Do You Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico comprises the main island and numerous smaller neighbouring islands, including Vieques, Culebra, Mona, Desecheo, and Caja de Muertos. Only Culebra and Vieques are inhabited year-round out of the five islands listed above. Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, and citizens of the United States do not require a passport to visit the island (or any other part of the United States). Travelling to a US territory from the mainland US is equivalent to driving from Illinois to Iowa or flying from New York to Los Angeles.

Do You Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico

Photo by Zixi Zhou on Unsplash

The ideal time to visit Puerto Rico, according to Puerto Rico travel experience, is from December through April next year. The weather is pleasant - there is minimal rain, and no storms, but this is also peak tourist season, so keep that in mind because the cost of transport is considerably high. Puerto Rican culture is a synthesis of four cultures: Taino indigenous culture, Hispanic culture, African culture, and American culture.

It's worth noting that the official languages of Puerto Rico are Spanish and English. As a result, only around 20% of Puerto Ricans speak English fluently, even though many people working in the service and tourism sectors, particularly in San Juan, are multilingual.

You will not need to change USD to another currency when you get to Puerto Rico as you will be able to spend US dollars in the nation.

Puerto Rico is a relatively safe tourist destination. Even so, you should be cautious when travelling. Remember to keep valuables in secure places while heading out, lock your car doors, and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Do I Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?

Because Puerto Rico is a non-incorporated territory, U.S. citizens who intend to travel from within the United States do not require a passport to enter. To travel to Puerto Rico, visitors must have a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's licence.

Puerto Rico has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1898. Puerto Rico is an official United States commonwealth. Passports are not required for US residents to visit the US Virgin Islands, which include St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. As a result, anyone planning to travel to the island is considered internal tourism, and US residents can only come with an official government ID (Or documents proving that they are a US citizen).

While other commonwealth territories, such as Guam, American Samoa, Swains Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands, can require a passport for US citizens travelling there, US citizens can travel freely between Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with their official ID as long as they are travelling directly from the mainland.

Do I Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico

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According to the most recent information, starting in 2023, the government will require all driving licences to be valid IDs for travel reasons. If your driver's licence or government-issued ID isn't your primary identification, you'll need a passport to visit Puerto Rico and other US states.

When entering Puerto Rico from a foreign port, US citizens will be asked to display their passports at the airport.

If you are a non-US citizen considering a vacation to Puerto Rico, everything relies on the nation you’re from. The immigration policy for tourism in Puerto Rico mandates that residents from more than 230 countries worldwide require a Puerto Rican tourist visa or travel permission to enjoy a stay on the island, regardless of duration. 

Only non-US nationals and US citizens entering Puerto Rico from outside the country are needed to show their passports. In addition, if you are visiting other islands, such as the British Virgin Islands or members of Caribbean nations such as Bermuda, Dominica, or Jamaica, you must display your passport upon arrival and re-entry into the United States.

During the preparation phase, you should check the list of countries to determine if foreigners require a visa to come to Puerto Rico. If you have a passport from a nation that participates in the US visa waiver programme, you must have an ESTA authorised to visit Puerto Rico for tourism purposes.


Is A Passport Required For Kids To Visit Puerto Rico?

The answer would be redundant based on all of the facts concerning entrance requirements. Youngsters (those under the age of 18) do not need a passport to travel inside the United States, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Furthermore, because Puerto Rico is a US territory, kids will not be required to provide any identification when travelling there.

This clause, however, only applies when minors are accompanied by a companion (adult). Minors travelling with an accompanying adult will be asked to produce a valid identity document, such as a driver's licence or passport identification.

As a result, it's advisable to check with your airline about identification requirements before going to Puerto Rico (you may need to submit other documents such as a birth certificate).

 Is A Passport Required For Kids To Visit Puerto Rico

Photo by Mikolaj Niemczewski -

What Documents can I Bring With Me To Puerto Rico?

To travel to Puerto Rico, it is necessary to take a flight from the US mainland to the airport in Puerto Rico. To travel, you must provide a valid ID at the airport checkpoint. You can bring and show the following documents, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA):

  • The Department of Motor Vehicles driver's licence or another state-issued picture ID (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • DHS Traveller Credentials (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • US Department of Defence identification, including identification for dependents 
  • Resident card
  • Cross border card
  • State-issued Advanced Driver's Licence
  • Photo ID 
  • HSPD-12. PIV Card
  • Canadian Provincial Driver's Licence or Indian Card and Northern Affairs Canada
  • Transport staff authentication information
  • US Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • US Merchant Mariner ( with Login Information )
  • Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC)

Suppose you do not have a REAL ID-compliant identification document. In that case,, you can bring one of the following documents with you to Puerto Rico:

  • Passport
  • Pass card
  • State-issued Advanced Driver's Licence (EDL)

Is A Passport Required For International Visitors To Visit Puerto Rico?

The answer is unequivocal yes. Assume you are visiting the United States from a foreign country and are not a US citizen. In such a situation, you must comply with the same visa and passport requirements as if you were travelling to the mainland United States.

What Should I Know Before Visiting Puerto Rico?

In Puerto Rico, you can use your US phone. Citizens in the United States can still use their cell phone service in Puerto Rico. Many cell phone carriers in the United States include Puerto Rico in their network coverage at no extra charge. 

In addition, if you hire a car in Puerto Rico, you'll be relieved to hear that the transportation system is comparable to that of the United States. Although most traffic signs are in Spanish, they adhere to the standard traffic sign system.

What Is An Outline Of Puerto Rico's Tourist Visa Policy?

Puerto Rico's tourism immigration policy presently requires visitors from more than 230 countries to get a Puerto Rican tourist visa or travel permit to enjoy a stay in the territory, regardless of the intended duration of stay.

If a foreign individual has a passport from a country participating in the US visa waiver programme, they must have an ESTA authorised to visit Puerto Rico for tourism purposes. ESTA is a travel authorization system that allows multiple applicants to enter Puerto Rico, the continental United States, and all incorporated territories of the United States, including the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands, while in force. It was introduced in 2009 for all nationalities included in the US visa waiver programme.

Once authorised, the ESTA for Puerto Rico allows for a 90-day stay in each 180 days with each entrance into US territory and is valid for a total of two years from the date of issue.

What Is An Outline Of Puerto Rico's Tourist Visa Policy
Photo by Mikolaj Niemczewski -

To receive an electronic tourist visa waiver, qualified persons must fill out an online form with personal and passport information, as well as basic travel information, which can be done in a matter of minutes. Before a Puerto Rico ESTA for tourism can be issued, certain questions about health and security must be answered.

Foreign nationals who are not qualified for a tourist ESTA must apply for a tourist visa at the nearest US consulate or embassy. Applicants must complete an electronic form with some personal information, passport details, and basic travel plans to apply for the US visa waiver for Puerto Rico. They can submit their application online after answering a few health and security questions, submitting supporting papers, and paying a modest processing charge.

Once accepted, a Puerto Rico ESTA is normally handled within a few business days and electronically connected to the traveller's passport.

You should begin this procedure well in advance of your anticipated date of travel since a tourist embassy visa might take several weeks to complete and approve.

The information above will help you apply for a visa and determine whether you need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. To minimise problems during their trips, passengers should meticulously prepare their visas and passports.

Vy Nguyen

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