Mexico Border Crossing Requirements 2020

International travel can be daunting with all of the rules, regulations, and requirements that must be in order. Even traveling across the border to Mexico and back includes forms and requirements.

However, some careful planning ahead and a little organization can make all the difference in making border crossing easier and quicker.

Mexico Borders Documentation Requirements

Documents and forms are the most important part of traveling out of the United States and back. Having the correct documentation is essential for departure and upon your return.

Travelers will have to have a passport or other acceptable identification documents. Getting a U.S. passport card is a major timesaver. These cards are designed specifically with speed and ease in mind. They are RFID enhanced to allow card readers to quickly recognize you and your credentials.

Because of this, there are special lanes only for these types of cards. These are called Ready Lanes. U.S. passport cards and other specially enhanced ID cards can be used at Ready Lanes.

Trusted Traveler Cards from NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST are all acceptable, as are Enhanced State Driver’s Licenses and Enhanced Tribal Cards. Native American Tribal photo ID cards and Form I-872 American Indian Cards are acceptable as well.

Whether you travel by land or by air, you will be given a Mexico Tourist Card, also known as FMT. This simply states that your purpose in the country is vacation and the duration is less than 180 days. You should carry this on you at all times.

Mexico Customs Procedure

You will have to declare any items you acquire during your time in Mexico, and yes, there’s a form for that, too.

Know what items you can take across the border into Mexico and what you can bring back. Again, have the forms ready for this as well.

Firearms and ammunition are absolutely not allowed to be taken into Mexico, no are cuban cigars. Travelers should be aware that all illegal drugs are prohibited from being brought back into the U.S. as well as switchblade knives and any items made from endangered animals.

Most fruits are not allowed to be brought into the U.S. and any meat or fruit that is taken into Mexico from the U.S. will not be allowed back in.

Coming back into the U.S. through Texas adds additional alcohol requirements.

Many travelers have medications they require during their stay. Be sure to declare all medications, especially those that can be considered addictive. Carry them in their original container and only what you need. If you must take a potentially problematic medication with you, it may be necessary to have a written doctor’s note as well.

When crossing the border between the U.S. and Mexico, some items are restricted and others are completely prohibited. Restricted items may require a special permit or license to bring the item into the U.S. For more information, visit the customs website.

Traveler insurance is something that many people skip and shouldn’t. The unexpected can happen and if it does, having insurance to help with the costs is priceless.

Driving in Mexico

You will need a temporary import permit for U.S. registered cars, except in the Baja peninsula. Regardless, have proof of U.S. registration handy and make sure it is current and valid.

If you are planning to drive while in Mexico, buy auto insurance. Border Mexican Auto Insurance was established in 1987 and is based out of San Diego. Border Mexican Auto Insurance works with Qualitas to provide excellent service for non-Mexican citizens wishing to drive while in Mexico.

For more information contact the Consulate General Tijuana.

Top 5 Baja Destinations to Visit in Summer

Top 5 Beaches in Baja for Surfing

The 5 Best Taco Stands in Tijuana for Americans

Best 5 hotels in Playas de Tijuana