Are you certain that you know what forms of identification you need for your next trip? If not, don’t worry. I’ve got all of the information you need right here.
Domestic Air Travel
- Adult passengers 18+–travel to any US territory by plane (including Puerto Rico and the USVI), will require a valid government-issued photo ID. The most common form of ID used for domestic air travel is a driver’s license. Please note that driver’s licenses from certain states may no longer be a valid form of identification for domestic air travel. To find out if you state’s license meets the requirements, visit Homeland Security.
- Children under 14–technically, no identification is required, but it is always a good idea to take a birth certificate, just in case.
- Children 14-17–some type of identification may be required (student ID, driver’s license, birth certificate, etc).
- Anyone under the age of 18 traveling alone–be sure to check with the airline regarding their minor policy and what identification is required, as this can vary.
International Travel by Land or Sea (by car or ship)
- Adult passengers 15+–a valid passport card, passport book, or other WHTI-compliant document is required.
- Passport Card–less expensive than a passport book (see below), this card will only allow you to enter the US, Mexico, and Canada. It is not valid for ANY air travel, even to these destinations.
- Passport Book–more expensive than a passport card (see above), this card will allow you to travel internationally throughout the world.
- Children 15 and younger–a birth certificate or any of the above mentioned documents will permit travel.
International Travel by Air
- All passengers traveling internationally by air will require a valid passport book. Some countries may even require that the passport book be valid 6 months past your trip return date, so be sure to read all of the fine print and be aware of all local laws.
Closed-Loop Cruises (cruises that begin and end in the SAME U.S. port)
- Adults passengers 16+–a birth certificate and a valid photo ID are required to board the cruise ship.
- Children 15 and younger–a birth certificate is required to board the cruise ship.
- *Please note that some countries may require a valid passport book to enter–this means that, without a valid passport book, you will not be able to get off at certain ports of call. Be sure to check with each country visited on the cruise regarding this policy.
- *Please note that a passport book is strongly recommended for ANY cruise that visits a non-US territory or island. If something were to happen during the cruise, passengers would not be able to fly home from an international port without a valid passport book.
Open-Loop Cruises (cruises that begin and end in different ports, even if they are both within the US)
- All passengers on open-loop cruises that stop in a foreign port are required to travel with a valid passport book.
*International Travel with Children Without Both Parents
- Any child 18 and younger traveling abroad without BOTH parents–this includes with one parent (even if parents are still married), grandparents, older siblings, friends, etc–must travel with a notarized Parental Consent form.
- If only one parent has legal claims, information describing this detail (death certificate, only name listed on birth certificate, court order, etc) will need to be provided.
- For more detailed information regarding this issues, please visit U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection.
TiP: One last piece of information to help you with your passport application or renewal: be sure to follow the new guidelines for passport book photos to avoid processing delays.