When you’re traveling to Mexico, make sure you are prepared with all of the travel documents needed for Mexico trips. Otherwise, you might end up stuck at the border. Below is some useful information that will help you prepare.
U. S. Travelers
In the past, most U. S. travelers could cross the border between the two countries and only show a state-issued identification and proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. As of June 1, 2009, the rules have changed. In order to re-enter the United States from Mexico through any form of transportation, you now need to show a valid Passport or the new PASS Card. The PASS Card is less expensive to obtain than a passport but is only valid for travel between the countries of North America. If you’re planning on international travel in the near future, you might as well invest in a passport.
All Travelers to Mexico
The travel documents needed for Mexico trips may also include a tourist visa. Mexico does require a visa for tourists from most countries. One is also required of U. S. citizens if they are going to be leaving the so-called “border zone” which is mainly any of the cities that line the border and/or if they are going to be staying longer than 72 hours in the country.
Known as the Tourist Card or FM-T, the visa you’ll need if you are vacationing in the country is easy to get. If you’re driving to Mexico, you can show your travel documentation at the border and receive the card. If you’re flying into Mexico, the card will be given to you on the plane or after landing. Of course, a fee is required for the card but this is normally included in your plane fare (not always, so make sure to ask).
If you are required to have a Tourist Card, you need to be sure to get one upon arrival in Mexico. Failure to have one is punishable with a fine through the country’s immigration office.
Driving Through Mexico
Many U. S. travelers choose to drive to Mexico because it saves on airfare and because it provides a more scenic view of the country. But if you do plan on driving, you need to get a vehicle permit is one of the travel documents needed for Mexico trips. These permits are required for travelers’ cars that will go beyond the border zone and/or that will be in the country for more than 72 hours.
You can receive the permit at either the Mexican Customs office or at the Mexican Army Bank. You will need to show proof of your citizenship, identification, and ownership of the vehicle. Also, you’ll need to pay a fee and post a bond guaranteeing the car will not be left in the country. The bond can be covered using a major credit card or a cash deposit (usually around $ 400 USD). Before you leave, you’ll need to notify them again so you can receive a return of your money.