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Find Out If You Need a Passport When Traveling to Mexico

Because of its fantastic culture, food, beaches, and its proximity to the United States, Mexico is one of the most popular foreign destinations among Americans. If you’re into pre-Hispanic civilizations such as the Olmec and the Maya, Mexican cuisine, and Acapulco and Cancun, then it’s no surprise you’re reading this article. Let us show you everything you need to go to Mexico, including information on what the passport requirements are when traveling to our Southern neighbor.

Because Mexico is a part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), you can travel to this destination by presenting US documents that are accepted for your visit. Some of the documents you may use include your passport book and passport card. These documents help establish proof of your identity and citizenship.

But what’s the difference between the two types of passports? You are probably familiar now with the passport book. It’s the conventional booklet that is used to travel to the foreign destinations that need one. One benefit of a passport book is that you’ll have greater flexibility when traveling because you can travel anywhere with your passport. Use of this document is mandatory for all international air travel, even to WHTI destinations.

Meanwhile, the passport card provides you with several benefits over the passport book. For one, it easily fits into your wallet, making it easier to keep than the passport book that’s bulky. Also, applying for a passport card is cheaper than the passport book. But on the down side, you can only use this card when traveling to WHTI destinations by sea or land.

You can also apply for both passports and let them complement each other depending on the type of travel you’re going to make. Use your card for land or sea travel to WHTI territories, while using your book for air travel. If you can, apply for both passports at the same time to get a huge discount in your application fees.

Although Mexico is part of the WHTI, you need to check if you can use other types of documents that prove your identity and citizenship. Such documents include your birth certificate and your State-issued enhanced driver’s license. Make sure you ask the Mexican Embassy about this before you travel to keep you free from hassle and delays on your way there.

Keep in mind that there are certain additional passport requirements for minors and business people traveling to Mexico. Minors have to bring a notarized copy of the parental consent. This document should also include the child’s travel details including the airlines he/she will be taking, as well as the minor’s travel schedule. Filling in Form FM-N is required of business people to authorize them to conduct business in the country. If you have more questions regarding the requirements of the two, check with the Mexican Embassy.