United Mexican States
Travel Warnings: Issued when Protracted situations make a country dangerous or unstable. Defer or reconsider travel.
Travel Alerts: Issued when short-term conditions pose imminent threats. Defer or reconsider travel.
Embassy Messages: Issued when local security issues arise.
Passport must be valid at time of entry
1 page per stamp
Yes, if visiting more than 180 days
Visit the Mexican National Institute of Migration’s (Instituto Nacional de Migración, INM) website (Spanish) or the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. for the most current entry, exit, and visa requirements.
If you enter by land and plan to travel further than 25 kilometers into Mexico, you should stop at an immigration checkpoint to obtain an entry permit, or Forma Migratoria Multiple, to present at immigration checkpoints, even if not explicitly directed to do so by Mexican officials. For more information visit the INM website. If you enter by sea, review the Mexican boating permit requirements (Spanish) prior to travel or contact the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C. for more information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Mexico.
INM requires a notarized consent document from one parent/legal guardian for all minors departing Mexico without both parents. Travelers should contact the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C., the nearest Mexican consulate, or INM for more information.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
Travelers are urged to review the Travel Warning for Mexico, which provides updated information about safety and security concerns affecting the country on a state-by-state basis.
Demonstrations: Demonstrations are common and occur in all parts of Mexico. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. Protesters in Mexico may block traffic on roads, including major thoroughfares, or take control of toll booths on highways. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if in the vicinity of any protests. Travelers who encounter protesters demanding unofficial tolls are generally allowed to pass upon payment. U.S. citizens should avoid participating in demonstrations and other activities that might be deemed political by the authorities as the Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners; such actions may result in detention and/or deportation.
Crime: Crime in Mexico occurs at a high rate and can be violent. Street crime, ranging from pick-pocketing to armed robbery, carjackings, kidnapping, and extortion are serious problems in most major cities. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see high levels of violence and crime. See our Travel Warning on Mexico for exceptions.
Credit/Debit Card “Skimming”: There have been instances of fraudulent charges or withdrawals from accounts due to “skimmed” cards. If you choose to use credit or debit cards, you should regularly check your account to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions.
Public Transportation/Taxis: When possible, travel by bus only during daylight hours and only by first-class conveyance. Robberies and assaults on passengers in taxis not affiliated with a taxi stand (“libre taxis”) are common. Avoid taking any taxi not summoned by telephone or contacted in advance, including “libre” taxis. When in need of a taxi, telephone a radio taxi or "sitio" (regulated taxi stand), and ask the dispatcher for the driver's name and the taxi's license plate number. Application based car services such as Uber are also available in many larger Mexican cities.
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.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of crime should contact the local police to file a Mexican police report before departing Mexico. U.S. citizens should also inform the nearest U.S. Embassy, consulate, or consular agency (see the Department of State’s list of embassies and consulates). Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy or Consulates for assistance.
Sexual Assault: Rape and sexual assault are serious problems in resort and other areas. Many of these incidents occur at night or during the early morning hours, in hotel rooms, or on deserted beaches, or through drugging of drinks.
Alcohol: There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.
Drug Smuggling: Mexican criminal organizations are engaged in a violent struggle to control trafficking routes. Criminal organizations have targeted unsuspecting individuals who regularly cross the border as a way to smuggle drugs to the United States. Frequest border crossers are advised to vary your routes, travel times, and closely monitor your vehicle to avoid being targeted.
For further information:
Excellent health facilities are available in Mexico City and other major cities, but training and availability of emergency responders may be below U.S. standards. Mexican facilities often require payment “up front” prior to performing a procedure. Hospitals in Mexico do not accept U.S. health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. You may also consider supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. A list of doctors and hospitals is available on the Embassy or Consulate’s website.
U.S. citizens have lodged a large number of complaints about unethical business practices, prices, and collection measures against some of the private hospitals in Cancun, the Maya Riviera, and Cabo San Lucas. Travellers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care in these locations.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
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.
Altitude: Many cities in Mexico, such as Mexico City, have high altitude, which can lead to altitude illness. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Altitude Illness.
The following diseases are prevalent:
Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For further health information, go to:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest U.S. Consulate immediately. The Mexican government is required by international law to place a call to the nearest 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.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report and Faith-Based Travel Information.
Firearms and other Weapons: Weapon laws in Mexico vary by state, but it is generally illegal for travelers to carry firearms, knives, daggers, brass knuckles, or weapons of any kind. Illegal firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico is a major problem, and the Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against taking any firearm or ammunition into Mexico. Visit the Department’s Traveling Abroad with Firearms webpage, the Mexican Secretary of Defense page (Spanish only), and the Mexican Customs page (Spanish only) for more information. For more information about importing hunting weapons or ammunition into Mexico, contact ANGADI (Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos Diversificados Criadores de Fauna, Spanish only) at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on firearms and ammunition issues in English, contact the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.
Vessels entering Mexican waters with firearms or ammunition on board must have a permit previously issued by a Mexican Embassy or consulate.
Drugs and Prescription Medications: Carrying any form of marijuana into Mexico, even if it is accompanied by a prescription or medical marijuana license, is considered a federal offense and international drug trafficking. Offenders can expect large fines and/or jail sentences of up to 25 years.
For a list of controlled substances in Mexico, visit the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risk website (Spanish only) and the Mexican Drug Schedule list (Spanish only). U.S. citizens are advised to carry a copy of your prescription or doctor’s letter, but it is still possible that you may be subject to arrest for arriving to Mexico with substances on these lists. Note that medicines considered “over the counter” in the United States may be a controlled substance in Mexico. For example, pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed, is considered a controlled substance in Mexico. For more information, contact the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Importing Medicines into Mexico: Visit the Mexican Health Department website (Spanish only) or contact the Mexican Embassy in Washington, D.C. for more information about obtaining a permit to import medicine into Mexico.
Storm Season: Mexico experiences strong winds or rain as a result of tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico or along the Pacific Coast between June and November. Some areas may also experience earthquakes. Please visit our Hurricane Season webpage for more information.
Resort Areas and Spring Break: Millions of U.S. citizens visit Mexican beach resorts each year, especially during "spring break" season. The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, but it is not uniformly enforced.
Warning flags on beaches should be taken seriously. If black or red warning flags are up, do not enter the water. U.S. citizens have drowned or disappeared at Mexican beaches and are advised to not swim alone in isolated beach areas.
Boats used for excursions sometimes lack adequate life jackets, radios, tools to make repairs, and may not be covered by accident insurance.
Mountain Climbing and Hiking: The Mexican government has declared the area around the Popocatepetl and the Colima Volcanoes off limits. In remote rural areas, there can be limited cell phone coverage and internet connectivity.
Real Estate and Time Shares: U.S. citizens should exercise caution when considering time-share investments or purchasing real estate, and be aware of the aggressive tactics used by some sales representatives. Mexican law allows time-share purchasers five days to cancel the contract for unconditional and full reimbursement. U.S. citizens should consult with a Mexican attorney before undertaking a real estate purchase or time-share investment. For more information, visit the Federal Attorney’s Office of Consumer website.
LGBTI Travelers: U.S. citizens should exercise discretion in identifying themselves publicly as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Intersex (LGBTI). See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of the Department of State's Human Rights report for further details.
Persons with Mobility Issues: U.S. citizens with disabilities should consult individual hotels and facilities in advance of travel to ensure they are accessible. Mexican law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, and mental disabilities in employment, education, air travel and other transportation, access to health care, and the provision of other services. Please visit our Traveling with Disabilities webpage for more information.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
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. 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 acts in Mexico.
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of U.S. citizen deaths. If you have an emergency while driving, dial “911”. If you are driving on a toll highway (or “cuota”), or any other major highway, you may contact the Green Angels (Angeles Verdes), a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews at (01) (55) 5250-8221.
Road Conditions and Safety: Avoid driving on Mexican highways at night. 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.
Vehicular traffic in Mexico City is restricted in order to reduce air pollution. For additional information, refer to the Hoy No Circula website (Spanish only) maintained by the Mexico City government.
Please refer to our Road Safety Page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit Mexico’s national tourist office website, MexOnline, and Mexico’s Customs’ website Importación Temporal de Vehículos for more information regarding travel and transportation.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Mexico's Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Mexico's air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.
Maritime Safety Oversight: The Mexican maritime industry, including charter fishing and recreational vessels, is subject solely to Mexican safety regulations. Travelers should be aware that Mexican equipment and vessels may not meet U.S. safety standards or be covered by any accident insurance.