Documents Required to Enter Mexico
Within 12 miles of the Mexico - US border as well as all of Baja California are special exemption zones or “Free Zones” that do not require the typical customs rules and documentation. However, each time you wish to enter mainland Mexico you have to go through an Immigration office where you must prove your nationality by presenting certain documents.
If you are a Mexican Citizen
If you are a Mexican citizen you must show your passport, birth certificate, military service record, certificate of matricula consular or a citizen's identity credential.
If you are from the United States
Proof of citizenship and photo identification is required for entry by all U.S.citizens. A US passport is recommended, but other US citizenship documents (a certified copy of a US birth certificate (This has a raised seal, photocopies are not acceptable), naturalization certificate, consular report of birth abroad, or a certificate of citizenship) are acceptable. In accordance with Mexican entry requirements, US citizens boarding flights to Mexico should be prepared to present one of these documents as proof of US citizenship along with valid photo identification. A visa is not required for a tourist/transit stay of up to 180 days. A tourist card, FMT, issued by Mexican consulates and most airlines serving Mexico, is required. You will also have to fill out the free migration statistics form, FMT, which you will be given during your flight if you arrive by air.
If you are from Canada
If you are a Canadian citizen you must travel with a Canadian passport, or with a Canadian birth certificate and picture ID, of which a driver’s license is most commonly used. A visa is not required for a tourist/transit stay of up to 180 days. A tourist card, issued by Mexican consulates and most airlines serving Mexico, is required. You will also have to fill out the free migration statistics form, FMT, which you will be given during your flight if you arrive by air.
If you don't arrive by air, you can obtain a Tourist Card at the immigration office when you cross the border. You will need to document your citizenship with the documents indicated above. You must present the original of these documents, not a copy and the authorities may investigate the authenticity of your documents.
There is an office of the National Institute of Migración at the international airport in Puerto Vallarta and at the Marina (where the cruise ships dock) next to the Pemex gas station. This is the place to go if you need to extend your FMT or if you lose your FMT.
The main office address is:
Instituto Nacional de Migración
H. Escuela Naval Militar 2755,
Entrance to API
Phone 224-7970, 224-7653.
To telephone this office from the US or Canada, the number is 011 52 (322) 224-7970
If you are from another country and live in the US or Canada
If you are from another country but make your home in the United States or Canada, you must have a current passport and in some cases, an entrance visa and other requirements. Consult the Mexican embassy or consulate in your country.
If you are from anywhere else in the World
If you are from other than the USA or Canada, you must have a valid passport.
Coming from the United States with minor Children
Minors not accompanied by both parents must have proof of citizenship (everyone needs that) and a notarized letter of consent for the trip signed by the non-accompanying parent(s), or when applicable, divorce, death certificate or guardianship papers.
Coming from Canada with Minor Children
Immigration authorities in most countries, including Canada and Mexico, are becoming more vigilant about documentation for children crossing international borders. Unless the child has a valid Canadian passport and is accompanied by both natural parents, he or she needs special documentation in addition to proof of citizenship.
If only one parent escorts the child, legally certified documentation from the absent parent must be presented in addition to a copy of any separation or divorce decree. This consent is required even if the separation or divorce documents award custody of the child to the accompanying parent. If there is only one parent named on the child's birth certificate and the child is traveling with that parent, no additional releases are required. If the child is traveling with only one parent and the other parent is deceased, the death certificate must be presented. If original documents are not available, you must obtain a notarized statement to present to authorities.
A child traveling to Mexico alone must have a notarized form - declaración notarial - that grants permission for a minor to travel to Mexico. Both parents must sign this form, which is available from Mexican consulates and is valid for 180 days.