Where can a US citizen travel without a passport?

When it comes to places that you can travel to without a passport as an American citizen, the United States of America has a few territories in the Pacific Ocean, and each has its own set of rules and regulations. While most travel outside the United States requires a passport, there are  a few exemptions to the rule. 

Puerto Rico

If you want to visit Puerto Rico as an American citizen or legal resident, you can do so without a passport. You can visit this tropical island whenever you like as long as you have a valid identification card or birth certificate with you upon entry.

During your time in Puerto Rico, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, participate in a wide variety of water activities, hike, and even paddle a kayak. 


Americans can enter Canada by sea or land without a passport – however, you will require a NEXUS or passport card to enter the country. You can move more quickly through the customs and immigration processes at the Canadian border if you have a NEXUS card, so be sure to get all of the paperwork done ahead of time. 

The NEXUS card is a form of identification that is used for travel in lieu of a passport in a joint initiative between the United States and Canada. The application procedure to obtain a NEXUS card is supervised by both nations.

Northern Mariana Islands

The Northern Mariana Islands are self-governing territories of the United States of America located in the far western reaches of the Pacific Ocean. Since the islands are U.S. territories, you will not be required to present a passport to enter or leave the archipelago. 

However, you are still required to present a valid birth certificate or identification card to enter any of the U.S. territories, so be sure to have that with you when you travel. Guam, the archipelago’s southernmost island, is a separate territory from the United States so you will need a passport if you plan on traveling there. 

Saipan, Rota, and Tinian are the three islands in the area that receive the most tourists annually – with Saipan being the largest of the three. Micro Beach, Banzai Cliff, Mount Topachau, and many historical sites are just some of the spectacular places you can visit when traveling between these islands.

American Samoa

The territory of American Samoa is another fantastic holiday spot that doesn’t require a passport. This area of the United States consists of several islands, each of which is surrounded by breathtaking scenery. However, due to the limited number of flights and the requirement to enter the territory through Honolulu, Hawaii, it can be quite a challenging place to visit – though it’s well worth it if you make the journey.

U.S Virgin Islands

Since Denmark sold the Virgin Islands to the United States in 1917, the archipelago, now known as the U.S Virgin Islands, is now considered a U.S. territory. As an American, you can go without a passport. 

Although a passport is not required to enter this particular cluster of islands, travelers still need to carry some form of government-issued photo identification whenever they travel.

You can travel to the three most populated islands during your vacation: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Activities range from sightseeing at Virgin Islands National Park to swimming and snorkeling in Trunk Bay.


This island is found in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean and it’s a great summer vacation place. US citizens are permitted entry without needing a passport if they present either proof of citizenship or a current, legal identification card.

In addition to having a favorable climate, the island of Guam has some of the most beautiful beaches, including Ypao Beach Park. The area also has a significant cultural legacy and history to explore. Going far into the ocean, you can even explore the relics of two separate warships dating back to World Wars I and II.


Since the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, it is now possible to visit Mexico without a passport as long as you have a passport card or an enhanced driver’s license (EDL). An EDL is a form of identification that can prove your American citizenship and identity. 

It also simplifies and expedites the process of entering Mexico, whether by sea or land. In addition to providing passport-free access to Mexico, if you have an EDL as an American, you won’t need a passport to visit any of the other U.S. Caribbean territories. 

Closed-Loop Cruises

There is no requirement for a passport on a cruise that begins and ends in the same port in the Western Hemisphere as long as the passenger has a valid photo ID.

We hope you can now travel confidently even without a passport as an American.

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