General Question

gunther's avatar

Does an American travelling to Mexico need any special visas or travel documents other than a passport?

Asked by gunther (169points) May 24th, 2014

I’m going to be travelling to Mexico in about a month. I am crossing the border by land and driving to an airport in Mexico, then flying to another airport in Mexico, and travelling by bus to my final destination. I’ve been reading about FMM forms, but I don’t really understand what they are. Do I need to stop at an office as soon as I cross the border by car, or can I wait until I get to the airport for things like that? Are there any other documents I will need or things that I have to do? What about customs declarations?

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13 Answers

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seekingwolf's avatar

When you fly into Mexico, they (the stewardess on the airline) will give you some forms to fill out before you hit the border. Those forms just ask about what you’re bringing in (if you have to declare anything), how long are you staying, etc. That’s really about it.

You do not need a visa to visit Mexico. Just your passport.

gunther's avatar

@seekingwolf I’m not flying into Mexico. I’m crossing the border by car.

Judi's avatar

Then they’ll give it to you at the border. The last time I was there I don’t even remember them giving them to me but it was 5 or 6 years ago. I do know that the US will want the forms when you come back in for sure. Will you be flying back or coming acres the border again? The line to get back in is usually HOURS and HOURS long. Especially if you go through San Diego. We ended up paying a guy who had a bus permit to drive us through the special line. It was going to be like 8 hours on foot. and longer by car. We had parked in San Diego and walked over to go shopping in Tijuana .

JLeslie's avatar

No special documents besides a passport. Just have some cash if there is some sort of fee. I don’t think there is supposed to be a fee when crossing by car, but the man at the border might stuff his pockets. I had them double collect when I have flown. It’s usually not more than $50. Hopefully someone who lives near the border will chime in who has done it recently.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Before you go you should check this document

pleiades's avatar

You should be fine with your passport. Just be prepared mentally to deal with knuckle heads on your way back. I’ve heard a few of my white friends get haggled by the young meatheads they hire to be “professional” border patrol agents. But they were young guys. Not trying to kill your vibe but those agents I’ve heard about aren’t bred from dixieland.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I wouldn’t rely on answers here for something as important as this. These are nice, well-intentioned people, but they’re no experts. If they are wrong, the least that will happen is your whole trip will be ruined. The worst is that you could end up in a world of shit. If you want information like this, go to the source: the US Department of State website, Travel, Visas (US Citizens), enter “Mexico.”. Here I’ll make it easy for you. All the latest travel alerts and warnings are there, by region. There is also a lot of other helpful up-to-the-minute info pertaining specifically to US citizens travelling in Mexico.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I forgot about the 6 month rule for passports, I think all countries have that now. I know when I went on a cruise a couple of years ago the cruise required it too, and we were just going to Canada and America (the departure port was Canada, I am American).

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Canada and Mexico do not enforce the six-month rule.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dan_Lyons I always say the problem is getting back into the US not getting into MX. I say it kind of tongue and cheek, but it’s sort of true. Especially back when people would just take a birth certificate or some random ID. I said it to a friend of mine when we traveled about 20 years ago to Cancun, MX and she told me she did not have a passport. I jinxed it I guess, because damned if she did not get hassled in immigration in Miami airport trying to come back into the US. She is the blondest, WASPiest woman you have ever seen. She brought her voter’s registration card! They let her back in after a bunch of questions. I’ve had a passport since my teens, I am always ready to travel.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

We used to go back and forth from San Diego to Mexico with no problems all the time (1970s) @JLeslie. I imagine things have changed quite a bit since then.
I remember in 88 or 89 traveling to Jamaica and back with no passport, just the driver’s license.

But I guess the whole terrorist thing has changed the immigration/customs inspections drastically.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Right, my girlfriend had her driver’s license and her voter’s registration card. This was in the early 90’s way before 9/11. It felt to me like she couldn’t imagine an American having a problem.

Someone I once talked to had trouble driving across the border back into the US from MX because she was noticeably pregnant. They gave her a really hard time. This was back maybe 15 years ago.

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