Headed to the US Virgin Islands for spring break
? They're US territories
and you won't need
a passport, but note that you will need id (like a driver's license) and you may
be asked to prove US citizenship (like a birth certificate if you don't have a passport -- more details below); reader Valora wrote recently, "I thought I was clear to travel to and from
St Thomas with my driver's license. I got to the airport for my return flight and caught h*ll from the TSA agent for not having a passport or birth certificate."
Yeah, no, don't need h*ll from the TSA
! While it's wonderfully true that St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John are US territories, meaning no passport is needed
to travel to these Caribbean islands, the USVI is considered a "port of entry"
-- and thus, you may
be asked to prove you are a US citizen
when you return
to the mainland (as in with a birth certificate or, yeah, passport -- a passport
, by itself, proves your citizenship; if you're traveling by sea
, you can also use a PASS card
). And remember that TSA agents sometimes have different interpretations of what the actual laws are... ask for a supervisor if you get given a hard time over your ID (back in the day when you could still cross the Mexican border
with just a driver's license and birth certificate, I saw US residents given a very
hard time for not having passports when re-entering the US -- those folks were fine with what ID they had, but government employees at borders and airports can
be terrifically testy).
So: remember that you will
need to prove who you are and may
wish to be able to easily prove that you are a US citizen -- bring either one official government issued picture identification
like a current driver's license or a photo ID card (which can be issued to non-drivers by your state's motor vehicles department), or
two forms of non-photo identification (one needs to be state-issued), plus
your birth certificate.... or
(of course) a passport.
Related: Spring break hot spots you can hit without a passport | Do you need a passport to go to Mexico? | What documents do I need for student travel? | What kind of travel documents are needed for Mexico?
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