General Question

DrewJ's avatar

My passport expires June 11, 2012. Am I good to go to Mexico before then?

Asked by DrewJ (383 points ) May 22nd, 2012

My passport expires June 11th, 2012. I have a trip to Mexico booked for May 24–28th. I know I am cutting it close, and I will certainly renew my passport the moment I get back, but are there any problems I might have that I am not thinking about?

Also… If I start the renewal process right now, how long does it usually take? Do you think I can get in done in time or should I just wait until I get back?

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13 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

As long as you are back by June 11, you’ll be okay.

Start the renewal when you get back, you have to send the old one in with the application.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Probably not. All travelers need a passport valid for at least 90 days following departure date from Mexico although 6 months spare is safer.

marinelife's avatar

Wait until you get back. You should not have any problems with the trip.

syz's avatar

While I can’t find any real documentation, the overwhelming opinion seems to be that it’s not a good idea to travel with a short-shelf-life passport. Perhaps better safe than sorry?

JLeslie's avatar

You should be fine, unless it is a cruise. Cruises require a passport to be valid a minimum of 6 months before expiration date.

If you are driving across the border you could apply for a passport card, and then you might have that before you leave.

If you live in Miami, NYC, or there are a couple other cities you can get one in a few days, but I don’t remember if there is a specific stipulation to qualify for it. My husband did that when he became a citizen. We literally drove from him taking his oath (which was a fantastic ceremony by the way in Miami, really amazing and moving) to the office to get his passport ASAP. I think it took 72 hours. You can also pay to rush an application, but I would just go on your trip and apply when you get back for your new one.

Here is a link for you. It doesn’t look like MX will have a problem with you coming in on a soon to expire passport, and America won’t have trouble with you re-entering.

geeky_mama's avatar

Hi @DrewJ

If it were me – I’d absolutely go get a new passport before traveling to Mexico in June. That’s just too close for comfort for me personally.
I travel a lot for work to Latin America (including Mexico) and because most other countries require your passport does not expire for 6 (or more) months from your date of entry to their country. For this reason our corporate travel wouldn’t even let me book travel until I got my passport renewed (when I had nearly a year left).

If you live in a city with a Passport office and you have travel plans in June you can walk in and get your new passport on the same day. (This is what I did. I had a trip to Brazil and was able to get my new passport the week before traveling.) It’s a bit more expensive than the usual way – but you won’t pay to mail or FedEx it back in forth which saves a bit of money—and you’ll have it the same day.

CWOTUS's avatar

You can have passport processing expedited, but that service comes at a cost.

Here’s a link to a business that does this for our company from time to time with generally excellent results. There may be cheaper or more local alternatives for you, but these guys do good work with fast turnaround.

This link can give you some guidance on what requirements you need to meet. I’d read this before I accepted advice from a bunch of random strangers, no matter how well-meaning.

JLeslie's avatar

I have an idea, short of calling the MX embassy, or an US federal agency, why not call the airline you will be flying and see what they say. They should know all the rules. They usually check all paperwork for international flights before boardng. My husband is Mexican and he said it would not even have occurred to him to worry about going between America and Mexico on a flight or crossing by car.

lillycoyote's avatar

I also think you should get it renewed before you go. You never know what might happen. Were you to get sick or injured, for example, and require an extended hospital stay, unlikely, but possible, you might be there longer than you anticipate and find yourself with an expired passport when you are ready to go home.

JLeslie's avatar

@lillycoyote He doesn’t stop being an American citizen when his passport expires. If there was a freak accident he would get the paperwork figured out before coming through immigration. It’s Mexico, not some distant country we are at odds with. The only way to get a passport at this point is if he lives near a place that does quick ones, which is not done in every city. He is leaving in two days. I didn’t even realize how soon it was when I suggested getting a passport card or putting a rush on a new passport.

janbb's avatar

US Immigration strongly prefers – I’m not sure if they require – you to have a passport with an expiration date not less than six months from the date of travel. I would look into getting it renewed before you go but you will have to have it expedited.

JLeslie's avatar

Here is the list of passport agency offices. There are about 25 in the US. You make an appointment, and they take care of it.

@janbb It’s too late to expedite with overnight mail. He leaves in two days.

wallabies's avatar

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