Mexico Passport Requirements Changed... Again. The U.S. Government is having a difficult time keeping up with their passport requirements for travel to Mexico. As of December 2007, air travel will require travel documentation issued by the U.S. Government. The document requirements can be found at Western Hemisphere Travel
For those of us that drive to Mexico - U.S. and Canadian citizens will need to present either a WHTI-compliant document, or a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, plus proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate.
Yesterday a friend asked me when she would need a passport to cross the border? This question seemed strange to me... as this discussion has been a topic of conversation for over a year in the Yuma, Arizona area.
Yuma, Arizona is a Mexico - U.S. border town very close to Algadones and San Luis Mexico. We also cross at Tijuana and Tecate borders when we are traveling to the Mexico west coast south of San Diego, California.
The fact that it has never been a requirement for passports when traveling to Mexico has put the area into somewhat of an uproar. I am sure it is the same for all Mexico border areas. Not that it's bad to have documents to travel to a foreign country... but some of us that live so close, forget that it is a foreign country.
My family has had passports for several years, so the application times didn't make much of an impression on me. But, when my friend asked me when the deadlines were... it reminded me that most of or Winter Visitors, and locals as well, may have put off getting their applications done.
The application process times are varied. I have heard through the grapevine that the application process that were backed up for months have been caught up and all applications will be processed within regular time lines. But... this can still be several weeks or months.
I also have heard that it is worth every penny... paying for expedited processing.
Another friend of mine just found out her entire family will be traveling to Costa Rica in March. The cost of the passports for a family of five is quite high, especially when calculating in the expedition fees. She will be able to find good rates for lodging, air fare and other transportation, but passport fees are not negotiable.
The gist of the passport issue is: You need one now if you are flying into Mexico... or at least proof that you have applied. You will need one for driving, walking or cruising to Mexico in January, 2008.
Barbie Parks just published a great article with all the pertinent info on her website Retire in Luxury