Many people don’t realize that there have been updates to the passport requirements for travel to nearby countries. U.S. citizens are now required to use their passports for air travel between the United States and Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security may request proof of U.S. citizenship and photo identification when traveling by car or ferry.
Figuring Out if You Need a Mexican Tourist Card
Many travelers going south of the border are not aware that they may need to acquire a Mexican tourist card. Current guidelines require any visitors traveling beyond the border by land or staying longer than 72 hours to purchase a Mexican tourist card (about $23 USD).
Tourist cards can be purchased in Mexico at any Mexican bank, from the Mexican Immigration Authority at the border, or at travel agencies. The tourist cards are good for up to 180 days and multiple entries. Individuals traveling by air or sea are also required to purchase a tourist card but the fee is normally included in your airfare or cruise ticket price.
Foreign nationals traveling to border regions by land for less than 24 hours are not required to get a Mexican tourist card.
Obtaining a Mexican Tourist Card
Remember to bring one of the following:
• Current U.S. passport
• Government–issued birth certificate with a photo ID – photocopies are not acceptable.
• Naturalized American may present documentation certifying their citizenship.
Taking Children into Mexico
American children need to acquire a Mexican tourist card prior to traveling beyond the border region or if they plan on staying longer than 72 hours. In addition, minors not traveling with their parents must have a notarized letter granting permission for them to enter Mexico and must present the documents when purchasing the Mexican tourist card. For additional information on paperwork required by the Mexican government, please call 1-800-446-3942.
Free AAA TourBook® Guides
Looking for additional information about traveling in Mexico, order your free AAA TourBook guide online or come to a local AAA branch. Our guide for Mexico includes information on individual cities and states, accommodations and noteworthy attractions, as well as information on driving conditions, motoring laws, and vehicle entry requirements.
Why You Need Mexico Auto Insurance
The Mexican government requires all auto travelers to have proof of insurance from a Mexican insurance provider purchased prior to traveling in Mexico. AAA recommends Grupo Nacional Provincial S.A.
International Driving Permits
If you are planning on driving in Mexico, you may want to purchase an International Driving Permit. Valid in more than 150 countries, the permit contains your name, photo, and translated driver license information, effectively communicating to foreign officials that you are an authorized driver.