Do you need a passport to fly to Puerto Rico is a question that is asked all the time, because some people forget that this area is part of the United States. Since it is also considered another country, most travelers are prepared with a passport when they board a plane to travel there, but in reality, a passport is not necessary.
In fact, citizens of the United States, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island, and Swains Island can all enter Puerto Rico without a passport. However, if you are not a US citizen, or from those specific countries, you do need a passport to visit Puerto Rico.
While many people will take the, “Do I need a passport to fly to Puerto Rico?”, question seriously and take one to be safe, you can enter this country with many other forms of identification. The most popular option for identification is a driver’s license, or another state issued identification, and it is recommended that you bring your birth certificate with you as well. Both these forms of identification will offer proof that you are a citizen of the United States and that you are who you say that you are.
Of course, it is much easier to show a passport instead of lugging around all this other information, but it is completely up to you. Plus, at least you know that you have options if you suddenly realize that your passport is expired a few days before you leave for your trip. At least you won’t need to go into panic mode!!
There are instances when you will want to take your passport with you to Puerto Rico and one of them is when you think that you will need to travel to a different country before your arrival. Depending on where you live, you may find that you need to fly into Canada, or another country that requires passports, before you catch your flight into Puerto Rico. This is where your passport will come in handy, because those countries will not allow you to get to your next flight until they have seen your passport.
Another time you will find that your passport is helpful is when you find that you must fly to a different country when you leave Puerto Rico. This may not have been part of your original plans, but due to changing flights, or changing itineraries on your part, you may need your passport. It is best to not get caught off-guard at moments like these, which is why most people are starting to travel with their passports more often.
Another reason more travelers are taking their passports is because the Real ID Act is going into effect in October of 2020. At that time, unless you have changed your driver’s license, or other state issued identification, over to the Real ID, you will not be able to use those types of identification to fly. If you have a valid passport, you can forgo the change for now until your license is up for renewal.
You may have always thought to ask the question, “Do you need a passport to fly to Puerto Rico?”, but now you know that it is not completely necessary. While carrying your passport will make things much easier, you do have a few other options when it comes to traveling to this beautiful part of the world.