Do You Need A Passport For Mexico?
Today more than ever before, people have become increasingly mobile. Residents of the United States as well as foreigners have been leaving and entering the US borders. The increase in this mobility of people has resulted to some form of security concerns and therefore the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has devised some form of control and surveillance together with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). This has resulted to changes in the need for various travel documents including the requirements of the passports. So do you need a passport for Mexico?
The question whether or not you need a passport for Mexico depends on the mode of travel that you are using to leave or re-enter the United States. Currently, you need a passport to and from Mexico and Canada while traveling by air. This is the office requirement by the DHS and WHTI for everybody to present a valid passport whether a citizen of the United States or of Mexican. It is a requirement that is broadly applied to all persons traveling to and fro the United States by air. This requirement to produce a valid passport while traveling by air came into effect from 2007 after a recommendation by the DHS. This made it a requirement for American citizens to have passports when traveling by air crossing Mexican and Canadian borders.
Do you need a passport for Mexico when traveling by other modes such as land or sea? This is a complicated situation as there are no clear guidelines on the issue. However, you may not necessarily be required to produce a passport when traveling by land or sea and crossing borders to and from Mexico. This is because other valid documents can be used to cross the borders using these modes of travel. Documents specifically for land and sea travel can be used instead of a passport while crossing Mexican borders. A Pass Card is a good case here but other documents such as birth certificates and the usual driver’s license are not allowed.
Do you need a passport for Mexico as a minor? The current travel regulations in the US allow minors to travel and cross Mexican borders without passports. However, the minor must produce a valid birth certificate. It is good to note that a person under 19 years with valid birth certificates may be allowed to freely cross the Mexican borders to and fro the US. These birth certificates should have an official state seal embossed on them.
Whether or not you need a passport for Mexico and other places has brought about confusion. This is because US citizens have been historically allowed to cross Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and other countries only requiring a proof of US citizenship like birth certificate. This also happened when crossing to Panama, and the Caribbean. Due to these changes in travel regulations, it is always good to be on the safe side. The best travel document to have is a passport. However, sometimes you do not have enough time at your disposal to source for a passport. This is usually when you want to travel in a case of emergency or haste. Fortunately, there are chances of getting and expedited passport in the US.