Mexico travel requirements

Mexico Travel Requirements – Documents and Visas

In March 19, 2018

With vacations to Mexico being one of the more popular and accessible warm destinations, the question of which travel documents are necessary to enter the country is a pretty common one. While there was a time that a US birth certificate was an acceptable form of documentation and proof of residency, border crossings into Mexico have become a bit more involved in the last few decades. Depending on where you’re from, If you are from a country on Mexico’s ‘no visa required” list, you may only be required to present a passport and visitors permit. On the other hand, if you are a resident  of a country not on this list you may be required to obtain a travel visa for entry. These requirements vary depending on the purpose of your visit to Mexico.  While most travelers are there for leisure, business trips and permanent relocations are also reasons people may be headed to Mexico.

Can you go to Mexico without a passport?

While showing your state issued driver’s license used to be sufficient to gain entry into Mexico, that is no longer the case. As of 2009, entry into Mexico requires a passport book or card. It’s important to keep in mind that requirements are different depending on your form of travel.


can you go to mexico without a passport

If traveling by air, you’ll need a US Passport to enter Mexico.

Mexico travel requirements based on means of transportation:

  • Flying into or out of Mexico – Regardless of age, any US citizen flying into or out of Mexico will need to have a valid US passport. A US passport card is not acceptable.
  • Driving across borders – If you’re crossing the border by land, you’ll need one of the following forms of identification to regain entry to the US after your stay:
    • US Passport Book
    • US Passport Card
    • Nexus, SENTRI or FAST card
    • Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)- Currently, only a small number of states offer Enhanced Driver’s Licenses

Arriving via cruise line or boat – If you’re plan is to board a boat and set sail to Mexico for a long stay, travel to Mexico from the US will require the same forms of ID as traveling there by land. In the event you’re on a closed loop cruise (a cruise that leaves and returns to the same US port) you can get by with just a state issued ID and a certified copy of your birth certificate.

travel to mexico from US

When traveling to Mexico by car, you have a few options when it comes to ID. You’ll still need a visitor’s permit to travel outside the free zone, however.

Mexico travel requirements – Visitors Permits and Visas

Since the US is on Mexico’s “no visa required” list, the documentation required to travel in Mexico is fairly easy to obtain. Business travelers and tourists may use what is known as a visitors permit, or an FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple) instead of a Mexico tourist visa. This visitors permit can be obtained in several different ways depending on your means of travel to the country. The fee associated with the visitors permit is about US $22. There is a 35 KM free zone once entering the country, and for this area you will not be required to hold a visitors permit.

When flying to Mexico, most airlines will provide you with the paperwork and fee schedule onboard your flight. In some cases, you will be able to fill out this paperwork at the check in counter before you board your flight. In the event you don’t have the opportunity beforehand, you’ll be able to handle these documentation requirements once you land in Mexico and before you’re required to show your travel documents and leave the airport. If you’re arriving in Mexico by any other means of transportation, simply inquire about the forms necessary at your port of entry or border crossing.

Your visitors permit will generally be granted for a 180 day stay. In the event you were granted less time than that and would like to stay longer, you’ll need to visit a local immigration office. Overstaying your permit will result in mandatory fines that you’ll need to pay in order to leave Mexico.

Travel to Mexico is fairly simple when it comes to necessary documentation and accommodations but be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to obtain passports, certified copies of birth certificates and any other important documents before your trip. Whether you’re headed to Mexico for business or travel, we here at VitalChek wish you the very best time south of the border!


Leave A Comment