COVID-19 Travel
November 27, 2021

Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S.

COVID-19 Alert
October 29, 2021

Update on U.S. Passport Operations

International Travel

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Country Information

Mexico

Mexico
United Mexican States
Reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19.

Reconsider travel to Mexico due to COVID-19.

See state summaries and advisory levels below for information on your specific travel destination. Some areas of Mexico have increased risk of crime and kidnapping.

Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before you plan any international travel.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Mexico due to COVID-19, indicating a high level of COVID-19 in the country. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorized vaccine. Before planning any international travel, please review the CDC's specific recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on COVID-19 in Mexico.

Country Summary: Violent crime – such as homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery – is widespread and common in Mexico. The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in many areas of Mexico, as travel by U.S. government employees to certain areas is prohibited or restricted. In many states, local emergency services are limited outside the state capital or major cities.

Restrictions on U.S. government travel: U.S. government employees may not travel between cities after dark, may not hail taxis on the street, and must rely on dispatched vehicles, including app-based services like Uber, and regulated taxi stands. U.S. government employees may not drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico, with the exception of daytime travel within Baja California, between Nogales and Hermosillo on Mexican Federal Highway 15D, and between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey on Highway 85D. U.S. government employees should avoid traveling alone, especially in remote areas.

Read the country information page.

Do Not Travel To:

Reconsider Travel To:

Exercise Increased Caution When Traveling To:

Exercise Normal Precautions When Traveling To:

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

If you decide to travel to Mexico:

  • Review the U.S. Embassy's webpage on COVID-19.
  • Visit the CDC’s web page on Travel and COVID-19.
  • Keep traveling companions and family back home informed of your travel plans. If separating from your travel group, send a friend your GPS location. If taking a taxi alone, take a photo of the taxi number and/or license plate and text it to a friend.
  • Use toll roads when possible and avoid driving alone or at night. In many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities.
  • Exercise increased caution when visiting local bars, nightclubs, and casinos.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Follow the U.S. Embassy on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Mexico.
  • Mariners planning travel to Mexico should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts, which include instructions on reporting suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Aguascalientes state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Baja California state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Transnational criminal organizations compete in the border area to establish narco-trafficking and human smuggling routes. Violent crime and gang activity are common.  Travelers should remain on main highways and avoid remote locations. Of particular concern is the high number of homicides in the non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and territorial disputes can result in bystanders being injured or killed. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the noted restrictions:

  • Mexicali Valley: U.S. government employees should avoid the Mexicali Valley due to the heightened possibility of violence between rival cartel factions. The boundaries of the restricted area are: to the east, the Baja California/Arizona and Baja California/Sonora borders; to the south, from La Ventana (on Highway 5) due east to the Colorado River; to the west, Highway 5; and to the north, Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas/Highway 92/Highway 1 to Carretera Aeropuerto, from the intersection of Highway 1 and Carretera Aeropuerto due north to the Baja California/California border, and from that point eastward along the Baja California/California border.
  • Travelers may use Highways 2 and 2D to transit between Mexicali, Los Algodones, and San Luis Rio Colorado during daylight hours. Travelers may also use Highways 1 and 8 to transit to and from the Mexicali Airport during daylight hours. Travel on Highway 5 is permissible during daylight hours.

There are no other travel restrictions for U.S. government employees in the state of Baja California. These include high-traffic tourism areas of border and coastal communities, such as Tijuana, Ensenada, and Rosarito.

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Campeche state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

Chiapas state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Chiapas state, which includes tourist areas in: Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, and Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Chihuahua state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common. The majority of homicides are targeted assassinations against members of criminal organizations.  Battles for territory between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees, including restaurants and malls during daylight hours.  Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Ciudad Juarez: U.S. government employees may travel to the area of Ciudad Juarez bounded to the east by Bulevar Independencia; to the south by De los Montes Urales/Avenida Manuel J Clouthier/Carretera de Juarez; to the west by Via Juan Gabriel/Avenida de los Insurgentes/Calle Miguel Ahumada/Francisco Javier Mina/Melchor Ochampo; and to the north by the U.S.-Mexico border.

Direct travel to the Ciudad Juarez airport (officially called Abraham Gonzalez International Airport) and the factories located along Bulevar Independencia and Las Torres is permitted. Travel to San Jeronimo is permitted only through the United States via the Santa Teresa U.S. Port of Entry; travel via Anapra is prohibited.

U.S. government employees may only travel from Ciudad Juarez to Chihuahua City during daylight hours via Federal Highway 45, with stops permitted only at the Federal Police station, the Umbral del Milenio overlook area, the border inspection station at KM 35, and the shops and restaurants on Federal Highway 45 in the town of Villa Ahumada.

  • Chihuahua City:  U.S. government employees may travel at any time to the area of Chihuahua City bounded to the north by Avenida Transformación; to the east by Avenida Tecnológico/Manuel Gómez Morin; to the west by the city boundary; and to the south by Route 16/Calle Tamborel.

  • Nuevo Casas Grandes Area (including Nuevo Casas Grandes, Casas Grandes, Mata Ortiz, Colonia Juarez, Colonia LeBaron, and Paquime): U.S. government employees may only travel to the Nuevo Casas Grandes area during daylight hours through the United States, entering Mexico at the Palomas U.S. Port of Entry on New Mexico Route 11 before connecting to Mexico Federal Highway 2, and subsequently Federal Highway 10, to Nuevo Casas Grandes. Employees are permitted to stay overnight in the cities of Nuevo Casas Grandes and Casas Grandes only.
  • Ojinaga: U.S. government employees must travel to Ojinaga via U.S. Highway 67 and enter through the U.S. Port of Entry in Presidio, Texas.

  • Palomas: U.S. government employees must travel to Palomas via U.S. highways through the U.S. Port of Entry in Columbus, New Mexico.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Chihuahua, including Copper Canyon.

Coahuila state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Coahuila state.  U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employee travel is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña: U.S. government employees must travel directly from the United States and observe a curfew from midnight to 6:00 a.m. in both cities.
  • Federal Highway 40 and areas south within Coahuila state: This area includes the metropolitan areas of Saltillo and Torreon.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of Coahuila state.

Colima state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are widespread. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Tecoman: U.S. government employees may not travel to Tecoman.
  • Colima/Michoacan border: U.S. government employees may not travel within 20 km of the Colima/Michoacan border.

  • Highway 110: U.S. government employees may not travel on Highway 110 from the town of La Tecomaca to the Jalisco border.

  • Manzanillo: U.S. government employees may visit the tourist and port areas only; all other areas are prohibited. Employees may travel on Federal Toll Road 54D between Guadalajara and Manzanillo.

Durango state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Durango state.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • West and south of Federal Highway 45: U.S. government employees may not travel to this region of Durango.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Guanajuato state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Gang violence, often associated with the theft of petroleum and natural gas from the state oil company and other suppliers, occurs in Guanajuato, primarily in the south and central areas of the state. Of particular concern is the high number of murders in the southern region of the state associated with cartel-related violence.   

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Areas south of Federal Highway 45D: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area south of and including Federal Highway 45D, Celaya, Salamanca, and Irapuato.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees, including to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato City, and surrounding areas.

Guerrero state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread. Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following area with the noted restrictions:

  • Taxco: U.S. government employees must utilize Federal Highway 95D that passes through Cuernavaca, Morelos, and stay within downtown tourist areas. Employees may visit Grutas de Cacahuamilpa National Park during the day with a licensed tour operator.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Guerrero, including AcapulcoZihuatanejo, and Ixtapa.

Hidalgo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Jalisco state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Jalisco state. In Guadalajara, territorial battles between criminal groups take place in tourist areas. Shooting incidents between criminal groups have injured or killed innocent bystanders. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Jalisco-Michoacan border: U.S. government employees may not travel within 12 miles of the Jalisco-Michoacan border.

  • Federal Highway 80: U.S. government employees may not travel on Federal Highway 80 south of Cocula.

  • State Highway 544: U.S. government employees may not travel on State Highway 544 between Mascota and San Sebastian del Oeste.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Puerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit), Chapala, and Ajijic.

Mexico City – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Both violent and non-violent crime occur throughout Mexico City. Use additional caution, particularly at night, outside of the frequented tourist areas where police and security patrol more routinely. Petty crime occurs frequently in both tourist and non-tourist areas. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Mexico state (Estado de Mexico) – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Both violent and non-violent crime are common throughout Mexico state. Use caution in areas outside of the frequented tourist areas, although petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas as well. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Michoacan state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Crime and violence are widespread in Michoacan state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Federal Highway 15D:  U.S. government employees may travel on Federal Highway 15D to transit the state between Mexico City and Guadalajara.
  • Morelia: U.S. government employees may travel by air and by land using Federal Highways 43 or 48D from Federal Highway 15D.
  • Lazaro Cardenas: U.S. government employees must travel by air only and limit activities to the city center or port areas.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Michoacan, including the portions of the Monarch Butterfly Reserve located in Michoacan.

Morelos state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime and gang activity are common in parts of Morelos state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Nayarit state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity are common near the border with Sinaloa.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Tepic and San Blas: U.S. government employees may not travel to Tepic or San Blas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to other parts of Nayarit, including tourist areas in: Riviera Nayarit (including Nuevo Vallarta, Punta MitaSayulita, and Bahia de Banderas), and Santa Maria del Oro.

Nuevo Leon state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Oaxaca state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Isthmus region: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Oaxaca bounded by Federal Highway 185D to the west, Federal Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca-Chiapas border to the east. This includes the cities of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas Atempa.

  • Federal Highway 200 northwest of Pinotepa: U.S. government employees may not utilize Federal Highway 200 between Pinotepa and the Oaxaca-Guerrero border.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees to other parts of Oaxaca state, which include tourist areas in: Oaxaca CityMonte AlbanPuerto Escondido, and Huatulco.

Puebla state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Queretaro state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Quintana Roo state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Quintana Roo state, which include tourist areas in: CancunCozumel, Isla Mujeres, Playa del CarmenTulum, and the Riviera Maya.


San Luis Potosi state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Sinaloa state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime is widespread.  Criminal organizations are based in and operating in Sinaloa. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Mazatlan: U.S. government employees may travel to Mazatlan by air or sea only, are limited to the Zona Dorada and historic town center, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport and sea terminal.
  • Los Mochis and Topolobampo: U.S. government employees may travel to Los Mochis and Topolobampo by air or sea only, are restricted to the city and the port, and must travel via direct routes between these destinations and the airport.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Sinaloa.

Sonora state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Sonora is a key location used by the international drug trade and human trafficking networks. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Travel between Hermosillo and Nogales: U.S. government employees may travel between the U.S. Ports of Entry in Nogales and Hermosillo during daylight hours via Federal Highway 15 only.

  • Puerto Peñasco: U.S. government employees may travel between Puerto Peñasco and the Lukeville-Sonoyta U.S. Port of Entry during daylight hours via Federal Highway 8 only.

  • San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta: U.S. government employees may travel directly from the nearest U.S. Port of Entry to San Luis Rio Colorado, Cananea, and Agua Prieta but may not go beyond the city limits.

  • Triangular region near Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry: U.S. government employees may not travel to the triangular region west of the Mariposa U.S. Port of Entry, east of Sonoyta, and north of Altar municipality.

  • Nogales: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area north of Avenida Tecnologico, west of Bulevar Luis Donaldo Colosio (Periferico), and east of Federal Highway 15D (Corredor Fiscal) and the residential areas to the east of Plutarco Elias Calles. U.S. government employees may not use taxi services in Nogales.

  • Eastern and southern Sonora (including San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos): U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and State Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16.

U.S. government employees may not travel to areas of Sonora south of Federal Highway 16 and east of Federal Highway 15 (south of Hermosillo), as well as all points south of Guaymas, including Empalme, Guaymas, Obregon, and Navojoa.

U.S. government employees may travel to San Carlos Nuevo Guaymas and Alamos; travel to Alamos is only permitted by air and within city limits.

Tabasco state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Tamaulipas state – Do Not Travel

Do not travel due to crime and kidnapping.

U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria. Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses, as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers and demanding ransom payments.

Heavily armed members of criminal groups often patrol areas of the state and operate with impunity particularly along the border region from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo. In these areas, local law enforcement has limited capacity to respond to incidents of crime. Law enforcement capacity is greater in the tri-city area of Tampico, Ciudad Madero, and Altamira, which has a lower rate of violent criminal activity compared to the rest of the state.

Travel for U.S. government employees is limited to the following areas with the noted restrictions:

  • Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros: U.S. government employees may only travel within a limited radius around and between the U.S. Consulates in Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros, their homes, the respective U.S. Ports of Entry, and limited downtown sites. U.S. government employees must observe a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m.

  • Overland travel in Tamaulipas: U.S. government employees may not travel between cities in Tamaulipas using interior Mexican highways. Travel between Nuevo Laredo and Monterrey is limited to Federal Highway 85D during daylight hours with prior authorization.

U.S. government employees may not travel to other areas of the state of Tamaulipas.

Tlaxcala state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Veracruz state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Violent crime and gang activity occur with increasing frequency in Veracruz, particularly in the center and south near Cordoba and Coatzacoalcos. While most gang-related violence is targeted, violence perpetrated by criminal organizations can affect bystanders. Impromptu roadblocks requiring payment to pass are common.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Yucatan state – Exercise Normal Precautions

Exercise normal precautions.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Yucatan state, which include tourist areas in: Chichen Itza, Merida, Uxmal, and Valladolid.

Zacatecas state – Reconsider Travel

Reconsider travel due to crime and kidnapping.

Violent crime, extortion, and gang activity are common in parts of Zacatecas state. U.S. citizens and LPRs have been victims of kidnapping.

U.S. government employees must adhere to the following travel restrictions:

  • Western Zacatecas: U.S. government employees may not travel to the area of Zacatecas south of Federal Highway 45 and west of Federal Highway 23.

  • Fresnillo: U.S. government employees may not travel to the municipality of Fresnillo, although employees may transit Federal Highways 45 and 23 through Fresnillo without stopping.

There are no other restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to Baja California state

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Embassy Messages

Alerts

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: 55-8526-2561
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
Constitución No. 1
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

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.

Review the Mexican government’s most current entry, exit, and visa requirements (Spanish only) or visit the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., for more information.

If you enter Mexico by land and plan to travel beyond the immediate border area (approximately 12 miles into Mexico), you must stop at a National Migration Institute (INM) office to obtain an entry permit (Forma Migratoria Multiple or FMM), even if not explicitly directed to do so by Mexican officials. Mexican immigration authorities could ask you to present both your passport and entry permit at any point and may detain you while they review your immigration status. Immigration check points are common in the interior of Mexico, including in popular tourist areas far from the border. 

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.  For more information, visit the Banjercito website (Spanish only).

Please note that northern Sonora has a “hassle-free” zone that allows for travel without an entry permit or car registration within the zone. More details on this program are available through Banjercito.

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 a vehicle found beyond the border zone without the temporary import permit.

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, Spanish only) for all Mexican or foreign minors with Temporary Resident, Temporary Student Resident, or Permanent Resident status departing Mexico alone or with a third partyFurther information about the prevention of international parental child abduction is available on our website.

Information about dual nationality is also available on our website.

Travelers bringing in goods beyond their personal effects worth $300.00 or more must declare those goods with Mexican customs (SAT)Mexican customs (Spanish only) or risk having them confiscated. This also applies to used goods or clothing, including items for donation. U.S. citizens driving such items into Mexico without declaring them or without sufficient funds to pay duty fees are subject to having their vehicle seized by Mexican customs authorities. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.

Safety and Security

Travelers are urged to review the Mexico Travel Advisory for 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 like those in the United States. Even where such standards exist, enforcement varies by location. 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, homicide, kidnapping, pick-pocketing, and sexual assault. Increased levels of cartel-related violence have resulted in territorial disputes 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.

Drivers on roads and highways may encounter government checkpoints, which often include National Guard or military personnel. State and local police also set up checkpoints in and around cities and along the highways to deter criminal activity and enforce traffic laws. In some parts of Mexico, criminal organizations and other non-governmental actors have been known to erect unauthorized checkpoints and have abducted or threatened violence against those who fail to stop and/or pay a “toll.” When approaching a checkpoint, regardless of whether it is official, cooperate and avoid any actions that may appear suspicious or aggressive.

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 often slow. In addition, filing police reports can be time consuming. See our Mexico Travel Advisory for more information.

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. Local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

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

Kidnapping: Mexico experiences high rates of kidnapping. If you believe you or your U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) relative has been kidnapped, please contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate immediately.

Robbery: Mexico experiences robberies, typically in cities, in which abductors force victims to use their debit or credit card to withdraw money from ATMs in exchange for their release. Perpetrators commonly work in cooperation with, or pose as, taxi drivers. To minimize the risk of such robberies:

  • Only use a reputable taxi company or a trusted ride-sharing app.
  • Book taxis through your hotel or an authorized taxi stand.

Extortion: Extortion schemes are common in Mexico. In a typical scheme, criminals convince family members that a relative has been abducted, when, in fact, the person is safe but unreachable. The purported abductors will often use threats to persuade victims to isolate themselves, making communication with family members less likely. Unable to reach their loved ones, family members often consent to paying the “ransom” demand. Criminals use various means to gather information about potential victims, including monitoring social media sites, eavesdropping on conversations, or using information taken from a stolen cell phone. Some of these extortions have been conducted from Mexican prisons. You can reduce the risk of falling victim to this type of extortion through the following:

  • Do not discuss travel plans, your room number, or any other personal information within earshot of strangers.
  • Do not divulge personal business details to strangers in person or over the phone, especially when using hotel phones.
  • If you are threatened on the phone, hang up immediately.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate for assistance.

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.

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. Travelers should limit the amount of cash they carry in public, exercise caution when withdrawing cash from ATMs, and avoid ATMs located in isolated or unlit areas.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.  Internet romance and financial scams are prevalent in Mexico. Scams are often initiated through internet postings or by unsolicited emails and letters. Scammers typically pose as U.S. citizens who have no one else to turn to for help. Common scams involve online dating, money transfers, lucrative sales, and other financial transactions. Mexico’s consumer protection agency, PROFECO (Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor, Spanish only), can sometimes provide assistance (Spanish only) to victims of such scams. In addition, there have been allegations of banking fraud perpetrated by private bankers against U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens who believe they have been victims of fraud can file a police report file a complaint (Spanish only) with the Mexican banking regulatory agency, CONDUSEF (Comision Nacional para la Proteccion y Defensa de los Usuarios de Servicios Financieros, Spanish only), or consult with an attorney.

Alcohol: 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. There have been reports of individuals falling ill or blacking out after consuming unregulated alcohol. The Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk, COFEPRIS (Comision Federal para la Proteccion contra Riesgos Sanitarios, Spanish only), is responsible for inspecting hotels, restaurants, and other establishments for health violations, including reports of unregulated alcohol. Please email COFEPRIS at contactociudadano@cofepris.gob.mx for more information or if you wish to file a report. You can file a report online (Spanish only) via the COFEPRIS website, by calling the COFEPRIS call center at 800 033 50 50 (from Mexico) or  +52 (55) 5080-5425 (from the United States), or by scheduling an appointment (Spanish only) to visit a COFEPRIS office.

There have also been instances of criminals drugging drinks to rob or sexually assault victims. Additionally, if you feel you have been the victim of unregulated alcohol or another serious health violation, you should notify the U.S. Embassy or nearest consulate. You may also contact the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m.  to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

Demonstrations: Demonstrations are common in many parts of Mexico. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can 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 should avoid demonstration areas and exercise caution if near 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 authorities, as Mexican law prohibits political activities by foreign citizens and such actions may result in detention or deportation.

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/or 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.  

Since 2016, Mexico has opened seven multilingual Centers for the Care and Protection of Tourists (CAPTA) and Tourist Assistance Centers (CATTAC) in Los Cabos, La Paz, Acapulco, Playa del Carmen, Mazatlan, Ciudad Madero, and Queretaro. These offices have proven helpful assisting U.S. citizen visitors in resolving disputes with merchants and government entities, filing criminal reports, securing needed services, and locating special needs accommodations. 

For further information:

See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, you may 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.

Firearms and Other Weapons: Weapons laws in Mexico vary by state, but it is generally illegal for travelers to carry weapons of any kind including firearms, knives, daggers, brass knuckles, as well as ammunition (even used shells). Illegal firearms trafficking from the United States to Mexico is a major concern, and the Department of State warns all U.S. citizens against taking any firearm or ammunition into Mexico. If you are caught entering Mexico with any type of weapon, including firearms or ammunitions, you likely will face severe penalties, including prison time. 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 further information.

Vessels entering Mexican waters with firearms or ammunition on board must have a permit previously issued by a Mexican embassy or consulate.

Electronic Cigarettes (Vaping Devices): It is illegal for travelers to bring electronic cigarettes (vaping devices) and all vaping solutions to Mexico. Customs will confiscate vaping devices and solutions and travelers could be fined or arrested. Avoid delays and possible sanctions by not taking these items to Mexico. 

Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Although counterfeit and pirated goods are prevalent in many countries, they may still be illegal according to local laws. You may also be subject to fines or forced to relinquish the goods if you bring them back to the United States. See the U.S. Department of Justice website for more information.

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. Before initiating a real estate purchase or time-share investment, U.S. citizens should consult with a Mexican attorney to learn about important regulations and laws that govern real estate property.

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.

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.

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. See the “Alcohol” section above to learn more about the risks associated with drinking, as well as reports of illnesses associated with the possible consumption of unregulated alcohol.

Resort Areas and Water Activities: Beaches in Mexico may be dangerous due to strong currents, rip tides, and rogue waves. Warning notices and flags on beaches should be taken seriously. Not all hazardous beaches are clearly marked. If black or red warning flags are up, do not enter the water. Strong currents can lead to dangerous conditions for even the most experienced swimmers. U.S. citizens simply walking along the shore or wading have been swept out to sea by rogue waves, and some citizens have drowned or disappeared at Mexican beaches. Avoid the consumption of alcohol while engaging in water activities and do not swim alone. 

Boats used for excursions may not be covered by accident insurance and sometimes lack adequate life jackets, radios, and tools to make repairs.

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.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: 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 and education, as well as access to health care, transportation, and other services. Please visit our Traveling with Disabilities webpage for more information.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for 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.

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

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 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 and the U.S. government does not pay medical bills.  

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 Prevention for more information on types of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation as well.

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.

Legal options in case of malpractice are very limited in Mexico. Several foreigners have successfully enlisted the support of PROFECO (Spanish only) in order to resolve disputes over medical services.

Private Residential Treatment Facilities: These facilities provide care to U.S. citizens throughout Mexico and include child behavior modification facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living centers.  There is a wide range in standards for education, safety, health, sanitation, immigration, and residency.  Staff licensing may not be strictly enforced or meet the standards of similar facilities in the United States.  The State Department has received reports of abuse, negligence, or mismanagement at some of these facilities.  U.S. citizens should exercise due diligence and do extensive research before selecting a residential treatment facility.

Assisted Reproductive Technology and Surrogacy: If you are considering traveling to Mexico to have a child through use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) or surrogacy, please see our ART and Surrogacy Abroad page.

If you decide to pursue parenthood in Mexico via assisted reproductive technology with a gestational mother, be prepared for long and unexpected delays in documenting your child’s citizenship. Make sure you understand Mexican law, which can vary from state to state and is ambiguous in its treatment of non-Mexican or same-sex intending parents. Mexican courts, for example, may fail to enforce surrogacy agreements between non-Mexican or same-sex intending parents and gestational mothers.

Gestational mothers are normally treated as the child’s legal parent with full parental rights. The gestational mother’s name is listed on the Mexican state-issued birth certificate. Be aware that individuals who attempt to circumvent local law risk criminal prosecution. Mexican authorities have made arrests stemming from surrogacy cases.

Pharmaceuticals: Exercise caution when purchasing medication overseas. Pharmaceuticals, both over the counter and requiring prescription in the United States, are often readily available for purchase with little controls. Counterfeit medication is common in certain parts of Mexico and may prove to be ineffective, the wrong strength, or contain dangerous ingredients. Medication should be purchased in consultation with a medical professional and from reputable establishments.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration are responsible for rules governing the transport of medication back to the United States. Medication purchased abroad must meet their requirements to be legally brought back into the United States. Medication should be for personal use and must be approved for usage in the United States. Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Food and Drug Administration websites for more information. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging along with your doctor’s prescription.

For a list of controlled substances in Mexico, visit the COFEPRIS website (Spanish only) and the Mexican Drug Schedule (Spanish only). U.S. citizens should carry a copy of their prescription or doctor’s letter, but it is still possible that they may be subject to arrest for arriving in Mexico with substances on these lists. Note that a medicine considered “over the counter” in some U.S. 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 Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.

Importing Medicines into Mexico: Visit the Mexican Health Department website (Spanish only) or contact the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., for more information about obtaining a permit to import medicine into Mexico.

Adventure Travel: Visit our website and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about adventure travel.

Altitude: Many cities in Mexico, such as Mexico City, are at high altitude, which can lead to altitude illness. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information about Travel to High Altitudes.

Air Quality: Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in Mexico. Consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you and consult your doctor before traveling if necessary.

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. citizens or LPRs may not operate U.S.-registered vehicles in Mexico. Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Drivers involved in accidents, even minor incidents, may be subject to arrest if they are found to be driving without proper insurance, regardless of whether they were at fault. 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 (Spanish only), a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews, by dialing 078 from any phone in Mexico.

The Mission Mexico Vehicle Recovery Unit located at U.S. Consulate General Tijuana assists with the return of stolen U.S. vehicles recovered by Mexican authorities.

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 (Spanish only) maintained by the Mexico City government. See our Road Safety Page for more information.  Also, visit Mexico’s national tourist office website, MexOnline, and Mexico’s customs website Importacion Temporal de Vehiculos (Spanish only) for more information regarding travel and transportation.

Public Transportation/Taxis: Security on public buses varies throughout the country but is considered a relatively safe transportation option in Mexico City and other major tourist centers. Passengers should protect their personal possessions at all times as theft is common. Intercity bus travel should be conducted during daylight hours in preferably first-class buses using toll roads.

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 and Cabify are available in many Mexican cities, and generally offer another safe alternative to taxis. Official complaints against Uber and other drivers do occur, however, and past disputes between these services and local taxi unions have occasionally turned violent, resulting in injuries to U.S. citizens in some instances.

Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of Mexico’s Civil Aviation Authority as not 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.

Maritime Travel: If you enter by sea, review the Mexican boating permit requirements prior to travel or contact the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C., for more information. Mariners planning travel to Mexico should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts within the MARAD website, which include instructions on how to report suspicious activities and attacks to Mexican naval authorities. Information is also available from the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings website under “broadcast warnings.”

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.

Last Updated: April 6, 2021

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Ciudad de Mexico
Mexico
Telephone
+52-55-5080-2000
Emergency
U.S. Citizen Services: (From Mexico) 1-800-681-9374 (From the United States) 1-844-528-6611
Fax
+52-55-5080-2005

Mexico Map