Required Entry/Re-Entry Documentation/Real ID Act - when proper ID needed
Proper documentation is your responsibility. The following information gives current requirements for United States citizens, effective at time of printing. This information may change, so see your travel agent or contact the consulate for the country to which you are traveling for current requirements.
Passengers returning to the U.S. by air from any international destination must have a valid passport, and may be denied boarding by the airline if the passport is damaged, mutilated, or has excessive wear. A “Passport Card” is not acceptable. If your name on your passport (or for non-U.S. citizens, valid travel documents) does not match your name on your travel vouchers/ tickets, you will not be allowed to travel.
A passport valid for a minimum of 3 months past the date of arrival is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Panama, and 6 months past the date of arrival for Nicaragua.
CARRYING PASSPORT WHILE IN PANAMA: While in Panama, U.S. Citizens should be able to present upon request by any local authority, an original photo I.D. and either 1) valid U.S. passport, or 2) photocopies of the bio-data page and page containing the Panama entry stamp from the passport. We do not recommend carrying your original passport while in Panama. Copies of the necessary pages can be made at your hotel (usually for a nominal charge).
For details on how to obtain a passport, contact your local courthouse or post office. If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact the embassy of the country to which you are traveling to determine required entry documents.
Failure to comply with the above requirements will result in you not being allowed to travel. Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum ID security standards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.
Passengers with a driver’s license issued by a state that is not compliant with the REAL ID ACT (and has not been granted an extension) will need to show an alternative form of acceptable identification for domestic air travel to board their flight.
To check whether your state is compliant or has an extension, visit https://www.dhs.gov/real-id. If your state-issued ID or driver’s license is not compliant, visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification for alternate forms of acceptable ID.