Passport or PASS Card
To return to the U.S. from Mexico by land, sea or air, you must present a passport or PASS card (available to anyone) or Enhanced Driver’s License (residents of some U.S. states can get these) at the border.
Please be aware that you can no longer use proof of U.S. citizenship, like an embossed birth certificate, with a government-issued photo ID (more on those below) to get into or out of the country. Regardless of your ID choice, you will also need a Mexico tourist card, which you’ll be given to fill out on the plane or at the border if you’ll be traveling overland.
How to get a Mexico Tourist card
A Mexico tourist card, also called an FMT, is a government form declaring that you have stated the purpose of your visit to Mexico to be tourism, and it must be carried with you while you are visiting Mexico(THIS FORM WILL BE ISSUED TO YOU ON YOUR INBOUND TRIP TO MEXICO). Although more than one kind of Mexico visa exists, this is a simple declaration of your intention to vacation in Mexico for no more than 180 days. It’s essentially a standard arrivals card you have to fill in when entering most countries. At immigration, they’ll attach a departure card to your passport to hand back when you leave the country.
Where will I need to show my documents in Mexico
If you are flying into Mexico, you will need to show your travel documents to the Mexico customs agents before you leave the airport. You may have to show your travel documents again before picking up your luggage. When you leave Mexico by plane, you will need to show your travel documents before you pass through security and before you board the plane. You’ll be expected to hand in your departure card as you pass through immigration, as well, so make sure not to lose it while you’re in the country.
Remember to Keep Track of Your ID and Tourist Card
You will need to turn your tourist card in when you leave Mexico, and you might need ID at different points during your Mexico visit, although after seven months spent traveling across the country, I’ve never been asked for mine.
While it’s rare for you to need to produce yours, it’s best to keep everything on your person at all times, just in case you are asked. The last thing you want is to be taken down to the police station because you can’t produce your ID.