When you're a kid and you want to go to some event or a school excursion you have to bring a document signed by your parents saying that they've given their permission. What is this document usually called?

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    In English, we say What is something called?, not How is something called? Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 15:12
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    @AlanCarmack and now Arthur has learned two things for the price of one question. XD Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 17:50
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    I suspect this is different in different parts of the world. You might clarify whether you are asking about US English, British English, or some other country, region, or flavor of English. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 1:55
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    Arthur, @Max has correctly edited your title to represent natural, idiomatic English. The suggested version you ask about is not at all natural or idiomatic. Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:13
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    @ArthurCorenzan The most natural word order for a short sentence in English would be "What is the document called?", but in an example like "What is the document that parents have to sign so their underage children can take part in something called" we often move the verb (called) nearer to the start of the sentence and put the relative clause that describes the document (that parents ... in something) after the verb.
    – alephzero
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 22:39

6 Answers 6


I know it as a "permission slip".

A permission slip in the United States is a form that a school or other organization sends home with a student to a parent in which the parent provides authorization for minor children to travel under the auspices of the school or organization for some type of event, such as a field trip.

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    Could also be called a Release Form.
    – Ryan
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 21:29
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    Release Form makes me think more of the form parents have to sign to give a school/newspaper/etc permission to refer to their children by name or print photos of them in public materials/the paper.
    – zstewart
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 18:19
  • A U.S. permission slip often includes language that gives consent for the child to participate, waives the right of the parent to refuse emergency medical treatment, acknowledges the child is under the supervision of and should be obedient to the school staff, and so on. The other answers aren't necessarily wrong, but aren't as all-encompassing as permission slip for the document signifying permission regardless without regard to the specific legal requirements and expectations it lays out.
    – choster
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 18:08

Parental consent letter/form:

  • Parental consent laws (also known as parental involvement laws) in some countries require that one or more parents consent to or be notified before their minor child can legally engage in certain activities. (Wikipedia)

Example of Parental consent form.

  • Might also be relevant that the form, when signed, gives the adult who you are trusting with the responsibility of your child "loco parentis"
    – Kialandei
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 9:52
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    This would be the British English term.
    – abligh
    Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 12:47

Depending on the situation, it could be a waiver if it involves agreeing to some element of risk.

A waiver is the voluntary relinquishment or surrender of some known right or privilege.

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    all three of these (consent, permission and waiver) are acceptable common use, but consent is the more correct version because it implies that there has been informed consent. Note : it is only a connotation of the word, there can easily be non-informed consent. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 16:22
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    @brucellino Permission Slip is about 3 times more common than parental consent form. I don't think there is any informed vs uninformed connotation to either term. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 17:02
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    @Darthfett: That page shows only usage in the USA. In fact, "permission slip" is extremely uncommon in the UK. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 17:52
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    @brucellino "Correct" depends entirely on the situation. Consent or permission both indicate that you have given someone the choice to do (or not do) something. (As LRiO says, there may be some difference in usage depending on country.) Waiver is about indemnifying the other side in the event that something goes wrong for reasons beyond their control, though - it's not just consenting to the risk, it's waiving your right to sue in the event that you get injured or your possessions get damaged during the risky activity.
    – Graham
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 21:50
  • Specifically a liability waiver. Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 23:32

In South Africa we call it an Indemnity Form.

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    That sounds very extreme, like something you find in a contract where you promise not to sue the other party for reasons x or y.
    – Cas
    Commented Sep 20, 2016 at 15:12
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    @cascer1 if the activity has an element of risk, it's not unusual to have such a form.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 8:20
  • @AndrewGrimm But I suppose the question is about forms that parents allow the kids to be on the field trip or other activity under supervision of teachers or other adequate persons, which is still covered under the responsibility/insurance of the school ... Commented Sep 22, 2016 at 6:47

It the UK it depends on context and content:

Permission and consent are interchangeable to allow someone to do something. Generally permission would be to allow a minor to take part in something, consent has a slightly more formal contractual association.

Authorisation to allow someone to do some act, or incur something on your behalf.

Waiver or disclaimer if you are giving up a right (usual to claim or sue).


I always heard people around me say it as

N.O.C (no-objection-certificate)

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    "people around me" Can you add your general location for completeness sake?
    – Mast
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 11:53

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