Do You Need a Passport to Go to Puerto Rico? – A Comprehensive Guide

A Puerto Rican coast during a sunny day and a Puerto Rican beach full of people during a sunset.

Planning to visit Puerto Rico and you need to brush up on passport requirements? Has a trip to San Juan been on your mind, but first, you need to make sure you have the right documentation to enter?

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico, and do your kids need to play by the same rules? In this blog post, you’ll see the answers to all the questions you might have ahead on your dream vacation.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico in 2022?

If your holiday plans include visiting Puerto Rico, then you need to know that United States citizens can breathe a sigh of relief and keep their passports hidden away.

You can enter Puerto Rico without your passport book. Even though the country may seem to you like a foreign destination, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico remains a part of the United States of America. This means that international travel rules don’t apply in this regard, as you will not be entering a foreign country this time.

What you need to pack is at least a single identification document you normally carry with you when traveling within the U.S. That includes government issued documents with photos, such as:

  • a driver’s license;
  • the original or a copy of the birth certificate;
  • a passport card;
  • a U.S. military ID;
  • “Trusted Traveler” cards, such as: Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST;
  • a Permanent Resident card;
  • a Native American tribal photo ID.

If any of those identification documents find their way into your pocket, you are officially good to go and can proceed with the trip. Security personnel at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport or any other Puerto Rican airports will take a good look at one of those and allow entry to the island.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico? – passport requirements for minors

Passport documentation requirements for U.S. children trying to enter the country of Puerto Rico are no different than the ones adult American travelers need to comply with.

Hence, a minor will not be required to carry a valid passport book. Thus, there is no need to go to a passport office and renew their passports ahead of a trip to San Juan, for example.

However, depending on the age of the minor, they will need to bring some form of identification viable for check-in at the airport.

Minors who are 15 (fifteen) and older need to pack one of these:

  • a driver’s license
  • a passport card
  • a Social Security card
  • a credit card
  • a school or company ID
  • Organization ID, which may take the form of an athletic club ID, for instance
  • a library card
  • either the original or a certified copy of their birth certificate

U.S. citizens younger than 15 (fifteen) can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport book, and they do not need to show an ID at check-in. It is still, however, highly encouraged that they do hold some form of ID like the ones listed above.

Do you need a passport to go on a cruise trip to Puerto Rico?

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an American territory, but the rules surrounding cruises between two different U.S. ports are clear – a passport will be a necessary item, so make sure you have it on you when boarding a cruise that later docks in Puerto Rico. According to the TSA (Transportation Security Administration), entering Puerto Rico by sea requires U.S. citizens to carry a passport.

Pay attention to the expiration date of your passport, as it needs to stay valid for at least 6 (six) months prior to the trip.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico – closed-loop cruises

A cruise that departs and ends in the same port is called a closed-loop cruise and this type of trip doesn’t require a passport as a rule. What it means is that you can go on a cruise to Puerto Rico as long as your ship returns to the same port  where the trip began.

You can use any other proof of U.S. citizenship instead:

  • a birth certificate
  • a passport card
  • a driver’s license
  • a Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • a Certificate of Naturalization
  • any other government issued photo ID that includes your name and date of birth.

Make sure you and your travel companions, both adult and minor, have at least one of those in their possession so that the cruise to Puerto Rico will go as planned.

Passport photo online: a convenient way to grab a passport photo

If the entry requirements surrounding your means of entering Puerto Rico require a passport and you find yourself in need of one, Passport Photo Online is just the tool for you.

Passport Photo Online is an app you download to your iOS and Android mobile phone, as well as a website. It will take your uploaded photo and turn it into a picture valid for a passport book within 3 (three) seconds.

For just a price of $6.95, you will get a perfect, thoroughly checked, digital passport photo. You can also get a free passport template, printable for less than $1. Everything can be arranged without leaving your house and in just under a minute.


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Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico from the U.S. – passport requirements summarized

If visiting San Juan and many other Puerto Rican cities has been on your wishlist lately, you can rest assured you will not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico by air. The U.S. domestic travel rules apply in this regard.

Traveling to Puerto Rico on a non-loop cruise will, however, demand a passport, as cruises between two American ports do require a passenger to carry a passport. Every American citizen will need to grab their most important travel document and keep it at hand.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico: FAQ

Down below you will find the most common questions surrounding passport requirements for American citizens trying to enter Puerto Rico.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico if you’re a U.S. citizen?

If a United States citizen wishes to fly, they do not need a passport to find their way to Puerto Rico and be allowed entry.
The same goes for closed-loop cruises that explore the Puerto Rican waters, but if your ship docks on the island, a passport will be required during the check-in process.
If the trip allows for a passport-free entry, you still need to carry a photo ID such as a driver’s license, a passport card, a birth certificate, a military ID, a Trusted Traveler card, a Native American photo ID or a Permanent Resident card.

Why do you need a passport to go to Puerto Pico?

When you’re planning a cruise from the U.S. to San Juan, you are required to carry a valid passport, and the reason is that cruises between two different American ports still call for a passport book at hand.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico if you are 15 years old?

If you plan on flying to Puerto Rico, then no, you won’t be required to carry a valid U.S. passport. Other forms of identification will do: a Social Security card, a credit card, school, company or organization ID or a birth certificate.
Passport requirements surrounding a non-loop cruise to Puerto Rico, however, will call for a passport book.

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