Children are required to hold a passport of their own (one person one passport). It is no longer admissible to have children’s names entered in their parents’ passports and all such existing entries are no longer valid. When travelling with a child whose passport has expired in countries where this is permissible, make sure that it is still possible to clearly determine the child’s identity based on the child’s passport photo. It is thus generally recommended to only travel with a valid passport. When travelling with foster children it is recommended that you contact the relevant representation authority of the country you are travelling to in order to determine whether additional documents are required to enter the country. When minors (up to the age of 18) travel alone and are not accompanied by their legal guardian it is recommended that – in addition to their passport – they also carry a valid written declaration of consent signed by their legal guardian stating that they are allowed to travel unaccompanied. A copy of the minor’s birth certificate and a copy of the legal guardian’s passport should be attached to this letter of authorisation. If the minor and his/her legal guardian/parents have different surnames it is also recommended that a copy of his/her parents’ marriage certificate be attached. A sample of such a written declaration of consent in German and English is available on the website of the Austrian automotive club ӦAMTC. Some countries require a certified declaration, in others it may be necessary to attach the custody decree. For more detailed information, please see the country information section – legally binding information is provided, however, only by the respective country’s foreign representation.
In principal, only the young person’s legal guardians (usually the parents) determine a young person’s place of residence, i.e. young people are not allowed to travel against the will of their legal guardian. If required, the legal guardian may also request the police to locate a young person in order to have him/her returned (repatriation of minors). Legal guardians are also entitled to decide on whether minors (persons aged under 18) may command of their travel documents (passport or ID) themselves or not. When abroad, the youth protection legislation of the respective country shall be applicable. Information on what is allowed and what is not permitted is provided by the embassy or consulate of the respective country. Also when young people are abroad (on holiday) with their legal guardians and allowed to go out alone, they must respect the local youth protection legislation. Special caution is required in connection with the import or consumption of alcohol. In some countries protection laws are very strict and the consumption of alcohol by young people may be strictly forbidden. Please note that the age limit for legal alcohol consumption may often be far above the age limit of 18 years defined by law in Austria. Before leaving home, young people who already hold a driving licence should find out whether it is also valid in the respective (holiday) country and/or from what age they are allowed to drive a vehicle in this (holiday) country.