I was wondering if anyone else has traveled with a birth registration card instead of a birth certificate. My wife was adopted, so a birth certificate cannot be obtained without a judges order. A few years ago, when we traveled to the Bahamas, we were allowed in and out, but the authorities asked a lot of questions about it. It seems they had not seen one. We don't have time to get a passport( we travel 11/18 to West. Carib.) so I was wondering if anyone else has traveled using one. It looks more official than my own birth certificate. Thanks.......John
Don't know about a birth registration card, but when we were in the Bahamas in September, we were told that they are going to be requiring Passports sometime around the first of the year. Birth certificates will no longer be accepted. I would call the cruise line to verify that the birth registration card will work. If not, you can still get a passport in the time you have available. It's called expedited service and usually takes about 10 days. Your travel agent should be able to assist you or call your main Post Office. Since the events of September 11th, passports have become more important.
Personally - I would call the Bahamas Embassy. Here is a Washington, DC phone number for them: (202) 319-2660. I would also call cruiseline to make sure the registration card is valid for them.
This way - you will know from the source (Bahamas) exactly what they need.
One would think this situation would come up more often.
On a side note - when you traveled last time - did you fly directly to Bahamas? This would explain why they looked at your credentials at the island. My thinking is that if the cruiseline is fine with your proof of citizenship - you will be marked a US citizen and will not have problems getting onto the island. Just my thoughts. Please post after the trip your results.
The point of a birth certificate, or so I understand, is to prove that you are officially a US Citizen. I'm guessing (this is always dangerous) is that the reason it's a registration card rather than a BC is that your wife might have been born out of wedlock and then adopted?
To my way of thinking, they are pretty much the same thing so long as they have the "raised seal".
In addition to checking with the Bahamians, why not check here on-line for passport information (Donna will probably be along with the link, she's good at that) and see what passport requirements are? Then get a passport. No more worries, no more questions.
Not sure if Charlotte has a Passport office or not but push comes to shove I would even run down to Atlanta and expidite a passport, for both of you. Failing doing that call the cruiseline and see if they will accept this form of identification and THEN call the Immigration people and see if that will allow her to get back into the USA. INS is checking very closely now and they are the ones you really need to worry about. A Passport allows you to "walk through" any checks with almost no delay. I too have been hearing rumblings about Passports shortly being required for admission to many countries in the Caribbean but have seen nothing concrete yet. Even Belize which requires a passport has a special deal with the cruiselines to allow cruisers into their country while on a ship so long as they don't stay overnite. Question is, what if for some emergency reason you had to depart the ship there and fly home? Will a cruise staff member be required to stay with you, or would you even be allowed to do it at all? Passports are definately the way to go, even more so now.
We just got our passports renewed and it only took 3 weeks without the expediated service, we just paid the $40 fee. If you send the stuff out and do the expediated service option ($10 more I think) you should have it in time.