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Passport for returning to U.S.?

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Passport for returning to U.S.?

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(@pizix)
Posts: 4
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Okay, I was in STJ/STT in 2008 and had no passport. No problem. I've heard it's still that way until today - a USAirways employee told me that we need passports to RETURN to the mainland. My wife and 2 kids are leaving on March 18 '09 to stay in St. John and have NO passports. Anybody recently return from STT without passports or no anything about it?

 
Posted : February 13, 2009 5:17 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3318
Famed Member
 

If you don't have passports you should be prepared to show proof of identification and citizenship (government-issued photo ID such as State driver's license along with raised seal birth certificate.) You may NOT be asked but should be prepared.

 
Posted : February 13, 2009 5:33 pm
(@patrick)
Posts: 396
Reputable Member
 

You can read up all about it here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

 
Posted : February 13, 2009 5:36 pm
 bobb
(@bobb)
Posts: 24
Eminent Member
 

We just left STX a couple of weeks ago to head home to Kansas CIty. No passport is needed but you do need to show a government issued ID as you will have to clear customs. It felt a little strange clearing customs without a passport but we did it. We do have passports but we didn't bother to bring them.

 
Posted : February 16, 2009 9:46 pm
(@vizini)
Posts: 1
New Member
 

I flew home from St. Thomas today and there was a recorded announcement that a passport was preferable but not absolutely necessary.

 
Posted : February 16, 2009 9:51 pm
(@pizix)
Posts: 4
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Beautiful. Thank you!

 
Posted : February 17, 2009 4:13 pm
(@dameiguana)
Posts: 24
Eminent Member
 

Pizix, We flew from Cyril E. King airport in Charlotte Amalie yesterday afternoon. We didn't take our passports along on this trip. We thought it would be just one more thing to worry about misplacing. Since we weren't going to travel to the BVI, we just left them home. When we purchased a month-long timeshare last year, that was one of the big selling points.....easy travel...no need for a passport.

We just hopped off of the plane last month (for our first timeshare stay), and didn't think about it. Didn't see any signs. No reason to question.

As I went through Customs, I offered my driver's license and paperwork. The guy asked me where I was born, and I told him. No big deal. When my husband went through at another desk, he was detained. The Custom's officer was rather...well....not very understanding. The officer lectured him about terrorism. The fact was, he didn't have a passport with him. He did have his passport number, but that may have just made things worse. They were either going to keep him in St. Thomas or allow him to through. Eventually, after all the demeaning, he was allowed to continue. There was really nothing my husband could do. He didn't have his passport on him. It made quite a show for all the other travelers waiting in a long line for their turn at Customs!

I have a feeling it's just easier to carry a passport, even if you "don't really need one".

 
Posted : February 17, 2009 6:36 pm
(@lydiah)
Posts: 40
Eminent Member
 

A US citizen with government issued ID ( birth cert., drivers license, etc) cannot denied reentry to the US.

PER US LAW a U.S. citizen can not be denied entry into the U.S. EVER. It is a so called "fundamental right"

 
Posted : February 17, 2009 7:12 pm
(@linda-j)
Posts: 844
Prominent Member
 

Lydiah,

That was exactly the problem, Dameiguana's husband could not prove he WAS an American citizen. A drivers license without a birth certificate does not prove citizenship. It takes both to prove that you are who you say you are. TSA could have held him as undocumented or even sent him back home.

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 7:11 am
(@dameiguana)
Posts: 24
Eminent Member
 

I was unable to find information specific to travel into or from a U.S. Territory on the State Department site. They have 17 countries listed in the Western Hemisphere, but they are all land masses which are not in any way part of the U.S. I couldn't find anything about St. Thomas, St. John, or St. Croix.

I found this on the Homeland Security site:

Traveling to and from U.S. Territories. U.S. Citizens traveling to and returning directly from a U.S. territory are not considered to have left the U.S. territory and do not need to present a passport.

U.S. territories include American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Swains Island and U.S. Virgin Islands.

http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/crossingborders/index.shtm#5

It does appear that this may change in June 2009. I'm not sure what the changes are, but I will continue to look.

btw, apparently the cruise ships did some major lobbying. This passport thing doesn't apply to travelers on cruises at this point. Only those folks traveling by air.

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 8:39 am
(@kpixie)
Posts: 9
Active Member
 

travel.state.gov says specifically that you don't need a passport to travel between the US and the US Virgin Islands, or any US territory.

I think we probably experienced the same *ss hole customs agent the last time we went through Cyril King. We had only our birth certificates and driver's licenses (which proves citizenship) and he gave a a really hard time that we didn't have passports, talked about terrorism, etc. Another airport employee recommended we report him. Maybe we should all start doing so. Hope I don't run into that dirtbag on my way through this time.

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 11:17 am
(@dejavu)
Posts: 42
Trusted Member
 

I was told we would not need them when flying back to US from St. Thomas... we DO NOT have passports just driver's license and certified birth certificates.....

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 1:54 pm
(@stt-resident)
Posts: 3318
Famed Member
 

There has been no ruling as yet on when or if the current requirements will change. I can only reiterate what I said in my previous post about what is currently required if you do not have a passport. The easiest thing, of course, is to just get a passport!

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 2:00 pm
(@dejavu)
Posts: 42
Trusted Member
(@tippi)
Posts: 84
Estimable Member
 

If you're a woman and married your birth certificate will not have the same name ...in most cases. What does a woman do in this case? Voter's ID?

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 3:35 pm
(@waterguy)
Posts: 455
Reputable Member
 

Marriage lic. too

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 8:16 pm
 Jill
(@jill)
Posts: 385
Honorable Member
 

On our recent trip home every agent we came across at the airport asked for boarding pass and passport.....I think they are trying to drill into everyones head that at some point that's what it will come to. Although right now they say a government issued ID (driver's license, birth certificate with raised seal) is o.k. we saw several people being questioned and pulled aside. I stick to my thought that EVERYONE traveling should get a passport and therefore avoiding any questionable documents and allowing the ease of travel and a much less frustrating trip back to home.....(It's sad enough having to go home after time in paradise why make it worse by going thru travel frustrations?!) Just my thoughts!

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 8:37 pm
(@future-islander)
Posts: 909
Prominent Member
 

Our friend left his passport home. He only had a state issued photo driver's license. He cleared immigration/customs (January) in St. Thomas. No problem!

 
Posted : February 18, 2009 9:50 pm
(@dameiguana)
Posts: 24
Eminent Member
 

I will be more than happy, totally cooperative, and compliant with the exiting officials in the USVI. In the future I will most certainly take my passport with me. As is evident on this thread, there are many different thoughts and experiences. It's my guess that what is printed on official government sites is not what many of you have experienced. Obviously experience has taught people to have their passports on them....even if the government's printed directives say you don't need them.

My confusion and frustration lies in why some people are currently passed through with a driver's license, and other people are not. I also have no problem with an agent explaining that the situation will be changing, and in the future to bring the passport. I would have appreciated that info from the desk where I was processed.

Having said that, it's a shame that one individual chose to make a public example of a traveler. It's tough to be made a fool of so publicly....especially threatened and linked to terrorism......when there was nothing that could be changed at that point. A simple dialog would have been all that was needed, or take the traveler aside, detain, and investigate. As it was, there was a captive audience of many people lined up waiting.

Or maybe this particular agent really doesn't want to encourage vacationers to return to St. Thomas. LOL! Or maybe he really doesn't want them to leave. 😉

 
Posted : February 19, 2009 8:49 am
(@kpixie)
Posts: 9
Active Member
 

Obviously it makes sense for us all to get passports. But some of us have book trips and don't have time to do that. So this time, we'll take our DL's, BC's and marriage licenses. Then when we get home we'll apply for passports.

In Michigan they are giving us the opportunity to get a driver's license that we can use for travel between the US, Canada and the Islands in the Caribbean. It's going to be available starting June. I may just get one (we live right near the Canada border, so it makes sense).

 
Posted : February 19, 2009 3:13 pm
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