Jamaica is a popular destination for American tourists. The blue skies, white sandy beaches, excellent coffee and laid-back reputation make it an excellent place to go if you need to decompress. However, if you are planning a trip to Jamaica, there are some new passport requirements you need to be aware of.

On June 01, 2009, the final phase of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) went into effect. Here’s what that means to you:

  • If you are flying to Jamaica, you must have a valid passport book to travel.
  • If you are traveling by boat, you need either a US passport book, a US passport card, a NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST card, or an enhanced driver’s license.

To make things even more complicated, there are a few exceptions to the above requirements:

  • Children under the age of 16 can use their birth certificates instead of a passport if they are traveling by sea. If they are traveling by plane, they still need a passport book.
  • Children under the age of 19 can also use a birth certificate if they are traveling by sea with a school group, religious group, social or cultural organization, or sports team. The group must be accompanied by an adult chaperon. Again, if the group is traveling by plane, everyone needs a passport book.
  • US citizens on a closed-loop cruise, one that begins and ends at the same US port, can bring a copy of their birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID.

If you are traveling to Jamaica, don’t forget to make sure that you have your passport and that it hasn’t expired.  If you need to get a passport in a hurry, a passport expediting service like RushMyPassport can offer a speedy alternative.

When you apply through RushMyPassport.com, we’ll help you fill out the application and then personally deliver your application to the Department of State. This puts your application at the top of the stack, for processing times as quick as 24 hours.

Apply for your passport with us today!