text text text

International Travel Documents

If you plan to travel abroad, you become familiar with the different travel documents that exist. Not only do you need to know which documents are needed for your destination but any special requirements that the country might have. While foreign entry requirements vary from country to country, the most commonly required documents are listed below. Click here if you need to expedite your passport.

Travel Documents for U.S. Citizens Who Travel Abroad


First and foremost is a passport. For travel overseas and to facilitate reentry into the U.S., a valid U.S. passport is the best documentation available and unquestionably proves your U.S. citizenship.

Some countries require that your U.S. passport be valid at least 6 months or longer beyond the dates of your trip. If your passport expires before the required validity, you will have to apply to have your passport renewed. Please check with the Embassy or nearest Consulate of the country that you plan to visit for their requirements.


If you’re a citizen of the United States, in many cases you’ll need a visa to enter other countries. A visa doesn’t permit entry to the country you hope to visit, however. A visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by a consular officer at an embassy or consulate, and that the officer has determined you’re eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose.

A visa allows you to travel to the foreign country as far as the port of entry (airport or land border crossing) and ask the immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. Only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter. He or she decides how long you can stay for any particular visit.

The visa expiration date is shown on the visa. This means the visa is valid, or can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose, when the visa is issued for multiple entries. This time period from the visa issuance date to visa expiration date as shown on the visa, is called visa validity. If you travel frequently as a tourist for example, with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to the country that issued it.

International Driving Permits

International Driving Permits are honored in more than 150 countries outside the United States. They function as an official translation of a U.S. driver's license into 10 foreign languages. These licenses are not intended to replace valid U.S. state licenses and should only be used as a supplement to a valid license. IDPs are not valid in an individual’s country of residence.

The U.S. Department of State has designated the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance as the only authorized distributors of IDPs.

To apply for an international driving permit, you must be at least age 18, and you will need to present two passport-size photographs and your valid U.S. license. The cost of an international driving permit from these U.S. State Department authorized organizations is under $20.00.

Proof of Insurance

It only takes one medical emergency to rack up a bill of ten´s of thousands of dollars, especially if evacuation is required. It is important that you verify if your insurance policy will cover you during your trip. Find out what procedures are for receiving treatment in the countries you plan to visit and gather necessary documents.

Photo ID

A current, valid passport is not required for entry into several countries. In this case, you will need proof of citizenship and a photo identification. The photo ID can be a driver's license or an expired U.S. passport.

Proof of Citizenship

U.S. citizenship documents such as a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Citizenship are acceptable.

Other Travel Documents

Other documents that may by required include but are not limited to: company bylaws, powers of attorney, trademarks, diplomas, transcripts, distributorship agreements, articles of incorporation, good standing certificates, home studies, letters of reference etc.

When you need express passport expediting, visit Fastport Passport & Visa Services.