Do you need a passport to go to Mexico?
Mexico is one of the Latin American countries with rich culture, tradition, and history. Compared to other countries in Latin America, Mexico has the best tourism, and for many good reasons. It’s filled with panoramic beaches, excellent cuisine, and ancient historical landmarks, giving everyone more opportunities to unwind and enjoy.
If you live in the United States, it will be easy for you to enter Mexico as both countries border each other. However, like with other bordering nations, every tourist should follow specific rules and regulations.
Speaking of rules, here are some travel requirements for Mexico:
- Blank Visa Pages – Mexico requires at least two blank visa pages in your passport every time you enter and exit the country. This is for stamps you may need to collect as you travel around the country.
- Transit Visa – This is required if you’re traveling on a joining flight. If you’re traveling directly from the U.S to Mexico by air or by land, a transit visa may not be necessary.
These are the documents necessary to travel to Mexico without a problem. However, there’s one more requirement you should know. Read on!
Do you need a passport to go to Mexico?
Technically, yes. Everyone needs a passport to go to Mexico. Your passport should have at least three months validity. However, the type of passport you need to bring should depend on how you plan to enter the country. There are instances where a simple passport card is enough to go to Mexico. However, other situations may still require a passbook.
Here are some ways to enter Mexico and what types of passports they require:
Cross the Mexico-USA border by car
If you live near the U.S.-Mexico border, you may cross by car. If this is your case, all you need to bring is a valid passport card. Moreover, you may drive across the border and have the RFID reader scan your card. After crossing, you must present yourself to a border agent for identification purposes.
However, there are necessary documents required if you plan to travel 12 miles from the border. Also, you’d need a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) at the institute concerning national migration. So, what is FMM, and why do you need one?
Forma Migratoria Multiple, also known as Tourist Card, is an entry permit that allows tourists to travel around Mexico. It only gives you a single entry, meaning you’ll need to file for this every time you visit Mexico.
Furthermore, since you’re traveling by car, you need to get your vehicle an import permit. You may get this at the Mexican consulate or online. If you fail to do this beforehand, your car will be impounded and detained by the Mexican officers once you cross the border. So, make sure that everything’s ready before crossing the border.
Enter Mexico through airplane
Unlike crossing the border via car, entering the Mexican peninsula via airplane would require you to present your passport book. This doesn’t apply not only to Mexico but also to all international country-to-country air travel. In this case, a passport card won’t be enough even if you live in the U.S.
However, there’s no need for a passport card or book if you’re flying domestically or within the country’s territory. You’ll only need a passport book if you travel by air internationally.
Moreover, it’s easy to travel to Mexico via plane as you can get to your destination quickly. All you need is a taxi, and you can go to any place you want. However, you still need to file an entry permit or FMM to travel the country freely.
Also, the border agent will return you a part of your FMM when leaving the country. In addition, make sure to keep this with you as you’ll need it when you re-enter the U.S.
Arrive in Mexico through water vessels
The Latin American region is famous for its awe-inspiring seas and shores, especially the Caribbean. Because of this, cruise ships are gaining popularity around the area, and many of these ships dock at Mexican ports. This allows tourists to enjoy the city for a day before they embark on the next stop. So, you may be asking what type of passport you should need.
If the cruise is in a closed-loop, there’s no need for you to bring a passport for U.S. re-entry. It’s because the cruise departs and arrives at the port of the U.S. However, you might need a passport along with other documents if you plan to leave the cruise and visit Mexico. These documents are an FMM Tourist Card, birth certificate, or driver’s license.
However, it’d be best to always have your passport book to avoid any possible issue since cruise ships dock in different countries.
These are the possible ways to enter Mexico. To enjoy and maintain a stress-free visit, make sure that you prepare all the necessary documents beforehand to prevent issues.
How to get a passport?
Applying for a passport in the USA is simple. All you need to do is fill up the passport application form DS-11 and submit it to the Department of State. You might also need to submit other documents, such as:
- Proof of citizenship, such as birth certificate and naturalization documents
- Valid ID, such as driver’s license
After this, you’ll be required to attach two passport size pictures. The total processing time may take about six to eight weeks. Therefore, make sure that you already have your passport with you before traveling.
What are the passport requirements for kids?
If your children are under 16 years old, it’s not required for them to use a passport to enter Mexico, especially when they’re traveling by land or sea. However, a passport book is necessary if they’re traveling by air.
Passports are necessary when entering other countries, including Mexico. However, there are other considerations you might need to know, especially if you’re in the bordering nations. If you plan to travel by car, all you need to present are a tourist’s and passport cards. But, if you’re traveling by air or sea, you are required to show a passport book.
Furthermore, it’s important to know the rules you must abide by when traveling from the U.S. to Mexico. If you fail to follow these laws, you may be arrested or detained by the officers, which isn’t a great way to start your trip.