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Are passports required to travel for US citizens traveling from the US mainland to Puerto Rico?

by Mari
(Savannah Ga USA)

Question: We are a party of 23 adults and children traveling to San Juan on 1/15/10 for a family vacation. Some of us have passports but not all. We were told by our travel agent that because Puerto Rico is a US territory passports were not needed.

Answer: You travel agent is correct. The passport requirement does NOT apply to U.S. citizens traveling to or returning directly from a U.S. territory. Your group can travel to Puerto Rico and return to the U.S. without going through immigration or customs.

While a passport is not required, all United States citizens should carry with them some form of official identification to enter Puerto Rico such as a current driver's license or a photo-ID card issued to non-drivers by a state's motor vehicles department.

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passport to return from US virgin islands?

Question: Do I need a passport to return to the Untied States from the US virgin islands?

Answer: No passport is needed to visit the US Virgin Islands unless...

While the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative now requires U.S. citizens who travel to the Caribbean region and return to the United States to present a valid passport or other WHTI-approved travel document, the US Virgin Islands are excluded.

In fact, any territory that belongs to the U.S. is excluded. According to the State Department, U.S. citizens and nationals who travel directly between parts of the United States, which includes Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, without touching at a foreign port or place, are not required to present a valid passport.

Notice the condition: "without touching at a foreign port or place." A stop at any foreign port would then require you to present a passport to re-enter the U.S. unless traveling on a closed-loop cruise.

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Do I need a passport for travel to the US Virgin Islands?

by Brandon
(Kansas City, MO, US)

Question: I am going on my honeymoon to the US Virgin Islands, specifically St. Thomas. We plan on only being on St. Thomas and not doing any island hopping.

Do we need passports to travel to and from the US Virgin Islands by plane?

If we do decide to hop to another island in the US Virgin Islands, do we need a passport. What identification do we need, if we do not need a passport?

Answer: You do not need a passport to travel by air to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Traveling to a U.S. territory is similar to traveling to another state. All that is required is a photo ID such as a driver's license.

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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