Preparing for Your Trip to Mexico

Taking the time to prepare yourself and your family prior to traveling to Mexico will ensure a much smoother and enjoyable trip, especially during the busy holiday season.

As you prepare, your local Mexican Consulate is available to provide the most up-to-date information about traveling to Mexico, as well as assist with forms and any questions and complaints.

The following is a list of what you should have ready before you begin your travels:

  • Important travel documents to prove your Mexican citizenship (a passport, birth certificate, military ID, Matricula Consular Certificate, or Declaration of Mexican Nationality or naturalization document). If you’re not a Mexican citizen and are a U.S. citizen, bring your U.S. Passport.
  • A map of your drive to Mexico, as well as a map of your final destination
  • Mexican car insurance
  • Your temporary vehicle permit
  • Your family and friend’s contact information
  • A cell phone
  • Any medications you may need—including a prescription stating your name
  • Contact information for the Mexican Consulate (from Mexico dial 01 800 201 85 42 or 1 (877) 210-9469 from the U.S.)

What are some tax-free items that I may bring with me to Mexico?

You may bring with you any items that are part of your personal baggage, including: your clothes, shoes, toiletries and some electronic devices (including cellphones, a radio, laptop and a DVD player) tax-free. If you are traveling with a baby, any items for room or transportation of the baby are permitted tax-free. For a detailed list of what you are allowed to bring into Mexico, tax-free, visit http://www.paisano.gob.mx/index.php.

All other items are taxable at a flat rate of 16% if they are worth more than $300 United States Dollars (USD) (raised from the normal $75 USD for the holidays). However, this amount applies to each person and can be combined for family members (including kids) traveling together in the same car. If you have a question about something that is not listed on the website, and would like to know if you can bring it into Mexico tax-free, check with your local Mexican Consulate office before your trip.

I have a pet, and I would like to bring it with me when I travel to Mexico. What do I need to do?

You can bring a dog or cat with you to Mexico, but there are steps you must take to ensure it will be allowed across the border with you. You are required to carry the original, as well as a photocopy, of the Health Certificate from a registered veterinarian and valid certificate of vaccination issued within 15 days prior to your departure. These certificates must be provided to the Office of Animal and Plant Health Inspection when entering Mexico. If you transport one to three pets, there is no payment required. If you transport four or more, you must make a payment of about $140 USD ($1,817 Pesos) for the issuance of the Import Health Certificate.

I am packing food to bring with me to Mexico. What am I not permitted to bring with me?

To protect Mexico’s agriculture, animal products and plants are not allowed to cross the border. The Paisano Program’s website, recommends that you do not bring the following:

  • Flowers, plants, or dirt
  • Fruit, seeds or grains
  • Hay, straw, palm or coconut
  • Homemade food
  • Animal meats, in any form
  • Eggs, feathers
  • Milk, or milk products in any form
  • Pet food

What safety precautions should I take to protect myself and my family while traveling to Mexico by vehicle?

The Consulate of Mexico reminds you that it is important to take common sense measures when traveling. These measures include traveling only during the day, not carrying large amounts of cash (or not carrying cash at all), and traveling only designated roads. To make traveling easier, the consulate has a service to provide you with the safest and shortest driving routes, as well as an estimated fuel cost. It is called Point to Point Routes, and it can be found on their website: http://www.paisano.gob.mx and follow the link titled “Trace Your Route”.