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Do I Need a Passport to Travel to Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Dear Editors,

Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?


Hi Gail,

In short, no. No passport is necessary to travel to either of those destinations. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are, United States territories, so you’re all set with a driver’s license or other valid photo identification, the same way you would be if you were flying to say, Los Angeles.

Here’s a handy chart, courtesy of the U.S. Department of State, that details the documentation needed when traveling outside the 50 states by air, land and sea.

Returning to the U.S. from:

Type of Travel

Document Required

Any International Location

Air:  Commercial airplane, private airplane

U.S. Passport Book

Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean region

Land: Car, bus, train, by foot, etc

U.S. Passport Book or Card


Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean region

Sea: Commercial cruise line, private boat, etc

U.S. Passport Book or Card


A U.S. Territory


Air, Land or Sea

Valid Photo ID


Happy Travels,


Find me on Twitter @GSBrown

Editors’ Note: We’re here to help our fellow travelers, so if you have a travel question of your own, just ask! Each week, we’ll publish a response to our very favorite question from one of our readers. Need travel help now? Peruse Travelocity’s frequently asked questions.


Puerto Rico Vacations (Travelocity)

Summer’s Top 10 Family Destinations (The Window Seat)

U.S. Virgin Island Hotel Reviews (IgoUgo)



My name: Genevieve Shaw Brown. I also answer to Genny and Gen.

How I earn my keep: I work at Travelocity.

Greatest travel lesson learned: I travel for my job, but I've learned work is work, vacation is vacation, and it's best not to try and do both on one trip.

Fondest travel memory: There are so many... but a recent experience was being totally jet-lagged and waking up pre-dawn in Koh Samui, Thailand, and watching the sun rise with my husband on the beach. We talked about what all our friends and family were doing at that very same moment as the sun set back home in New York.

First thing I do in a new place: Peruse the local restaurants and map out my dining strategy for the duration of my trip. Dining strategy = eating at as many restaurants as humanly possible.

First thing I do when I get home: Put a push pin on the destination I just returned from on the map of the world that hangs on the wall above my couch.

Travel ambition: To cover that map completely in push pins.

My most beloved place in the whole world: Cockle Cove Beach in Chatham, Massachusetts.



Concerning Canada: I have heard that as a US citizen, you do not need a passport to enter Canada (only a birth certificate and official picture ID)… but, to enter back into the US, you need a passport or passport card?


True, but what if on your return you meet up with an eager beaver officer who ask for further proof of your status?
My thing is, once you’re crossing waters, use a pass port, it is the most accepted form of a travel document. And of course residence should use their alien card together with a GIPID. Just saying better to put your mind at ease.

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