Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Uniqeni

Passport vs birth certificate

Recommended Posts

Just curious as I have my passport and don't usually need to ask these kinds of questions but my mother is going on her first cruise next year from New York City to Bermuda back to New York City and she doesn't have a passport can she use just her state ID / drivers license and birth certificate? I clearly know it's in her best interests to get a passport but I'm not sure that would happen so wondering if she can travel without it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, US citizens may use their government issued birth certificate and government issued photo ID on a closed loop cruise such as this. If for some reason she had to leave the cruise mid-way through there would be a delay in her ability to get home that would be dependent on the circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Uniqeni said:

Just curious as I have my passport and don't usually need to ask these kinds of questions but my mother is going on her first cruise next year from New York City to Bermuda back to New York City and she doesn't have a passport can she use just her state ID / drivers license and birth certificate? I clearly know it's in her best interests to get a passport but I'm not sure that would happen so wondering if she can travel without it

My wife, daughter and I have cruised the past few years without a passport and solely with our birth certificates and drivers licenses. I know it's not recommended but we did it without issue.

We will, however, be getting passports this year and will be using them for our Jan. 2020 Encore cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And...be sure it is an official government agency issued birth certificate.  A hospital certificate of birth won't do.  It needs to be the same approved one that would be used to get a passport.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, sparks1093 said:

Yes, US citizens may use their government issued birth certificate and government issued photo ID on a closed loop cruise such as this. If for some reason she had to leave the cruise mid-way through there would be a delay in her ability to get home that would be dependent on the circumstances.

And please for your own safety bring those documents with you when you’re off the the ship. Accidents do happen and you’ll need your proof of citizenship if you happen to have to go to a hospital or get detained. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A passport card might be a good compromise. It's not useful for flying, but it's much cheaper than a passport book, and valid for 10 years. It's easier to carry with you than a copy of your birth certificate, and is only $30 as a renewal (as opposed to $110 for a book). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do the names on the birth certificate and the driver's license match? If not, an official wedding license would help. Still, a passport is the way to go. Why take any chances? Personally, I would never leave the country without my passport.

Edited by valleyvillage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, dcipjr said:

A passport card might be a good compromise. It's not useful for flying, but it's much cheaper than a passport book, and valid for 10 years. It's easier to carry with you than a copy of your birth certificate, and is only $30 as a renewal (as opposed to $110 for a book). 

Really, that's a great idea, cost is a big concern for her

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Uniqeni said:

Really, that's a great idea, cost is a big concern for her

 

Keep in mind that it's not valid for flights. If she got stranded in Bermuda, she might have trouble using a passport card to fly back to the U.S., although I suppose it's better than nothing! 

 

If she has an expired passport, it's $30 to get the passport card as a renewal. It's $65 if you have never had a passport. You can apply at the post-office; they will charge you to get your picture taken there (around $15), but they use a special camera so it won't get rejected by the State Department—we've had photos taken at a pharmacy get rejected before. 

 

Any way you slice it—worst-case (most expensive scenario), let's say she never had a passport before, and uses the post office to take the picture, it'd be $80 for the book, as opposed to $160 for the card.

 

Last time we applied for a passport (around this time last year), we got our passport cards within a month of our application, and the books came later. We have both because my wife's family lives in Mexico near the border, so we cross by land frequently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would encourage her to get a passport, if for any reason including illness she needs to fly home she has to go through the hassle of getting paperwork she need to fly. The other point is this is her first cruise, do you really think it will be her last? Also the passport is much sturdier to bring then your birth certificate. All in all a passport is a much better option.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a small note - if you do end up going the passport or passport card route, take a look at the website that lists locations where you can apply.  When I had to renew my son's passport last year I was very pleasantly surprised to see that a number of local libraries have now become official application centers.  Overall a much nicer experience than the post office was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she is older, I would get her the passport. What if she has an emergency? It will delay her in getting home. And you said the cruise is next year? So she has plenty of time to get it. If cost is a big concern, is she aware of the spending money she will need?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, dcipjr said:

 

Keep in mind that it's not valid for flights. If she got stranded in Bermuda, she might have trouble using a passport card to fly back to the U.S., although I suppose it's better than nothing! 

 

If she has an expired passport, it's $30 to get the passport card as a renewal. It's $65 if you have never had a passport. You can apply at the post-office; they will charge you to get your picture taken there (around $15), but they use a special camera so it won't get rejected by the State Department—we've had photos taken at a pharmacy get rejected before. 

 

Any way you slice it—worst-case (most expensive scenario), let's say she never had a passport before, and uses the post office to take the picture, it'd be $80 for the book, as opposed to $160 for the card.

 

Last time we applied for a passport (around this time last year), we got our passport cards within a month of our application, and the books came later. We have both because my wife's family lives in Mexico near the border, so we cross by land frequently.

Maybe I will just swing the cost for her .. I'd hate to see something bad happen.. I hope it's not her last. She is terrified of water and boats but has a blast on vacation and we dropped off my son and Dil to the Anthem in cape liberty.. that was it she was all in from there

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she resides in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, or Washington then look at getting her an Enhanced Driver's License (different than a REAL ID) which is also accepted as a passport card. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...