Traveling to Mexico
Although Mexico only requires a
picture ID and a birth certificate to enter,
the United States now requires that you have a valid U.S. passport
to travel between the U.S. and Mexico in either direction. You
cannot leave or return to the United States without a passport.
page: Driving into Mexico - Flying into Mexico
in: Permits and Visas required by Mexico
Border permits: You
must get tourist permits for yourself, everyone traveling with you, and
for your car. They are available in most border crossing towns (Mexican
Tourist permits are 286 pesos (approximately $26.00 US) per person and can only be paid in Mexican pesos.
Money exchange businesses are usually located in the same building. You will need a birth certificate with
the official State Seal affixed, along with a current picture I.D. or a valid passport. Birth Certificates must be the original or a Certified Copy - a
photo copy is not acceptable.
Car permits are $27.00 US and credit cards are the only form of payment accepted for car permits fees. Please note that
the credit card used for payment of the vehicle permit and vehicle registration papers must have the
same name on them, and also must be the name of the person applying for the car permit.
Your car. Your title or registration. Your credit card.
Do not leave the immediate border area without getting your tourist visa
and car permit. There is another Mexican government check point a few
or flying into Mexico:
Permits and Visas - Mexico
items are needed to enter Mexico:
Photo I.D. (such as a Driver's License or a passport, starting at
age 18 and above)
Tourist Card or F.M.N.
Valid Proof Of Citizenship
This two part document is your "permission" from the Mexican
government to visit
. It is available free of charge, although sometimes difficult to obtain
in large quantities. The airlines always have an ample supply upon
check-in. Or, if all else fails, you can obtain one in Mexican
Immigration upon arrival. Here are a few words of advice about tourist
not lose or deface the bottom portion returned to you after the
immigration inspection. It must be returned to Mexican Immigration
upon departure. TIP: Write down your tourist card number, or better
yet, photo copy it, and keep it
with your travel documents. If the card is lost, having the number
will help greatly.
your tourist card and travel documents in a secure place. Do not
carry them with you everywhere you go, unless traveling extensively
from your point of arrival.
Do keep a photo copy with you when away from your home base. As a foreigner
you are required to do so by Mexican federal law.
can ask to have your card validated for more time (up to 180 days)
than you'll actually need.
of citizenship into Mexico or leaving or returning to the United States
Note: information regarding entry requirements is subject to change
without notice, and should be reconfirmed with the airline being used
for international travel.
WARNING: U.S. PASSPORT REQUIRED
U.S. Citizens : Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative
The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative will require all travelers, including U.S. citizens, to and from the Americas
(includes Mexico), the Caribbean, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality to
exit, enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements. The goal is to strengthen border security and facilitate entry into the United States for U.S. citizens and legitimate foreign visitors. December 31, 2006 – Requirement applied to all air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. December 31, 2007 – Requirement extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.
will have an easier time if tickets are issued in their maiden name to
match their documents. For
airport security purposes the name on the driver’s license and the
name on the ticket must match.
Women traveling with tickets in their married name whose driver’s
license (or state issued ID) is in their married name, but who are using
a birth certificate as proof of citizenship will be fine as long as the
first name and date of birth on their driver’s license and their birth
Citizens born outside the
may use a Certificate of Citizenship, a Report of Birth Abroad, a
Consular Report of Birth (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth (Form
DS-1350 or FS-545).
Naturalization: If you claim citizenship through
naturalization you may use your Certificate of Naturalization or
Certificate of Citizenship or laminated Naturalization card. Note: Some
airlines/charter companies may still accept the Notarized Affidavit of
Citizenship or possibly a Voters Registration Card.
Canadian versions of the above documents are
acceptable; notarized affidavits must be executed in
. The "Canadian Identification Card" is an acceptable proof of
citizenship document as well.
Most foreign citizens traveling to
need a valid passport and
“Alien Registration” card only. Contact the airlines serving
or the www.embassyofmexico.org - Mexican Consulate for more details or
For Student Visas contact the www.embassyofmexico.org
- Mexican Consulate in your area.
Any person under 18 years of age is considered a minor for travel
purposes. Very strict regulations govern international travel by minors
. Every minor must have a tourist card, proof of citizenship and
sometimes other documents listed below.
traveling with both legal parents or guardians: nothing else is
traveling unaccompanied or with anyone other than their legal
parents or guardians: they must obtain an original notarized letter
of permission signed by both parents.
traveling with only one parent: must have notarized written
permission from the other parent. (Airlines will also require
the name, address and phone of the person meeting the unaccompanied
minor upon arrival in
the case of deceased or divorced parents: legal proof must be
carried to accept just one signature on the letter. This proof
(death certificate, proof of sole custody etc.) can also be shown to
a notary who can then notarize an Affidavit
of Sole Custody form.
Mexican children often have a stamp on their passports that reads, “El
presente pasaporte viaja de conformidad con El Articulo 421 del Codigo
Civil Vigente.” This allows the child to travel with only one parent
and without a notarized statement.
Your first stop is at Mexican Immigration (Migración) where proof of
citizenship is inspected, and tourist cards are validated. DON'T LOSE
YOUR TOURIST CARD!
Next stop is at Customs (Aduana). Mexico
has instituted a European-style customs inspection system, with a twist.
Here's the way it works:
complete a customs declaration form.
choose to either declare or not declare that they are importing
items beyond their allowance.
declaring items have their belongings searched, and duty is
not declaring items are asked to push a button on a street traffic
light that is mounted on a post inside the customs area. A green
light allows you to pass without inspection. A red light will signal
an inspection. In the event that items are found that were not
declared, heavy fines and penalties apply.
For the most current information regarding
the new travel requirements
of the United States Government we
strongly suggest that you visit:
Airlines originating from the United States (particularly
Continental Airlines) DO NOT keep up with the current travel laws,
can be several months behind on updating their travel document
requirements and web sites, and they are known for misinterpreting the laws. We
suggest that you investigate your airline's current interpretation
of the laws before arriving at the airport.