Crossing the U.S.-Mexico Border by Land


Use your U.S. passport card to save time crossing the U.S.-Mexico land border. You can use the passport card at U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Ready Lanes.

How to use Ready Lanes with a U.S. passport card: 

  1. Go to a lane that has the Ready Lane logo,
  2. Keep your passport card in hand,
  3. Display the passport card, and
  4. Go to a CBP officer.

You can find a complete list of Ready Lane acceptable documents on CBP's website. 

Applying for a Passport Card

  • U.S. citizens living in the United States can apply at one of more than 7,000 locations known as acceptance facilities. These locations include post offices, libraries, and clerks of court.


Driving to Mexico

You will need a temporary permit if you are driving beyond the border zones in Mexico. Mexico enforces the permits if you are driving 20 kilometers or more from the border. You do not need a permit in the Baja Peninsula.

Banjercito is the government authority that issues vehicle permits. Get a permit online, at the Mexican border, or at certain Mexican consulates in the United States. 

  • U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport book or card, and an entry permit issued by Instituto Nacional de Migración. 

  • Enter Mexico with valid proof of automobile registration, even if remaining in the border zone. Entering Mexico with an expired U.S. vehicle registration may lead to the confiscation of the auto by Mexican authorities.

Last Updated: February 15, 2024