Mexico City is one of the most popular travel destinations for Americans because it is a wonderful city with numerous great attractions. In order to have a safe and hassle-free trip, it is important for American travelers to find out about the travel documents required to gain entry into Mexico City.
In the past, only Americans who are traveling to Mexico City by air needed to have a passport. Those who are traveling by land or sea only needed to show their driver’s licenses or birth certificates. A new law was imposed on the 1st of June, 2009 to make it compulsory for all US citizens to have a valid passport, a passport card, or any document approved by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) when they travel to any place in Mexico.
A passport card or a WHTI-compliant document can only be used if travelers are entering Mexico by land or sea. The WHTI-compliant documents that are valid for travel to Mexico include: enhanced driver’s license issued by a state; NEXUS or SENTRI trusted traveler card; enhanced tribal card; Native American Tribal ID with photo; Form I-872 American Indian card; US Military ID with military travel order; and US Merchant Mariner document for official maritime missions.
US citizens who are under the age of 16 do not need a passport when they travel by land or sea to Mexico City, but are required to bring their birth certificates or naturalization certificates. Both original and copy birth certificates can be used. Those who are legal permanent residents of the US may or may not need to present a passport to gain entry into Mexico, depending on which country they come from. They only need to show their I-551 Permanent Resident Cards when they return to the US.
Whether it is an official requirement or not, it is advisable for those who are traveling to Mexico City to bring a passport, because a passport is considered the best form of identification in a foreign land. It will not only help US travelers gain entry into Mexico with minimal hassle; it may also be required when they get involved in accidents or unknowingly break the law.
Other than a valid passport, it is also a good idea for US travelers to get a good travel insurance policy before they travel to Mexico City. Many things can happen when people are traveling in a foreign country, and having travel insurance will protect them from losses that are incurred as a result of accidents. Since the food, weather, and standard of living are different in Mexico City, there is a higher chance that travelers may fall ill during their trips. Also, the crime rate in Mexico City is quite high, and tourists are one of the main targets for theft. Travel insurance will cover medical expenses, loss and theft, and cancellations, and it will ensure that travelers will have peace of mind when they are vacationing in Mexico City.