Dumb Passport question-forgive me!

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Aug 23rd, 1999, 10:48 AM
  #1
Michael
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Dumb Passport question-forgive me!

Planning a trip to Jamaica and read that US citizens are not required to have a passport, just a valid National ID. Is this true, and if so, does a driver's license or Social Security card work as "valid ID"? Thank you in advance for any response to my neophite question. : )
 
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Aug 23rd, 1999, 11:24 AM
  #2
Lee
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Michael: The safe and legal way to go is to have a picture ID (Driver's License) and your birth certificate with a RAISED stamp (NOT a copy).

Jamaica, as well as most caribbean islands typically request the birth certificate for US and Canadian citizens. Of course, the passport is the best ID anywhere.

Good luck!
 
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Aug 23rd, 1999, 01:11 PM
  #3
Cheri
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If you plan on traveling every year or so, bite the bullet and get a passport. It is so much easier than the photo ID and birth certificate. The first time we went I used the birth certificate and it was in tatters by the time I got home. It's good for 10 years so you can get your money's worth if you try real hard!
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 06:57 AM
  #4
sharon
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We were told by our travel agent to also bring along a copy of our marriage certificate. Since your wife's surname (presumably) has been changed from her brith surname to your surname, it is advisable to bring it along as proof of identity. Don't know if the immigration official ever looked at it, we just passed it along with all the other documents. Never had a problem. I agree with the above posters, get a passport. Trying to juggle all your luggage AND a handful of doucments just isn't worth the trouble. Besides, once you have a passport, you can find excuses to use it. (BG)
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 08:29 AM
  #5
Bex
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Some more info. I have a passport w/ my former married name.(Im on mariage no. 2). I can still use the passport as long as my tickets have that name somewhere.
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 09:53 AM
  #6
ilisa
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Be advised that a drivers license is not proof of citizenship.
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 10:03 AM
  #7
Cheri
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Your birth certificate is your proof of citizenship, your drivers license can be used ss your required photo ID.
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 10:43 AM
  #8
sabrina
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I agree that if you travel every year you should go ahead and get a passport. But if you use your birth certificate make sure you have one with the state's seal or if you have a copy make sure that it is notarized.

Almost missed my flight to Montego Bay because I had a copy of my birth certificate and it hadn't been notarized (didn't know it needed to be) and I got sent four gates away to have it notarized at the last minute. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble by A) having a passport to begin with; B) having a birth certificate with the state's seal on it; or C) knowing that a copy needed to be notarized.
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 01:18 PM
  #9
Mare
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My husband and I were told by a customs agent "to do us both a favor (meaning ourselves and the agents) and get a passport" We took his advice and going thru Customs goes so much more smoothly! If you have time, I would recommend it.Before we used drivers licenses and our voter registation cards. Have a good trip!
 
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Aug 24th, 1999, 02:45 PM
  #10
Michele
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The first trip I made out of country I just ran a copy of my birth certificate. WRONG!!! Luckily my best friend and travel buddy informed me that the birth certificate must have a raised seal.
 
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Aug 26th, 1999, 08:54 AM
  #11
EAEllis
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Birth certificate shows where you were born not what country you are now a citizen of. Get a passport. So easy now, go to postoffice and get forms, get the pics and then get in line early and it can be issued right away (for a slightly larger fee). I went the normal route and got it in two weeks. It is good for ten years and then renewals are done by mail.
 
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Aug 27th, 1999, 10:05 AM
  #12
Carrie
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I must agree w/ biting the bullet and getting a passport. We have been travelling to St. Maarten for 15 yrs, and prior to getting a passport, our "raised" birth cert, was studied well and it took a few min's to get through ! Now that we have passport, they look to see it's still valid, stamp and you're on your way. It's a small investment, but does save time.

Just my 2 cents....
 
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Aug 27th, 1999, 11:24 AM
  #13
Christie
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Yes, a passport is always best, BUT...
If you only go out of the country infrequently, then birth certificate/ voter registration/ driver's licenses work FINE. Or, if you're crunched on time: a passport costs $50+ to get, and can take up to 6 weeks to get back to you. If you're cutting it close with your departure, it's better to just use the documents.

NEVER make a photocopy of any official document! If it is printed on colored paper, or with embossed ink, a photocopy is not an official copy. College transcripts, birth certificates, and marriage licenses all apply! If you need a copy, then send off to get one- usually it's less than $10.
 
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Aug 27th, 1999, 11:37 AM
  #14
ilisa
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Actually, passports can be issued in a matter of days, or even hours, if someone is crunched for time. It will cost more, but it can be done. Definitely get one. Check out the State Department website to see how to go about it - www.state.gov.
 
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Aug 27th, 1999, 05:17 PM
  #15
LAUREL
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This may seem like overkill, but I have a passport of which I carry a copy along with an original birth certificate with raised seal, license, voter registration card which I secure in the stateroom. That way if I were to lose my passport in port, I still have the necessary documents to get thru customs. Also, I keep my passport and cruise cards in a zip-lock bag in my which I've blown a little air into. That way if I drop it in the water it will float as well as keep dry. Don't laugh, I dropped my purse in the water once in England in the Lake District (luckily it was shallow) but everything was soaked Except my documents. And yes, I was a girl scout.
 
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