Do I Need a Birth Certificate For My Child to Fly Southwest?

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Do I Need a Birth Certificate for My Child to Fly with Southwest Airlines?

If you've spent any time on airplanes, you know how important it is to have a valid form of ID when traveling. Security requirements mean that if you show up at the airport without the proper ID, you're not going to get very far. This may make you wonder: ?

The answer depends on a few different factors. We can walk you through the requirements, so you aren't surprised when you show up to board with your child. And what if you discover that you need to replace a lost birth certificate? We can help you with that too.

Who Needs Identification to Fly on Southwest Airlines?

Everyone who is 18 years old and older needs a valid ID to fly. This is a . Minors under the age of 18 aren't required to have ID, except in certain situations. Here are the circumstances you need to be prepared for.

NewbornsMost of the time you won't need a birth certificate for a newborn to fly. But a medical release for travel for babies who are 14 days old or younger. If your baby is over two weeks old but close to that age, it's a good idea to have their birth certificate on hand to prove that they're old enough to fly without a medical release.
Children two weeks to two years oldKids under two years old don't need , unless you opt not to buy a ticket for them. Children under two years old can travel free if they sit on your lap and don't take up a seat. But although these kids will sail through security without needing any form of ID, Southwest employees may ask for verification of their age at any time during the trip. They require a government-issued ID, so if your child doesn't have a passport, you should bring a copy of their birth certificate.
Unaccompanied minorsKids between the ages of five and eleven, who are traveling without a companion who is at least 12 years old, are subject to certain requirements. Their parent or guardian must bring them to the airport and provide proof of their age. for this purpose.

What Forms of ID Can Children Use to Fly Southwest?

If these circumstances apply to you then you will need some form of identification for your child. Most of the time, that should be a , government-issued ID. But of course, your child isn't likely to have a driver's license. What qualifies as a government-issued ID for a child? For most kids, there are two documents that fit this category.

  1. Birth certificates
  2. Passports

Even if your child has a passport, you may not want to travel with it if you don't have to. Replacing a lost passport is more difficult than replacing a lost birth certificate. But not all birth certificates count as government ID.

What’s the Difference Between Authorized and Informational Copies of a Birth Certificate?

Any official copy of a birth certificate is a certified copy, but not all certified copies are the same. There are two different types of certificates, and they can be used in different ways.

Authorized Birth Certificates

This type of birth certificate is called authorized because only certain people are permitted to request it, such as immediate family members. It has the stamp or seal of the office that issued it, and it's considered a valid form of government-issued ID.

Authorized birth certificates can be used to:

  • Prove your identity
  • Apply for a driver's license
  • Apply for a passport
  • In adoption proceedings

Informational Birth Certificates

This form has the same information as the authorized certificate, but it doesn't have the stamp or seal of the office. It must have a disclaimer that states: "INFORMATIONAL, NOT A VALID DOCUMENT TO ESTABLISH IDENTITY." It cannot be used as official proof of your identity. That means Southwest Airlines might decline this document as proof of identity.

Informational birth certificates can be used to:

  • Apply for sports teams
  • Genealogical research
  • May be accepted as proof of age, but it's safest to have an authorized birth certificate

Who Can Get a Birth Certificate Copy?

An authorized birth certificate is harder to get than an informational certificate. In most states, the requirements are the same.

Authorized Birth Certificates

  • The person who the certificate is for
  • Their immediate family members or guardian
  • An official representative of the certificate holder
  • Employees of certain government agencies on official business

Informational Birth Certificates

  • Distant relatives
  • Researchers

How to Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate on Your Own

If you discover that you need your child's birth certificate for your next flight, you'll probably want to order a copy ASAP. Even if you know exactly where to find their original birth certificate, it's a good idea to keep that one in a safe place and travel with a certified copy.

You can order an authorized copy from the state where your child was born, but be sure to get all the details correct in your application.

Like most government offices, the red tape can be confusing to navigate. Here's a list of some of the information you'll need to apply for a birth certificate.

  1. Where can you apply for a birth certificate? You can start with the state's vital records office, and they should be able to direct you to the county or city clerk where you can get the birth certificate.
  2. What forms of identification do you need for the application?
  3. How should you submit your proof of identification?
  4. What application forms do you need to fill out?
  5. Do you need to apply online, in person, or by mail?
  6. What forms of payment do they accept?
  7. What is the processing time for a birth certificate?

Apply for a Birth Certificate in a Snap With DoNotPay

If you need a fast birth certificate and you don't have the time or patience to figure out the rules for your state, there is an easier way. DoNotPay makes it simple to navigate the process for quick results. Instead of spending hours combing through websites to decode all the requirements, let us take care of the details.

How to get a copy of a birth certificate using DoNotPay:

  1. Go to the Birth Certificates product on DoNotPay.

  2. Select who the certificate is for (you or a loved one). If you are requesting a copy of someone else's certificate, enter their personal details, and upload evidence that proves your relationship.

  3. Enter the location you or your loved one was born in, so we can complete the form specific to your state.

  4. Enter the name(s) of the parent(s) as displayed on the certificate.

  5. Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.

  6. Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.

  7. Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.

  8. If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf.

It's just that easy! Let us cope with the red tape and leave you free to plan your upcoming trip.

DoNotPay Is the Best Way to Apply for a Copy of a Birth Certificate

You have better things to do with your time than to try to deal with a government office. DoNotPay was created for this sort of problem, making it easy for you to get the process going. We have the knowledge to get to work right away, getting the birth certificate you need without jumping through hoops. Our system streamlines the application, to reduce the time and stress involved for everyone.

You’ll be on that Southwest flight in no time. Try it out today!

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