- Learn about Mexico travel and passport rules for Americans in 2009
- Learn about the documentation you will need to drive into Mexico in a car
Identification Acceptable for Crossing US/Mexico Borders by LandIt was the case for decades that US citizens could use a combination of proof of US citizenship, like a birth certificate, *and* driver's license or other state-issued photo id, to return from Mexico to the US, and was still the case that passports weren't needed to return from Mexico by land even after it became necessary to use a passport to return to the US by air in 2007; all of that changed after June 1, 2009, and you must now have a passport, PASS card, Enhanced Driver's License or other acceptable ID (list is just below).
- Do I need a passport to visit Mexico in 2009?
You need a passport to return to the US from Mexico by air after the passport deadline of January 23, 2007. If traveling to Mexico over land, you will need a passport starting June 1, 2009 -- or you can use a cheaper PASS card).
Other acceptable identification includes:
- Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
- State Issued Enhanced Driver's License (when available)
- Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
- U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
- Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
- Form I-872 American Indian Card
- Learn how to expedite a passport application
Get a Mexico Tourist CardA Mexico tourist card, also called an FMT, is a government form declaring that you have stated the purpose of your visit to Mexico to be tourism, and which must be carried while you are visitng Mexico. Although more than one kind of Mexico visa exists, this is a simple declaration of your intention to vacation in Mexico for not more than 180 days.
Where Will I Need to Show My Documents in Mexico?Whenever you cross the Mexico border, you will need to show your travel documents.
- If you are flying into Mexico, you will need to show your travel documents to Mexico customs agents before you leave the airport. You may have to show your travel documents again before picking up your luggage. When you leave Mexico by plane, you will need to show your travel documents before you pass through security and before you board the plane.
- If you are driving into Mexico, you will need to show your identification before you cross the border. You will get a tourist card at or very close to the border. If you are driving out of Mexico, you will need to show all your travel documentation before you can cross back into the US.
Keep Track of Your ID and Tourist CardYou will need to turn your tourist card in when you leave Mexico, and you will need ID at different points during your Mexico visit -- when cashing traveler's checks or using a credit card, for instance.Keep your id and your tourist card together -- try keeping both in a passport holder.