Do You Need A Passport To Go To St. Thomas?
If you have an upcoming trip planned to St Thomas and are wondering if you need your US passport, this article is for you.
There are a whole host of reasons you might not be able to take your passport – maybe it got lost, the dog chewed it, or perhaps it simply expires before your trip.
Don’t worry, we have you covered.
Table of Contents
Do You Need a Passport to Go to St. Thomas?
St. Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands and is a holiday spot for U.S Citizens where they can soak up the sun, with passport-free travel!
Yes – the good news is that U.S. citizens can travel to St. Thomas without a passport.
How to Travel to St. Thomas Without a Passport
The trip to St. Thomas is classified as domestic travel, and as such the following documentation will be accepted:
- Photo ID Drivers license
- U.S. Passport or Passport card.
- U.S Department of Defense ID
- Permanent Residency ID from U.S. Department of Defense.
- State-issued driver’s license
- Foreign Government issued passport
- Transportation workers ID
- Veteran Health Care ID
Just make sure to bring as many documents with you as you can, including your birth certificate if you have it available. Your expired passport will also be a bonus.
Requirements for Children Traveling to St. Thomas
If you are traveling with children Border Protection is always on the watch for missing children, often involved in custody battles.
So it is important to carry the following documents with you:
- An original copy of the child’s birth certificate, that states where they were born.
- Or if born in another country, Consular Report of birth abroad and Naturalization Certificate.
- If the child is newborn, border protection will accept a hospital-issued birth certificate.
What Documents Do You Need to Return to US from St. Thomas?
When you are returning from St. Thomas to the USA, you will require:
- U.S or State issued photo ID
- Your Birth Certificate with a raised seal
Travel to St. Thomas is certainly possible without a passport from the US.
However, for convenience and to avoid any issues while abroad, it’s still recommended to travel with a passport whenever you can.
The fact that you don’t need a passport to go to St. Thomas is a bonus.
St Thomas Information Guide – FAQ
Where is St. Thomas?
St. Thomas is located in the Caribbean Sea, together with some other islands which collectively make up the US Virgin Islands.
In 1917 Saint Thomas was purchased by the United States for $25 million in gold bullion.
St. Thomas is a popular place to take a vacation, as there is so much to do for the whole family, including scuba diving, swimming, and other water sports in the clear waters of the Caribbean.
Travel to Little Buck Island in a Catamaran and see the turtles, or take a Parasail flight for the lovely views. Walk on the extreme Zipline above the tree tops and enjoy breathtaking views of the whole island. The island has regular taxis and vans, and open-air covered trucks for transport to your hotel and sightseeing tours, St. Thomas is the perfect spot for a holiday.
You can see where St Thomas is on a map here:
Where To Stay in St Thomas
There are so many places to stay while on the island.
Some of the most popular resorts include the Ritz-Carlton, the Marriott Frenchman’s Cove, and Bolongo Bay. These resorts offer luxurious accommodations, as well as access to some of the best beaches on the island.
Other great places to stay include Sapphire Beach Resort and Bluebeard’s Castle Resort. Both of these resorts offer great views of the surrounding islands and provide easy access to some of the best shopping and dining on St. Thomas.
Is St Thomas Safe?
The island of St. Thomas is a beautiful and popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. While it is generally safe to visit, there are some things tourists should be aware of before traveling there.
Petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft from vehicles is common, so visitors should take precautions to protect their belongings. In addition, some areas of the island can be dangerous, so it is important to heed local warnings and not wander off the beaten path.
Overall, St. Thomas is a relatively safe place to visit, but tourists should always be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to protect themselves from crime.
Where Can You Travel Without a Passport From US?
There are several ways you can travel without a passport from the USA.
The options include the US states, which are completely free to travel between, the other US territories and certain countries with special allowances as listed below.
Can You Travel Outside the US Without a Passport?
In a nutshell, there are only a select few places that you can travel to outside the US that doesn’t require a passport.
For the most part, traveling to other continents will require a passport and in some cases, a travel Visa that allows you to visit these countries for a short period only. The continents that you would need a passport to include Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, and South America.
A passport is essentially a travel booklet that has the same kind of information that a standard ID has, and is used at points of entry where it’s required.
Each time you pass a border where it’s needed, a border official will look at your passport to confirm your identity before stamping it. This stamp helps to track the amount of time that you are allowed to stay in a country.
If you overstay, you can be punished if you didn’t have special permission to remain in that country for excessive lengths of time. Traveling outside the US, where you don’t need a passport is very different. There is no time limit given if you decide to stay longer for any reason.
This usually isn’t a problem since most people who go outside the US to these special locations are only visiting for a short vacation anyway.
Can You Travel Outside the US Without a Passport on a Cruise?
If you are traveling on a closed-loop cruise returning to the US, there are several countries that you can visit without a passport:
- St. Lucia
- Cayman Islands Antilles
- St. Kits and Nevis
- The British Virgin Islands
Can You Drive to Mexico Without a Passport?
If you are planning to go to Mexico, you can drive overland to get there without a passport.
Mexico is an interesting destination that many people have enjoyed visiting for many decades. This is one of the few places where you don’t need a passport, but there is a very strange catch to this.
While a standard ID would be considered just fine for crossing the border, Mexico requires that US citizens present a passport card which is also called a SENTRI Card. This is short for Secure Electronics Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection.
It’s different than a REAL ID and is a portable ID card that works just like a passport. It contains your name, nationality, photo, place, date of birth, expiration dates, and a special passport number.
This is presented to border officials when you enter and leave Mexico by car or in a vehicle. If you travel in a car, you will also need an import permit for that vehicle.
You will also need to provide a completed FMM (Multiple Migratory Form) and a completed health declaration form. You also need to show hotel reservations and return tickets.
Bringing children and teens under the age of 16 only need a birth certificate or a student ID. If your kids are naturalized citizens, they will also need to show a naturalization certificate to reenter the US.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Mexico?
Do You Need a Passport To Go To The Bahamas?
Whether or not you need a passport to get to the Bahamas depends entirely on how you get there.
United States citizens can travel to the Bahamas by sea without requiring a passport. That means if you’re on a cruise or taking a day trip from Florida, you won’t need a passport to enter the country. Anyone traveling by air will still require a passport from their home country.
The Bahamas are one of the most popular cruise destinations on the planet, and the islands help facilitate this tourism boom by creating laws making it easier for travelers to arrive by boat.
Maritime passengers are allowed to use other forms of ID to enter the country, including a passport card, an enhanced driver’s license, a trusted traveler card, or a U.S. military ID.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To The Bahamas?
Do You Need a Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?
US Citizens do not need to present a passport or Visa when they visit Puerto Rico.
In fact, a state-issued ID (e. g. driver’s license) shall suffice as the passport and visa requirements, similar to visiting other U.S States or U. S. territories. The state-issued ID is used for identification purposes.
Additionally, with the implementation of Real ID Act on May of 2023, U. S. citizens and travelers shall be allowed to travel domestically as long the state-issued ID complies with the standards set by the REAL ID Act.
READ MORE: Do You Need a Passport To Go To Puerto Rico?
Final Thoughts on Traveling Without a Passport
While it is possible to travel without a US passport to many places, it can certainly be more difficult.
It’s also well worth obtaining a SENTRI card or passport book, just in case.
The most important thing is to do your research beforehand and make sure you have all the relevant documents with you.
Have you been to St Thomas recently without your US passport?
Please let us know your experience in the comments below.
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