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Mexico Traveler Information - Travel Advice

Travel Advice with a Travel Advisory overview from the US State Department. Here we cover Visa, Safety & Security, local Laws and Insurance in our Mexico Traveler Information guide.

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Note: Always check that your destination country is one approved for travel by your travel insurance provider.

Mexico Map

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY: Passport must be valid at time of entry.

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES: One page per stamp.

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED: Yes, if visiting for more than 180 days.

VACCINATIONS: See Travelers’ Health section.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY: $10,000.

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT: $10,000.

Embassies and Consulates

List of Consulates / Consular Agencies

(Also available at: https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/)

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE FOR U.S. CITIZENS IN MEXICO
From Mexico: 1-800-681-9374
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611

U.S. Embassy in Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtémoc
06500, Ciudad de México
Phone: +52-55-5080-2000
Fax: +52-55-5080-2005

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 55-8526-2561 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ACSMexicoCity@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez
Paseo de la Victoria #3650
Fracc. Partido Senecú
32543 Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México 
Phone: +52-656-227-3000

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 656-344-3032 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: CDJSCS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara
Progreso 175
Colonia Americana, 44160
Guadalajara, Jalisco, México
Phone: +52-33-4624-2102

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 334-624-2102 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ACSGDL@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Hermosillo
141 Monterey Street
Colonia Esqueda, 83000
Hermosillo, Sonora, México
Phone: +52-662-289-3500
Fax: +52-662-217-2571

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 662-690-3262
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: HermoACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros
Calle Primera #2002
Colonia Jardín, 87330
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, México
Phone: +52-868-208-2000

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 868-206-1076
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: MatamorosACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Merida
Calle 60 No. 338-K 
Colonia Alcalá Martin, 97050
Mérida, Yucatán, México
Phone: +52-999-942-5700
Fax: +52-999-942-5758

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 999-316-7168 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: AskMeridaACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Monterrey
Ave. Alfonso Reyes #150
Colonia Valle del Poniente
66196 Santa Catarina, Nuevo León
México 66196
Phone: +52-81-8047-3100

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 814-160-5512 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: MonterreyACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Nogales
Calle San José s/n
Fracc. Los Álamos
84065 Nogales, Sonora
Phone: +52-631-311-8150
Fax: +52-631-313-4652

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 631-980-0522 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: NogalesACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo
Paseo Colon 1901
Colonia Madero, 88260
Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas
Phone: +52-867-714-0512

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 867-233-0557
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay
Del. Centenario 22425
Tijuana, Baja California
Phone: +52-664-977-2000

U.S. Citizen Services
From Mexico: 664-748-0129 
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
Email: ACSTijuana@state.gov

Consular Agencies

(Also available at: https://mx.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/consular-agencies/)

Acapulco
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Hotel Continental Emporio
Costera M. Alemán 121 – Office 14
Acapulco, Guerrero 39670
From Mexico: 55-8526-2561
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ConAgencyAcapulco@state.gov

Cancun
(An extension of the Consulate in Merida)
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH
Torre La Europea, Despacho 301
Cancún, Quintana Roo  77500
From Mexico: 999-316-7168
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-Mail: ConAgencyCancun@state.gov

Los Cabos
(An extension of the Consulate in Tijuana)
Las Tiendas de Palmilla L-B221, Km. 27.5 Carretera Transpeninsular
San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur 23406
Mexico
From Mexico: 664-748-0129
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencyLosCabos@state.gov

Mazatlan
(An extension of the Consulate General in Hermosillo)
Address: Playa Gaviotas 202, Local 10. Zona Dorada.
82110 Mazatlán, Sinaloa, México

From Mexico: 662-690-3262
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencyMazatlan@state.gov

Oaxaca
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Macedonio Alcalá No. 407, Office 20
Oaxaca, Oaxaca 68000

From Mexico: 55-8526-2561
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencyOaxaca@state.gov

Piedras Negras
(An extension of the Consulate in Nuevo Laredo)
Abasolo #211, Local #3, Centro
Piedras Negras, Coahuila 26000

From Mexico: 867-233-0557
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov

Playa del Carmen
(An extension of the Consulate in Merida)
Plaza Progreso, Local 33, Second floor
Carretera Federal Puerto Juarez-Chetumal, Mz. 293 Lt. 1.
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo  77710

From Mexico: 999-316-7168
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencyPlayadelC@state.gov

Puerto Vallarta
(An extension of the Consulate General in Guadalajara)
Paseo de los Cocoteros #85 Sur
Paradise Plaza, Local L-7, Segundo Piso
Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit  63732

From Mexico: 334-624-2102
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencyPuertoV@state.gov

San Miguel de Allende
(An extension of the Embassy in Mexico City)
Plaza La Luciérnaga, Libramiento Jose Manuel Zavala No. 165, Locales 4 y 5
Colonia La Luciérnaga
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato  37745

From Mexico: 55-8526-2561
From the United States: 1-844-528-6611
E-mail: ConAgencySanMiguel@state.gov

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for information on Medical Tourism.

Destination Description

See the State Department’s Fact Sheet on Mexico for more information on U.S.-Mexico relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Visit the Mexican National Institute of Migration’s (Instituto Nacional de Migración, INM) website or the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. for the most current entry, exit, and visa requirements.

U.S. citizens should be aware that a valid passport book is required to enter Mexico by air, and those attempting to enter at an airport with a U.S. passport card only may be denied admission.

If you enter Mexico by land and plan to travel beyond the immediate border area (approximately 12 miles into Mexico), you must stop at an INM office at the port of entry to obtain an entry permit (Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM), even if not explicitly directed to do so by Mexican officials. You must present a valid passport in order to receive the entry permit, and there is a charge associated with the permit for stays of more than seven days. You might be asked to present your passport and valid entry permit at immigration checkpoints on your route of travel. For more information, visit the INM website or Banjercito website (Spanish only).

You will also need a temporary vehicle import permit to bring a U.S.-registered vehicle beyond the border zone. These permits are processed through Banjercito and require a deposit that will be refunded once the vehicle leaves Mexico. Mexican authorities can impound a vehicle that enters the country without a valid U.S. registration, a vehicle driven by a Mexican national who is not resident in the United States, or vehicles found beyond the border zone without the temporary import permit.

U.S. citizens should be aware that Mexican law permits Mexican immigration authorities to deny foreigners entry into Mexico if they have been charged with or convicted of a serious crime in Mexico or elsewhere.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents in Mexico.

A parent or legal guardian departing Mexico with minor children should carry a notarized consent letter from the other parent if traveling separately. INM requires at least one parent to complete a SAM (Formato de Salida de Menores) for all minors departing Mexico with a third party. Travelers should contact the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., the nearest Mexican consulate, or INM for more information.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international parental child abduction is located on our website.

Travelers bringing in additional goods beyond their personal effects worth $75.00 or more must declare those goods with Mexican customs or risk having them confiscated. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

Safety and Security

Travelers are urged to review the Mexico Travel Advisory, which provides information about safety and security concerns affecting the country on a state-by-state basis.

U.S. citizens traveling to and residing in Mexico should not expect public health and safety standards similar to those in the United States. Even where such standards exist, enforcement may vary by location. Instead, travelers should mitigate the risk of illness or injury by taking standard health and safety precautions.

The phone number to report emergencies in Mexico is “911.” Although there may be English-speaking operators available, it is best to seek the assistance of a Spanish speaker to place the call.

Crime: Crime in Mexico occurs at a high rate and can be violent, from random street crime to cartel-related attacks. Over the past year, Mission Mexico has assisted U.S. citizens who were victims of armed robbery, carjacking, extortion, kidnapping, pick-pocketing, and sexual assault. Mexico’s murder rate for the first nine months of 2019 increased by nearly 3 percent over the same period in 2018. Increased levels of cartel-related violence have resulted in turf battles and targeted killings, injuring or killing innocent bystanders. Travelers who find themselves in an active shooter scenario should flee in the opposite direction, if possible, or drop to the ground, preferably behind a hard barrier.

While Mexican authorities endeavor to safeguard the country’s major resort areas and tourist destinations, those areas have not been immune to the types of violence and crime experienced elsewhere in Mexico. In some areas of Mexico, response time of local police is very slow. In addition, filing police reports can be time consuming and may require the payment of a $10-40 processing fee. See our Mexico Travel Advisoryfor more information.

Sexual Assault: Rape and sexual assault are serious problems in some resort areas. Many of these incidents occur at night or during the early morning hours, in hotel rooms, on hotel grounds, or on deserted beaches. In some cases, assailants drug the drinks of victims before assaulting them. Pay attention to your surroundings and to who might have handled your drink.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime should contact the local authorities to file a Mexican police report before departing Mexico. In most instances, victims of crime will file reports with the Ministerio Publico (equivalent to the office of public prosecutor or district attorney in the United States) and not with police first responders. U.S. citizens should also inform the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Drug Smuggling: Mexican criminal organizations are engaged in a violent struggle to control trafficking routes. Criminal organizations smuggling drugs into the United States have targeted unsuspecting individuals who regularly cross the border. Frequent border crossers are advised to vary their routes and travel times and to closely monitor their vehicles to avoid being targeted.

Tourism: In major cities and resort areas, the tourism industry is generally well regulated. Best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas and activities are identified with appropriate signage, and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of major metropolitan centers, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. In smaller towns and areas less commonly frequented by foreign tourists, the tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in or near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate immediately. The Mexican government is required by international law to contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate promptly when a U.S. citizen is arrested, if the arrestee so requests. This requirement does not apply to dual nationals. See our webpage for further information.

Potential for Natural Disasters: Mexico is in an active earthquake zone. Tsunamis may occur following significant earthquakes. For information concerning disasters, see:

Storm Season: Tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico or along the Caribbean and Pacific Coast between May and November can produce heavy winds and rain. Please visit our Hurricane Season webpage for more information.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or on the organization of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex (LGBTI) events in Mexico. However, due to sporadic reports of violence targeting LGBTI individuals, U.S. citizens should exercise discretion in identifying themselves publicly as LGBTI. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and Section 6 of the Department of State’s Human Rights Report for Mexico for further details.

Women Travelers: There were several reports of sexual assault or domestic violence involving U.S. citizens over the past year. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

For emergency services in Mexico, dial 911.

Excellent health facilities are available in Mexico City and other major cities. Ambulance services are widely available, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi to a health provider. Mexican facilities often require payment “up front” before providing medical care, and most hospitals in Mexico do not accept U.S. health insurance. A list of doctors and hospitals is available on the U.S. Embassy or consulate website.

U.S. citizens have lodged numerous complaints against some private hospitals in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Los Cabos to include exorbitant prices and inflexible collection measures. Travelers should obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care in these locations. Be aware that some resorts have exclusive agreements with medical providers and ambulance services, which may limit your choices in seeking emergency medical attention. Some hospitals in tourist centers utilize sliding scales, deciding on rates for services based on negotiation and on the patient’s perceived ability to pay. In some instances, providers have been known to determine the limits of a patient’s credit card or insurance, quickly reach that amount in services rendered, and subsequently discharge the patient or transfer them to a public hospital.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid do not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance and ask for upfront payment.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See Your Health Abroad for more information on overseas medical care. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventionfor more information on types of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Medical Tourism and Elective Surgery: Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry in Mexico. Although Mexico has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo surgery in Mexico, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available and medical providers are accredited and qualified. Individuals seeking health care treatment should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on medical tourism. In recent years, U.S. citizens have suffered serious complications or died during or after having cosmetic or other elective surgery.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation in the event of unforeseen medical complications. Legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Mexico. Several foreigners have successfully enlisted the support of PROFECO in order to resolve disputes over medical services.

Water Quality: In many areas in Mexico, tap water is not potable. Bottled water and beverages are safe, although you should be aware that many restaurants and hotels serve tap water unless bottled water is specifically requested. Be aware that ice for drinks might be made using tap water.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information, go to:

Travel and Transportation

U.S. driver’s licenses are valid in Mexico. Mexican law requires that only owners drive their vehicles or that the owner be inside the vehicle. Failing to abide by this law may lead to impoundment and a fine equal to the value of the vehicle. Mexican citizens who are not also U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) or U.S. citizens may not operate U.S.-registered vehicles in Mexico. Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Mexican liability insurance is recommended in the event of a vehicle accident. Driving under the influence of alcohol, using a mobile device while driving, and driving through a yellow light are all illegal in Mexico.

If you drive your vehicle into Mexico beyond the immediate border area (approximately 12 miles into Mexico), you must apply for a temporary vehicle import permit with Mexican customs, Banjercito, or at some Mexican consulates in the United States. The permit requires the presentation of a valid passport and a monetary deposit that will be returned to you upon leaving Mexico before the expiration of the permit. Failing to apply for a temporary vehicle import permit may lead to impoundment and a fine equal to the value of the vehicle.

Vehicles crossing into Mexico must have a valid license plate and registration sticker. Mexican authorities will often refuse to admit vehicles with temporary or paper license plates. Vehicles with expired registration or unauthorized plates will likely be confiscated and the operator could be charged with a fine equal to the value of the vehicle.

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of U.S. citizen deaths in Mexico. If you have an emergency while driving, dial “911.” If you are driving on a toll highway (“cuota”) or any other major highway, you may contact the Green Angels, a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews, by dialing 078 from any phone in Mexico.

Road Conditions and Safety: Avoid driving on Mexican highways at night. Travel with a charged and functional cell phone capable of making calls in Mexico. Travelers should exercise caution at all times and should use toll (“cuota”) roads rather than the less secure free (“libre”) roads whenever possible. Do not hitchhike or accept rides from or offer rides to strangers anywhere in Mexico. Travelers encountering police or security checkpoints should comply with instructions.

Road conditions and maintenance across Mexico vary with many road surfaces needing repair. Travel in rural areas poses additional risks to include spotty cell phone coverage and delays in receiving roadside or medical assistance.

Vehicular traffic in Mexico City is subject to restriction Monday through Saturday, according to the license plate number, in order to reduce air pollution. For additional information, refer to the Hoy No Circula website maintained by the Mexico City government. See our Road Safety Page for more information. Also, visit Mexico’s national tourist office websiteMexOnline, and Mexico’s customs website Importacion Temporal de Vehiculos for more information regarding travel and transportation.

Fact Sheet

Please see Fact Sheet for this country/area. 

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Mexico. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

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