Travel Identification

Domestic Travel

As a United States citizen, you are required to have a valid state driver’s license or state ID.  As of October 1, 2020, you will be required to have your driver’s license to be REAL ID compliant.  The following is some information regarding the REAL ID program:

International Travel

As a United States citizen, when you travel internationally, you are required to have a valid active US passport.  Many countries also require you have six months remaining on your US passport before expiration in order to enter their country, as well as proof of a return ticket.  If you will be remaining in a country for more than 90 days, please see the VISA requirements below.

Please note that children under 16 will receive a passport for five years; children 16 + 17 will receive a 10-year passport just as adult passports.  

Travel VISA Requirements

In addition to passports, some countries require additional documentation to enter the country, especially if you will be remaining in the country for a longer period of time (usually 90 days or more) as a student or for business.  However, some countries such as Afghanistan and Vietnam require documentation for even a short-term stay.  This documentation is known as a travel visa.    With some countries you can obtain a VISA when you enter the country; others you need a VISA before you travel.  Please consult with your travel advisor to determine if a VISA is required for your travel plans, especially if you are traveling for business.

Some countries that require a VISA:

  • Australia
  • Bolivia
  • China
  • Cuba
  • India

Cruising & Passports


Although many cruises originate in the United States, you may be required to have a valid US passport to travel on the cruise, especially if the cruise begins and ends in a foreign country.  The exception to this rule is if you are on a closed-loop cruise.


Closed-Loop Cruises:  These are cruises that originate in the United States and visit Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean.  You are not required to have a valid passport for these types of cruises, although you are still required to have valid government-issued identification, such as a REAL ID driver’s license or certified birth certificate.  However, even if a cruise is considered closed-loop, some destinations, such as Guadalupe, require passengers to have a valid passport, so please check with your travel advisor before traveling.


*If my clients already own a valid US passport or passport card, I always advise them to bring their passport, just in case.