St. John - Passports

Apr 8th, 2004, 05:59 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 34
St. John - Passports

We will be heading to St. John in about a year with my parents. Is a passport absolutely necessary? My parents will be going with us and they've never had a passport before and most likely will never use it again! My dad says a birth certificate will be good enough but I am not sure...anyone have problems with jus using a birth certificate to enter St. Thomas/St. John?
Saint128 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 77
My understanding is that you can use a drivers license AND long version of passport "with the raised seal". I had my original and they said I needed to get the raised seal. My mom went to the town hall where I was born, paid $10 and got it the same day.
cervonil is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Photo ID and drivers license are all you need if you are a US citizen.
schmerl is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Just found a website (west indies on line) - they say entry requirements are proof of US citizenship - which can be birth certificate - plus photo ID. So at least according to this source your father is correct.

Still, I am in agreement with those who say everyone should have a passport - getting one is easier than ever in many locations (post office, town hall, etc. accept applications and all else is done by mail). Entry requirements to places do change - who knows what security threats, real or imagined, will cause countries to require as much as a year in the future.

However - it may not be worth fighting with your father over this one!
gail is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 07:39 AM
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I agree..thanks for your advice everyone! It's sometimes hard to teach an old dog new tricks!!!!
Saint128 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 07:58 AM
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your father is correct, a birth certificate is enough. it has to be an original one though with the raised seal. AND he'd need a picture i.d. like a driver's license. the real issue though is not getting into st. thomas/st. john as you mention. the issue is being allowed back into the u.s. (i.e. the mainland).
however, i agree with the others who say a passport is always best. VERY EASY to get these days.
enjoy your vacation. st. john is quite beautiful. your dad might just want to go back.
Apr 8th, 2004, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 575
You don't go through customs or immigration going to or returning from the US Virgin Islands if you are a
us citizen. All that is required is that you present a government issued ID when checking in at the airport going and returning.
Rob is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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rob: yes you do. we went to st. john last june and we went through customs in st. thomas on the way back. and we're americans. we had our passports and we had to show them.
Apr 8th, 2004, 08:53 AM
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for a bit of background on that, i think it was in 2003 the philadelphia appeals court agreed with the federal govt. that it had the right to order immigration checks in usvi because the govt.'s interest in detecting illegal aliens after 9/11 outweighs the minimal intrusion on u.s. travelers.
Apr 8th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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saint128: here you go for all the correct info, so you have no problems.
Apr 8th, 2004, 10:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 149
you might also point out to your father that you may want to visit the BVI's and you will have to show your ID again. If something should happen to his license or BC it is much easier to get a replacement passport then it is BC or drivers license.
jkurtiak is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 10:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 77
In regards to all the different responses you get to this question, everyone will tell you they had to show something different. They do not appear to be consistent in whether they look or what they look at. I am going the end of April, and will let you know what happens to us. I've gotten so many different answers.

BUT, I will tell you that I have my opriginal birth certificate and it does NOT have a raised seal on it. I had my mom get me one with a raised seal just in case. Some people will say you need the original and some people will say you need one with the raised seal. I got bpoth just to be safe. My husband only has a copy. Hope he can come back with me
cervonil is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 10:54 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 86
Anyone traveling into the caribbean may as well get a passport because within the next year or so, you will need one anyway. Passports will be the only thing reconized and they are easier to use anyway.
Dblebee is offline  
Apr 8th, 2004, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,355
Passports are the easiest, 100% guaranteed no problems way to go. If it's a question of whether to get a photo ID via your local DMV or go to your county office and get a Passport... I'd go for the passport. DMV is usually an lengthy and aggrivating proposition! Plus, with security the way it is, and a year from now, who knows...why not be proactive and ensure a pleasant experience? You will be on vacation after all. The real issue with proper ID is re-entry to the US Mainland.
tpatricco is offline  
Apr 15th, 2004, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 67
These answers are a little confusing to me. Why would you need a passport or birth certificate when St. John is part of the US?
If you have left the US Virgin islands, you clear customs and immigration when you enter the islands.
If you leave the US Virgin Islands, you need a birth certificate with a raised seal and a photo Id unless you go to Barbados. There,unless you are transient (on a cruise), you need a passport.
sealady is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 05:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,300
according to the INS web page this is the story for US Citizens/Legal Residents:
Traveling Back to Puerto Rico and the Continental United States

Due to the location of the territory, the United States Virgin Islands has a pre-clearance inspection process for all flights from the territory to destinations in Puerto Rico or the Continental United States. This process requires all passengers to present proof of citizenship to immigration to the satisfaction of the inspecting officer.

Proof of citizenship is accomplished by presenting one of the following:

A passport issued under competent authority
An Alien Registration Card (green card).
A certified copy of a birth certificate with government issued photo identification.
Certificate of Naturalization, issued by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Curt is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 177
Easy answer to this one.
Buy the passports for your parents as
a birthday, anniv, Christmas gift or
whatever. So much easier for them to
have them to travel with..
Sherri1 is offline  

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