covered the card with clear packing tape, which worked beautifully.
Print a couple of these cards, including one to replace the first one that your kid will lose, and one for you to hold on to, just in case you need to share it with authorities, which I hope you will never, ever have to do!
Do you have a better or easier way to provide your youngster with personal ID when traveling?