Do I need a passport to travel to Mexico?

Enjoy the sights, sounds and flavors of Mexico as you journey to a land of customs and rich tradition. Whether you are traveling for a honeymoon, weekend getaway or a family vacation, be sure to know what documents you are required to have for traveling in order to avoid any hassles along the way.

Couple on beach

Since March 1, 2010, all US citizens, including children, are required to present a valid passport or passport card for travel, whether by land, air or sea, into the interior of Mexico.

Family travel guideUS WHTI

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative is a result of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), requiring all travelers to present a passport or other document that denotes identity and citizenship when entering the United States. The goal of the WHTI is to create standardized documentation that enables the US Department of Homeland Security to quickly identify a traveler.

Travel by air

The WHTI requires all travelers entering or re-entering the US to present a passport.

Travel by land or sea

US citizens entering the country by land or sea must present a passport or other WHTI compliant travel document (such as a passport card).


US Passport

This is an internationally recognized travel document that denotes a person’s identity and citizenship. It is accepted for travel by air, land and sea. Information about obtaining a US passport can be obtained on the US Department of State travel website. If you are traveling and need a passport, be sure to allow for enough time for passport delivery since it can take up to 12 weeks in some cases.

Passport Card

The passport card is a limited-use international travel document valid for entry into the US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda, per the WHTI. It is not valid for international air travel, but costs significantly less than a passport book. The card is valid for 10 years for adults and 5 years for children.

For the most up to date information on the entry/exit requirements for Mexico, check the Embassy of Mexico’s website or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 736-1600, or any Mexican consulate in the United States.

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