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Sometimes it’s necessary to have an official paper trail, and that’s why it’s important to be able to write an effective permission letter. Whether you’re asking for time off from your employer, requesting copyright permissions, or asking parents for their consent for a school trip, a well-crafted and professional letter can help clearly secure the authorization you need.
Study our free permission letter samples below and use our expert tips to help create an effective permission letter of your own.
How to Write an Permission Letter
Remember: the aim of your permission letter is to convince the reader to grant you the authorization you need. To that point, your letter should be direct and detailed, sharing only the necessary facts and your specific request, as seen in our permission letter samples.
Be Straightforward: Right from the beginning of your letter, let the reader know exactly what you are asking permission for and why. By being clear with your request and the follow-through required, you’ll make it simple for your reader to understand what action they need to take.
Be Specific: Be sure to include all the necessary dates and times for your request, including when you’ll need the reader’s official decision by. Also include exactly what you’ll need from the reader in their response Ñ i.e. a simple email reply or a signed permission form. Include any necessary paperwork with the request, if possible.
Be Brief: Don’t draw out your request by asking someone to read an overly long letter. Get to the point in a clear and concise manner, and then courteously sign off. A single page should be long enough, as demonstrated in our permission letter samples.
Be Courteous and Easy to Work With: It’s to your benefit to make the reader feel as good as possible about granting your special request. Be gracious and unassuming, and do as much as possible ahead of time to make their end of the deal as easy as possible by providing everything they need in the way of paperwork, shift replacements, etc.
How to Format an Permission Letter
Your permission letter should always be written in the style of a traditional business letter, as demonstrated in our permission letter samples above. Be sure to use the recipient’s name in the greeting and refer to your relationship to them in the opening paragraph, if needed for clarity. In the following sections, clearly and concisely specify what you are requesting from them and why, being as straight-to-the-point and thorough as necessary to properly convey the situation and the action steps required to handle it. In closing, thank the reader for their time and consideration, and be sure to include your contact information so they can properly follow up with you by the specified deadline.
Common Permission Letter Mistakes
¥ Apologizing:Saying you’re sorry only highlights the possible imposition your request is creating. Alternatively, stating your needs confidently, as seen in our sample permission letters, paints your request in a more reasonable light.
¥ Being Manipulative: Resist the urge to use overly dramatic language and overstate the situation in an attempt to make the reader agree to your request through guilt. In addition, avoid making threats or setting ultimatums Ñ these can work against you.
¥ Rushing the Request: Submitting your letter of permission too close to your date of need may not give your reader enough time to properly react or meet your request. Always give them enough time to give you what you want.
You’ve Written Your Permission Letter. Now What?
Writing a concise and confident permission letter, like the ones in our permission letter samples, is an important step to getting authorization for special situations. The next step is making sure your permission request gets into the right hands with the proper follow-up.
Do Your Research: Take the time to find the decision maker who can grant the specific permission you desire. The fewer hands your permission letter has to pass through, the closer you’ll be to getting the authorization you need.
Accept Their Decision: Whether your request is accepted or denied, it’s best to accept it as final and act accordingly. Do your best to understand why the decision was made and avoid throwing a tantrum if things don’t go your way. Courtesy in the face of disappointment will gain you admiration and put your future requests in a more positive light.