Travel Tips

5 min read

US to Puerto Rico: Is a Passport Needed for Paradise?

Imagine a tropical paradise where your US driver's license unlocks sandy beaches and rainforest mysteries—welcome to the easy travel dream of Puerto Rico! But is a passport part of this puzzle? Let's find out.

Tobi Miles
June 1, 2022

Even hearing the words Puerto Rico sparks the visual of soft sand, clear blue water, and cold drinks. Travelers from across the world flock to Puerto Rico for the gorgeous vistas and laid-back escape you can find there. So, do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?

You don’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico if you are a United States citizen. U.S. citizens don’t need to show proof of vaccination when they travel to Puerto Rico either. Non-U.S. citizens are required to bring a passport and vaccine card with the most recent dose being within at least the last 14 days.

Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States and it is considered a domestic flight. Non-U.S. citizens can stay in Puerto Rico for up to 90 days without a visa but will need to apply for one after that period. Follow along as we explore what you need to get into Puerto Rico whether you are a U.S. citizen or a foreign traveler.

Is Puerto Rico Open For Travel?

Puerto is now open for travel and has been since July of 2020. As of 2022, curfews and travel restrictions in Puerto Rico are almost completely back to normal. Puerto Rico instituted a temporary dry law in January 2022 limiting what hours a bar or restaurant can stay open and serve alcohol.

Citizens and travelers in Puerto Rico cannot attend nighttime business between 12:00 Midnight and 5 AM in Puerto Rico currently. This law is temporary and was enacted to mitigate another resurgence in COVID infections. However, it doesn’t affect travel restrictions or make it harder to get into Puerto Rico.

What ID Do I Need to Fly to Puerto Rico?

All adult U.S. citizens must have a government-issued photo ID or driver’s license to fly to Puerto Rico. You can also legally fly to Puerto Rico as a U.S. citizen if you bring a Permanent Resident Card. Anyone over 18 years old must present either form of valid identification or they will be denied permission to fly to Puerto Rico.

Children aren’t required to present any form of a government-issued ID to go to Puerto Rico. However, it is wise to bring a copy of their birth certificate with you, particularly if they are a small child. It isn’t common practice to request a copy of their birth certificate at the airport, but they reserve the right to do so.

The airport may not require the birth certificate, but customs and Border Protection may request it in Puerto Rico. However, even that is rare as U.S. citizens don’t generally have to go through customs upon arrival.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Travel Restrictions

There are no travel restrictions for U.S. citizens to travel to Puerto Rico besides basic laws regarding flights. You can get into Puerto Rico as long as you have a valid government-issued ID. International travelers must be fully vaccinated, but the CDC recommends that domestic travelers are vaccinated as well.

Before March 2022, all travelers needed to fill out a Travel Declaration Form before going to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico’s governor lifted that mandate and now Puerto Rico is just as open as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. Individual establishments in Puerto Rico are allowed to deny access to travelers without a mask or vaccine card, but the commonwealth doesn’t require it.

Do You Need a Vaccine to go to Puerto Rico?

You only need a vaccine to go to Puerto Rico if you are coming from an international flight. No U.S. citizens traveling domestically need to show a vaccine card to go to Puerto Rico. While Puerto Rico doesn’t require a vaccine for U.S. citizens some of the means to get there may require it.

For example, several cruise ship lines require travelers to present a vaccine card to be allowed to travel. Companies such as Royal Caribbean require any guest that is over 12 years old to be fully vaccinated. That means that the traveler received their second COVID vaccine within 14 days of arrival on the cruise ship.

This rule applies to all travelers over the age of 12 on many cruise ships regardless of U.S. citizenship. However, the lack of a vaccine card won’t deny you access to Puerto Rico, it will simply limit how you can travel there.

Related Read: Do You Need A Passport To Go To Bermuda?

Puerto Rico Visa Requirements For Non-U.S. Citizens

Non-U.S. citizens are allowed to stay in Puerto Rico for up to 90 days without a visa. Visas are granted to non-U.S. citizens who plan to stay in Puerto Rico for over 90 days for transit, business, or travel. The visa allows you to freely travel to Puerto Rico for over 90 days at a time within 2 years.

Not all non-U.S. citizens need to get a visa for a long stay, however, and that includes residents of 40 countries. This includes citizens from Armenia, Canada, Austria, Barbados, and Finland. Non-U.S. citizens can expect to pay $100 to apply for a visa in Puerto Rico.

Do Babies Need a Passport to go to Puerto Rico?

A baby doesn’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico, but you will need to bring a copy of their birth certificate. That is the only ID that is required for an infant to go to Puerto Rico as long as they are a U.S. citizen. International travelers visiting Puerto Rico with a baby need a passport as well or they will be denied entry.

Parents are required to bring proof of permanent residency if applicable. Permanent residency refers to a U.S. citizen that moved to the states from a foreign country. In that case, you will need to bring a Green Card for your baby if they are a permanent resident.

Babies born in the United States aren’t required to have a Green Card to prove permanent residency. You are automatically entitled to U.S. citizenship if you are born in the country.

Can You Travel to Puerto Rico With a Driver’s License?

All that you need is a driver’s license if you travel to Puerto Rico as a U.S. citizen. Alternatively, you could use a government-issued ID if you don’t have a driver’s license. However, you cannot legally drive in Puerto Rico without a valid driver’s license.

Domestic travelers from the United States can rent a car if they are 21 years old or older in Puerto Rico. The roads are laid out largely the same in Puerto Rico as in the mainland United States. Driving laws and gas prices are almost identical in the United States as in Puerto Rico.

Related Read: Do You Need A Passport To Go To Antigua?

Do I Need a Green Card For Puerto Rico?

You don’t need a Green Card for Puerto Rico if you are a traveler. Neither foreign nor domestic travelers need a Green Card to go to Puerto Rico. A U.S. citizen can legally move to Puerto Rico without getting a Green Card because it is a U.S. territory.

Puerto Rican residents are considered U.S. residents as well as residents of Puerto Rico. Residents of foreign countries need to get a Green Card to live in Puerto Rico, but not for travel.

Is Puerto Rico Considered International Travel?

Puerto Rico isn’t considered international travel if you visit as a U.S. citizen. It is considered domestic travel if you are a U.S. citizen because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. However, it is still considered international travel if you visit Puerto Rico from another country even if you are a U.S. citizen.

It is common for a U.S. citizen to travel to Puerto Rico from a foreign country. That would be considered international travel because you depart for Puerto Rico from a country that isn’t a U.S. territory or commonwealth. In that case, you would need to comply with the travel regulations of the country that you depart.

You will be welcome to the privileges that a U.S. citizen has in Puerto Rico once you arrive, however. That can include the luxury of getting to skip going through customs and Border Protection.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit the Caribbean

How Much Money do I Need to go to Puerto Rico

Single travelers need to budget at least $1,200 for a week-long stay in Puerto Rico. Couples spend an average of $2,400 or more for a week between the flight, hotel, and travel expenses. You can expect to spend $70 per night for a hotel in Puerto Rico, but it can cost over $200 depending on where you stay.

Puerto Rico is a relatively affordable vacation destination, but it can be expensive for families. Prepare to spend between $3,200 and $4,000 or more when you travel to Puerto Rico as a family. It is even more expensive for foreign travelers with children because of the extra cost of passports.

Costs vary based on your hotel rate, eating choices, activities, and the duration of the trip. You are allowed to travel to Puerto Rico with up to $10,000 in cash without declaring it. Declare how much cash you bring if the total exceeds $10,000 when you go to Puerto Rico.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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