Entering Into Mexico


If you plan on traveling to Mexico a passport or PASS Card will be the ONLY acceptable form of identification. Citizens other than U.S. or Canadian may have other requirements such as a visa. Please contact a Mexican Consulate or embassy near you.

What do I have to do when crossing the border into Mexico?

Select carefully the lane to enter the country:

  • Nothing to Declare Lane (Nada Declarar) – It is used when your exemptions do not exceed the permitted limits
  • Self-declaration Lane – It is used when you bring goods worth more than the personal or family exemptions, or when the amounts of goods exceed those amounts allowed in your personal luggage

Upon crossing the border, your vehicle will activate the Automated Selection Mechanism (stop light). When crossing the border on foot you will be asked to activate the mechanism: The red light indicates that your luggage will be inspected. The green light indicates that you can drive through the Customs facilities without inspection If you or your vehicle have been selected for inspection, a Customs Inspector will conduct the examination. If the Customs Inspector finds goods that should have been declared and you did not do it, the Inspector will classify and appraise the goods and will impose the corresponding sanctions. If you mistakenly choose the wrong lane, you may approach a Customs Inspector and ask for a classification and appraisal of your goods for the corresponding payment of duties and taxes.

Tips for Safe Entry into Mexico

Don’t bring anything that obviously looks like you’re in the resale game… for example, 5 laptop computers! These items will get heavily taxed or confiscated. Items for personal use will be allowed, new or used, but only in quantities that are commensurate with the definition of ‘personal use’. When you enter Mexico, Customs officials will be tolerant as long as you have no illegal drugs or firearms. You’re allowed to bring in two cartons of cigarettes or 50 cigars, plus 1 kilogram (2.2 lb.) of smoking tobacco; two 1-liter bottles of wine or hard liquor, and 12 rolls of film. A laptop computer, camera equipment, and sports equipment that could feasibly be used during your stay are also allowed.

Bringing Minors In Mexico

Mexican law requires that any non-Mexican citizen under the age of 18 departing Mexico must carry notarized written permission from any parent or guardian not traveling with the child to or from Mexico. This permission must include the name of the parent, the name of the child, the name of anyone traveling with the child, and the notarized signature(s) of the absent parent(s). The State Department recommends that the permission should include travel dates, destinations, airlines and a brief summary of the circumstances surrounding the travel. The child must be carrying the original letter – not a facsimile or scanned copy – as well as proof of the parent/child relationship (usually a birth certificate or court document) – and an original custody decree, if applicable. Travelers should contact the Mexican Embassy or the nearest Mexican consulate for current information.