“Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico ?”
Questions about whether or not you need a Puerto Rico visa aren’t dumb. Even as a world traveler, I didn’t have the answer until I planned a trip to Old San Juan.
These islands are one of the most beautiful places in the world. And well worth a visit. But what are the passport requirement for Americans planning a trip to Puerto Rico?
Let’s dive a little deeper at look at the rules to find out when and if you can go to Puerto Rico without a passport.
Note About Traveling During Covid-19
We are trying to stay updated with the latest travel restrictions during this crazy time, of the coronavirus, that has hit the tourism industry hard.
But as rules for visiting a destination change quickly, it is important to check with your government websites to see the latest travel restrictions, requirements, and travel advisories.
They will have updated information on the latest covid 19 vaccine, whether or not you need to present a negative covid 19 test.
Travel Plans can change quickly, I’ve had 4 flights canceled, so stay updated with the latest travel advisories before you start booking things in your destination. So before you ask yourself “
do you need a passport for Puerto Rico?” Research if you can even enter there, the Virgin Island, or anywhere else in the world right now.
Table of Contents
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO?
Okay let’s get to the meat – “Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?”. The quick answer for America Citizens is… no; You do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico …. that is in most cases.
Puerto Rico isn’t a state (yet), but rather it is part of the American Common Wealth – A territory of the United States. (Just like the Virgin Islands, The Mariana Islands, and American Samoa) so a passport isn’t required. Because it isn’t considered International Travel.
Although, some people have had trouble in the past with the airlines when not having a passport. But this is rare, and you can contact your passport office if you have any questions.
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO AS A U.S. CITIZEN
If you are a citizen of the United States of America traveling to Puerto Rico is the same as traveling to any state.
So as a United States Citizen you don’t need a valid passport to enter the country. This also includes a birth certificate, passport card, or transit visa to enter Puerto Rico as an American citizen.
In fact, even the airport taxes and fees are the same as flying to any of the most beautiful places in the United States.
And since it is considered domestic travel has you don’t even pay international airport tax flying to Puerto Rico. Since it is a territory of the USA its like taking a domestic flight.
Is there a better deal for an Island Getaway?
PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR PUERTO RICO
It is important to note that U.S. Customs suggest bringing a government-issued I.D. That means a photo id. Well, a government-issued photo ID is like a driver’s license.
However, as well will talk about soon, there have been some people wrongly turned away.
So if you have a valid passport, and you’ve already paid the passport fees, then you should bring it along with your driver’s license or another government-issued photo id.
Another option is emailing pictures of multiple IDs to yourself in case yours gets damaged, lost, or stolen.
These entry requirements apply to both exiting and leaving the country.
The ease of travel to Puerto Rico makes for an ideal destination if you haven’t got your passport and want to get away from mainland America. And very appealing Cruise line, who venture here.
So if you’re longing for a tropical getaway on a far-off island, but missing a passport? Then Puerto Rico travel is your answer.
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO IF YOU HAVE A GREEN CARD?
No, Green Card Holders have the same requirements for Puerto Rico as American Citizens.
WILL I HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE AIRLINES?
Imagine you’re on the plane before taking off. Suddenly you jerk up in your seat “Do you have to have a passport to go to San Juan ?” you ask yourself.
Well, as we talked about it is not required for U.S. citizens to have a passport to go the island, I have heard and read cases where the airlines tell customers that they must have a passport to get on the plane.
They rushed to order a passport for their son, but when they got to the airport, no one asked to see the passports.
So they spent almost $300 on a rush order passport for nothing. if this happens to you tell them that you ask they think that you do need a passport to go to Puerto Rico.
When the Miami Herald wrote a post and contacted the airline, they were reimbursed for the rush order of a passport.
So do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?
For Puerto Rico passports aren’t required, but you never know what the airlines are going to say.
Which is why I say bring a backup travel document. If you have a passport, then I would consider bringing it in case of trouble.
WHEN YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO
There is only one instance that I have found in which citizens of the United States didn’t have the right passport requirements.
For example, if you are an American Citizen but and are catching an insanely cheap flight directly from backpacking Europe or traveling in the United Kingdom to San Juan, you will need to show your passport when you land in Puerto Rico.
However, this shouldn’t be a huge hassle because if you are in another country, then you have your passport anyway.
You will need to show it upon arrival so make sure you don’t pack it in your checked luggage.
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO FOR A NON-US CITIZEN?
Are there passport requirements for Non-Us Citizens.
Simple answer, yes. If you are not a citizen of the United States, you not only need a passport travelers, but you will also need a United States Visa. That means going through the Visa application.
The visa is the same tourist visa you need for entry into America so no need to get an expensive travel agent.
If you are a Citizen, all the same, laws apply to you as traveling anywhere in America. So flying in you will have to fill out the annoying travel declaration form.
If you are a NON-U.S. Citizens, all the same, visa rules apply to you as they would traveling to any other part of America.
Imagine Puerto Rico as the 51st state. If you treat it this way when planning out your trip and you will have an easier time planning your trip.
PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR PUERTO RICO FAQS
CAN I GO TO PUERTO RICO WITHOUT A PASSPORT
What kind of ID do you need to fly to Puerto Rico? If you are a citizen of the U.S. then yes, all you need is a valid government-issued I.D., not a passport.
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT FOR 2021 IN PUERTO RICO?
Can I go to Puerto Rico if I am not a US Citizen? Yes, If you are not from the USA you can visit Puerto Rico. However, you need a passport and possibly a visa to visit Puerto Rico.
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TRAVEL TO PUERTO RICO
American Citizens only need a government-issued photo I.D. This can be a driver’s license. If you aren’t a citizen of the USA then you need a visa to enter the USA as well as a passport.
DO YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO PUERTO RICO IF YOU HAVE A GREEN CARD?
The same rules apply to Green Card holders as US Citizens and Therefore you do not need a passport to go to Puerto Rico as a green cardholder.
I believe people with a lawful permanent resident card, but you might want to contact someone to make sure it works as a travel authorization. If this sounds like you the best thing you can do is contact an embassy and tell them about your immigration documents to make sure you have travel authorization to enter. That way if you need a visa they can help you with the visa type you need.
MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT PUERTO RICO TRAVEL
WHAT KIND OF ID DO YOU NEED TO FLY TO PUERTO RICO?
As we have outlined. Puerto Rico isn’t a foreign port! Therefore any Photo ID that you can use for domestic travel you can use to travel to PR whether you are flying or arriving by cruise ship.
According to the TSA, these documents work for traveling to Puerto Rico.
- Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
So if you from the USA then you can go to Puerto Rico without a Passport.
WHAT TYPE OF MONEY DO YOU USE IN PUERTO RICO?
United States Dollars (USD).
Do I need a Passport for Puerto Rico?
Like we just talked about. If you are from the US then you don’t. If you are from another country you will need one, and the correct visa to visit the United States.
Can you travel to Puerto Rico on a driver’s license?
Yes, mainland US travelers can use a valid license, or another government-issued photo ID to enter the territory and start to discover Puerto Rico.
How do you get to Key West from Puerto Rico?
Flying is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get to PR.
Is Puerto Rico part of the British virgin islands?
No, they are to the east of PR. Puerto Rico is a Caribbean Island, and one of the best islands in the Caribbean.
Will I need to Go Through Security at the Airport?
Yes, every traveler will have regular security measures for flying. You will be screened by the TSA (transportation security administration), so know the rules like can you bring a lighter on a plane. There are all the border protection and homeland security measures
Where to Visit in Puerto Rico?
Lots of places! But here are some highlights.
- El Yunque
- El Morro
- Flamenco Beach
- San Juan
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PUERTO RICO
Phones – If you are using a US phone provider then your phone should work fine. If you travel a lot I recommend the T-Mobile international plan that works in over 100 countries.
Currency – You have don’t need to exchange currency
because Puerto Rican uses the USD.
Budget – Puerto Rico is a tiny island on which most things are imported. This means that the price of food and drink is quite high.
Credit and Debit Cards – Your credit and debit cards should work fine, but I always advise calling the banks and letting them know you are traveling. They will put a travel status on your card which stops it from being blocked.
So what are you waiting for, get some cheap tickets using Kayak Explore, or hop on a cruise line, and start your island vacation to Rico passport-free?
Travel Insurance – Should you get insurance? I think it is a good idea when traveling to any new territory or country.
This means you need to be careful when choosing your travel insurance, as some travel insurance providers don’t cover you in your home country.
Where to go Next?
After your visit, you have a bunch of different options. You could visit other islands like St Croix, the Northern Mariana Islands, St John Island, anywhere in the Dominican Republic to bath in the sun at Punta Cana. Or even head to South America or North America.
Remember you might need a passport book for any other place you visit! Always check with the right department, or check the state department website.
I hope this answered the question of do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico. But if you have more questions contact your local travel agent.
And there we go! So US Citizens don’t need to have a passport to go to Puerto Rico. However, I would still take my passport if you have one.
And if you are wondering how long does it take to get a passport?
Well, it takes longer than you think so if you want one, then you should apply now. And while you are waiting head to Puerto Rico, because you can visit Puerto Rico without a passport.