Home / General Travel Tips /
XYZ Consular Info: Bermuda
» » View Travel Tips by Destination * » » View Travel Tips by Topic
XYZ Consular Info: Bermuda
Bermuda Consular Information Sheet
U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
May 7, 2002
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Bermuda is a highly developed British overseas
territory with a stable democracy and modern economy. Tourist facilities
are widely available.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: U.S. citizens entering Bermuda must present a U.S.
passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate, and photo identification.
The Consulate strongly recommends that visitors travel with a valid passport
at all times. A U.S. driver's license or a voter registration card is not
sufficient for entry into Bermuda. For additional information on entry
requirements, travelers may contact the
British Embassy at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W, Washington, D.C. 20008,
(202) 462-1340, or the British consulate in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago,
Dallas, Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco; Internet:
http://www.britain-info.org or the Bermuda Department of Immigration;
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have
initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring
documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel
from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such
documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
CRIME: Bermuda has a low to moderate crime rate. Incidents of serious
violent crime are infrequent, but petty thefts and assaults do occur.
Valuables left in hotel rooms (occupied and unoccupied) or left unattended
on beaches are vulnerable to theft. Criminals often target transportation
systems and popular tourist attractions. Examples of common crimes include
pickpocketing, theft of unattended baggage and items from rental motorbikes,
and purse snatchings (often perpetrated against pedestrians by thieves
Travelers should exercise caution when walking after dark or visiting
out-of-the-way places on the island, as they can be vulnerable to crime, and
because narrow and dark roadways can contribute to accidents. There have
been incidents of sexual assault and acquaintance rape, and the use of
"date rape" drugs such as Rohypnol has been reported in the media and
confirmed by local authorities.
There has been an increase in criminal activity at St. George's, a popular
cruise ship destination and World Heritage Site. Incidents of verbal, and
sometimes physical, assault against both locals and tourists have been
reported. Petty drug use is frequent and open. Gang activity, including
assaults and arson, has been reported in the area as well. There have been
several assaults and thefts in the area of Pitts Bay Road from the Hamilton
Princess Hotel into the town of Hamilton, and the back roads of Hamilton are
often the setting for assaults, particularly after the bars close.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately
to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. U.S.
citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet,
"A Safe Trip Abroad," for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. This
publication and others, such as "Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean," are
available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at
http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs, or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs
home page at http://travel.state.gov.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Good medical care is available. The hospital performs
general surgery and has intensive care units. Serious or complex medical
problems will likely require medical evacuation to the United States.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges Americans to
consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to
confirm whether their policy applies overseas and if it will cover
emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance
plans seldom cover health costs incurred outside the United States unless
supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid
programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer insurance
plans that will cover health care expenses incurred overseas, including
emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans should consider
that many foreign doctors and hospitals require payment in cash prior to
providing service and that a medical evacuation to the United States may
cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers who require medical
care overseas often face extreme difficulties. When consulting with your
insurer prior to your trip, please ascertain whether payment will be made to
the overseas healthcare provider or if you will be reimbursed later for
expenses that you incur. Some insurance policies also include coverage for
psychiatric treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau of
Consular Affairs brochure, "Medical Information for Americans Traveling
Abroad," available via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or
autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations and other health
precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's hotline for international travelers at
1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299); or via
the CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S.
citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those
in the United States. The information below concerning Bermuda is provided
for general reference only, and it may not be totally accurate in a
particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Driving in Bermuda is on the left side of the road. The maximum speed limit
in Hamilton is 25 kph
(15 mph); 35 kph (21 mph) on the rest of the island. Under Bermudian law,
non-residents are not allowed to own, rent, or drive four-wheeled vehicles.
Non-residents must rely on taxis, the excellent local bus system, or motor
scooters. Traffic is moderate, and Bermudians generally follow the rules of
the road. Licensing and registration are strictly enforced, as are driving
and parking regulations. Because Bermuda does not allow the importation of
used vehicles, most vehicles are in good condition.
Those unused to driving on the left are likely to find the roundabouts and
regulations for yielding at junctions confusing and dangerous. In addition,
vehicles often stop on the side of the road, blocking one lane of traffic.
Main roads, while generally in good condition, are extremely narrow and tend
to be bordered by heavy vegetation or low stone walls.
Pedestrian crosswalks marked by white lines are found on all roads.
Vehicles must, and do, stop when a pedestrian is seen approaching a
crosswalk. Horns are seldom used aggressively or as a warning. Instead,
horn honking is used as a general form of greeting in Bermuda. As almost
everyone knows everybody else, horns are heard honking at all times, which
may be confusing to those visiting the island.
Rental motor scooters are readily available, and the required helmet is
provided. While renting a scooter for daytime activities in good weather
should be reasonably safe, visitors should carefully consider whether or not
it is worth the risk to ride a scooter during rainy weather or at night.
Motor scooters provide the greatest road peril in Bermuda; local operators
tend to abuse the speed limit more than other drivers, and they will often
pass on the left or right with no warning. Travelers who rent scooters
should be aware that scooter accidents involving visitors are relatively
common, and they can sometimes be fatal or involve serious injuries.
Taxis are readily available. The local bus system, which is excellent and
relatively inexpensive, services the length of the island and stops close to
most beaches, hotels, the downtown shopping area, and other points of
interest. In addition, water ferry service to a variety of stops around the
island is available seven days a week, and it is a very safe and enjoyable
mode of transportation.
For additional general information about road safety, including links to
foreign government sites, please see the Department of State's Bureau of
Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For
specific information concerning Bermuda driver's permits, vehicle
inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact the Bermuda
Department of Tourism offices at 310 Madison Avenue, Suite 201, New York,
N.Y., telephone (212) 818-9800, or via the Internet at
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
has assessed the government of Bermuda's Civil Aviation Authority as
category 1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety standards for
oversight of Bermuda's air carrier operations. For further information,
travelers may contact the Department of Transportation within the United
States at telephone
1-800-322-7873, or visit the FAA Internet web site at
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services. For
information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers may
contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: U.S. citizens who are taking prescription medication
must inform Bermuda customs officials at the point of entry. Medicines must
be in labeled containers. Travelers should carry a copy of the written
prescription and a letter from the physician or pharmacist confirming the
reason the medicine is prescribed.
Bermuda customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning
temporary importation into or export from Bermuda of items such as animals,
arms, ammunition and explosives, building sand, crushed rock, gravel, peat
and synthetic potting media, foodstuffs (animal origin), fumigating
substances, gaming machines, historic articles (relating to Bermuda),
lottery advertisements and material, motorcycles, motor vehicles, obscene
publications, organotin anti-fouling paint, plants, plant material, fruits
and vegetables (living or dead, including seeds), pesticides, prescription
drugs, prohibited publications, seditious publications, soil, VHF radios,
radar and citizens band (CB) radios. For additional information on
temporary admission, export and customs regulations and tariffs, please
contact Bermuda Customs at telephone 1-441-295-4816, or email
email@example.com, or visit the Bermuda Customs web site at
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject
to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly
from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available
to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be
more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons
violating Bermuda's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs
in Bermuda are strict, and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and
fines. If arrested for possession of even a small quantity of an illegal
drug, offenders will be bound over for trial and not allowed to leave the
island until sentencing is complete.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: ATM machines are fairly widely available in Bermuda,
though their operation can be somewhat erratic. At various times, the local
ATM system has deposited money into the wrong account and has refused to
dispense cash to both locally and foreign-issued debit and ATM card holders.
No local banks accept checks drawn on a U.S. account, but some Front Street
stores catering to the tourist trade do accept U.S. checks as payment. The
local American Express office will cash U.S. checks up to $500.00 for a
three-percent fee. Credit cards are widely accepted at all establishments.
DISASTER PREPAREDNESS: Bermuda is a hurricane-prone country. The worst of
these storms generally skirt the island, however, and little or no property
damage is incurred. Cruise ships regularly alter their schedules and
courses to and from the United States due to hurricanes in the Atlantic.
General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the
Internet from the
U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at http://www.fema.gov/.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For information on international adoption of children
and international parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone (202)
736-7000. Bermuda is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil
Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Central Authority for
international child custody issues in Bermuda is the Attorney General's
Chambers, telephone 1-441-292-2463.
REGISTRATION/CONSULATE LOCATION: U.S. citizens may register with the
Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General located at Crown Hill, 16
Middle Road, Devonshire DV03, telephone
1-441-295-1342, where they may also obtain updated information on travel and
security in Bermuda. Office hours for American Citizens Services are 8:30
a.m.-11:30 a.m., Monday through Thursday, except Bermudian and U.S.
holidays. American citizens in need of after-hours emergency assistance may
call the duty officer at telephone 1-441-235-3828.
* * *
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated April 30, 2001 to update
Entry Requirements, Crime, Medical Facilities, Medical Insurance, Other
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, Customs Regulations, Criminal Penalties
and Children's Issues.