A permission letter either grants permission to or requests permission from the recipient of the letter. There are numerous different situations where you may need to understand how to effectively write this kind of letter, such as asking for time off or requesting copyright permission. If you find yourself in a position where the only way to achieve your goals is to get permission from an authority, knowing the best way to create such a letter is invaluable. After all, a poorly written letter can reduce their chances of granting your request nearly to zero. To keep that from happening, turn to our permission letter templates and the included writing guide to fully understand what makes a letter effective.
Permission Letter Templates
Letter of Request for Permission
A letter of request for permission is a generic missive that you can implement in many different situations. It can be incredibly useful in circumstances varying from the academic, professional, or legal to the personal. Our permission letter templates are beneficial for helping you create the strongest permission letter you possibly can.
Permission Letter for Child to Travel Alone
If children are going to be travelling alone or with an adult who is not their guardian, providing a permission letter for them can save everyone involved a lot of trouble. As you will see in our permission letter templates, this kind of letter needs to include information about the trip, the travelers, and who is granting permission.
Permission Letter for Event
A permission letter for an event is unique because it is not written as an individual. Instead, this kind of letter requests permission on behalf of a group of people to partake in an event or to host an event using public facilities. You can use the permission letter templates to create a strong letter of this type.
Giving Permission Letter
If someone else is asking you for permission, it can be just as difficult to write a respectful letter that grants or rejects the request. You never know exactly what kind of permission request letter you may receive, so you should use our permission letter templates to accommodate any request, however unexpected.
Permission Letter Writing Etiquette
1. Be upfront with your request
There is no reason to dance around what you are requesting permission for. In fact, doing so will only decrease the chance of having your request granted. The recipient of your letter should understand what you want within the first few seconds of reading. If you have supplemental information or in-depth details that you need to explain, it is fine to include them later in the letter, but provide an overview of your needs in the first sentence or two.
2. Keep your letter brief and concise
It is easy to make the mistake of assuming longer letter are more effective, but usually the opposite is true. Always think about what would be most convenient for the recipient. By keeping your request quick and to the point, the people you are addressing will be able to read and understand your letter and make their decision immediately. On the other hand, if they have to slog through a lengthy missive, they may not even finish it, much less decide to give you what you need.
3. Make your letter as specific as possible
Every permission request is different, so you cannot expect the person you are writing to know exactly what you require. In addition to including the time and date, mention any unique needs you have. A commonly forgotten detail that you should always remember to include is when you need an answer by. Additionally, if you need something specific to signify you have permission, always point it out. Whether a simple response or a completed permission form is necessary, you should always specify.
4. Do not apologize for your request
It can be tempting to apologize for inconveniencing readers in your permission request letter, but this is unprofessional and unnecessary. In fact, it may actually discourage them from granting you the permission you want. When writing, aim to speak with confidence. This paints you in a better light and emphasizes how reasonable your request actually is. Bogging your letter down with apologies only makes it less convenient to read through.
5. Submit your request far in advance
Nothing will get your request shut down faster than limited leeway time. You do not always know far in advance if you will need permission, but it is important to make your request as soon as possible every time. If you submit a permission letter only a few days before you need the answer, you run the risk of the recipients not even reading it before time runs out. Even if they do, a short amount of time does not allow them time to think it over. In some cases, they may not actually have the ability to grant your request in a too limited frame of time.
6. Avoid manipulative language or techniques
Your best chance of getting the permission you need is to pose a straightforward and respectful request. Simply state what you need and why you need it in basic terms. Making your argument stronger is one thing, but trying to manipulate the reader by invoking sympathy or a negative emotion is not an effective strategy. Readers will spot it and be more likely to ignore your request. Check our permission letter templates to see what kind of voice you should have.
7. Strive for the reader’s convenience
When requesting permission for something, you can be an inconvenience or a convenience to work with. You should always be striving for the latter. Be gracious and do not make assumptions. If there is any prep work that you can do without the recipients’ intervention, take care of it before writing them and mention what you have done. With the work they need to do minimized, they will feel more willing to help you. For example If you are requesting time off, finding someone else willing to cover your shift will make it easier for employers to make the switch.
8. Manage the appearance of your letter
It is easy to forget that the appearance of your permission letter makes a big difference. While you should focus primarily on the content, taking a quick overview and thinking about what the piece looks like at a glance can make a real difference. Large, unbroken blocks of text are intimidating to look at and difficult to read through. Simply adding a few paragraph breaks adds significant readability to any letter.
9. Be respectful and professional at all times
Nothing is more important than being respectful and courteous to the person you are addressing. This is especially important if you are writing to superiors or authorities of some kind. You want to avoid damaging the opinion they have of you, as doing so can dramatically reduce the chance of them considering your request. No matter who you are writing to or what kind of relationship you already have, it is best to write professionally and avoid anything considered inappropriate or disrespectful.
10. Always thoroughly proofread your letter
Simple typographical errors can significantly damage the opinion the reader holds of you. There is no excuse for sending a letter off that contains numerous spelling and grammar mistakes. It does not take much time to edit. Even a single read-through can catch the majority of mistakes, although we recommend proofreading two to four times. You should watch out for more than formatting errors. Omitting or using the wrong word can change the meaning of your sentences and may cause confusion or further mistakes.