I'm headed to Poland from Copenhagen Airport by myself later this month. I am 17 and thus counted as a minor.

Do I need any sort of notarized letter? I have confirmed that no permission is needed to leave Denmark by myself, however I'm unsure about the procedures in Poland upon arrival.

If a notarized letter is indeed necessary, how would I obtain it? Do I just write one myself and get a signature or does an embassy have to be involved? Do both parents need to sign it?

Update: I found this on the European Union website however the link to the guide “issued by the Polish Border Guard” is broken. Is it realistic for me to get this letter sorted out by Saturday when I'm leaving?

  • 3
    It says it's "advised". Personally I would not bother given the timescales. Perhaps you should print it out in case the immigration officer tells you it's mandatory.
    – Berwyn
    Jul 7 '16 at 11:43
  • 3
    For what it's worth, back in my day (2007) I traveled solo extensively in central Europe, including Poland, at 17 and never did anyone ask about a letter nor did I have one.
    – Carl
    Jul 7 '16 at 11:57
  • 4
    @miestasmia there are no border officials in the Schengen area, so it should be fine
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 7 '16 at 15:44
  • 6
    Finally, enough proof to rename all the "we're all adults here" questions.
    – Fiksdal
    Jul 7 '16 at 17:00
  • 1
    @Tim Schengen to Schengen means only the airline checks IDs and even that doesn't always happen.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 7 '16 at 19:36

The page you link to seems to have some of the information you need:

In addition to their own valid travel document (passport or ID card), although not obligatory by law, all minors entering or leaving Poland are strongly advised to carry a letter of parental consent if travelling alone or with adults other than their parents. The document should be signed by both parents and certified by a notary (or validated by a Polish Consul if issued outside Poland) and should show: the dates and reason for travel the details of an adult who will be responsible for the child

I would contact a Polish consul asap. Not only can they advise you on what to write in the letter, you will need them to sign the letter and there is not much time left.

If it's realistic totally depends on the access you have to both your parents and a consul. If you have already booked and can't delay the only option seems to just go for it and try to arrange the document.

If all else fails and you do decide to go without the consul signature I would try to make the letter and other information you have as complete as possible.

  • 1
    Take the letter without certification if time does not permit. Or in case, have it certified by someone officalish from home, e.g. your city, your school, ... . As long as the stamp is pretty ;)
    – mts
    Jul 7 '16 at 11:44
  • I presume this only applies to people under 15 or 16, not older.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 7 '16 at 12:27
  • @JonathanReez: Why would that be? The age of majority in Poland (as well as in most of the rest of Europe) is 18. It is indeed likely that nobody will challenge the OP given that it's intra-Schengen travel -- but if anyone does, I would expect the age threshold they work by to be 18. Jul 7 '16 at 13:42
  • @HenningMakholm For example in Czech Republic it's possible to travel alone from the age of 15. Other countries are likely to have similar policies.
    – JonathanReez
    Jul 7 '16 at 13:52
  • @JonathanReez but those policies might apply only to domestic travel. Internal Schengen travel is still international travel, even though there is no systematic check of travel documents. In practice I agree that there's unlikely to be any trouble. The only place where there would be would be the carrier.
    – phoog
    Jul 7 '16 at 15:05

Because this is an internal Schengen flight, you will not be subject to a systematic check of your travel document by Danish or Polish officials. Therefore, restrictions or requirements that arise because you are a minor will only be enforced by the airline. Call the airline and ask them what documents you will need to board the plane.

  • While it is true that it is a Schengen flight, passport controls do occur. Three days ago I flew Athens-Warsaw, and on arrival our passports were checked. It didn't look like formal immigration, but still we had to show our passports to get to the baggage area. Jul 7 '16 at 20:48
  • @MartinArgerami Yes, I have often found informal passport checks on arrival, usually at the gate immediately upon leaving the jet bridge. My sense is that once they establish that it's an EU passport and it's the right photograph, they're done. I doubt they'd pay much attention to whether a 17-year-old has a permission letter from his or her parents. Perhaps the check you experienced was related to the recent temporary reintroduction of border controls, though.
    – phoog
    Jul 7 '16 at 21:01
  • I agree, but then we are advising the OP that nothing would happen, when we are really not sure, are we? Jul 7 '16 at 21:04
  • @MartinArgerami I'm not advising anything of the sort; I'm advising the OP to check with the airline.
    – phoog
    Jul 7 '16 at 21:06

for what it's worth: Poland reinstituted border controls recently to last for a month (several large events occuring in Poland over the next few weeks).

to be honest, I never ever heard about a thing called a notarized letter -- in my time, once you got an ID (usually at 16), you where more or less free to travel, although some kind of writ from your parents may have been helpful in certain situations

  • I don't know about the concrete case Denmark/Poland, but what you say does not apply to many countries, where people who are not 18 yet cannot cross borders without an authorization from their parents (the "notarized letter"). Jul 7 '16 at 21:12

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