Tips that will make your trip more comfortable and safe while in Mexico

Protect your vehicle

Requirements for Tourists

Informative signs

Warning signs

Restrictive signs

Protect your vehicle

Safety precautions.


  • Keep your vehicle in good conditions and make sure it has enough fuel.
  • Install a security alarm system and a GPS system (if possible) in your vehicle.
  • Be careful when entering and exiting frequent places.
  • Crystals up and locks on.
  • Be a civilized driver, respect the transit rules and ignore any provocations.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Be extremely careful with motorcycles with 2 or more occupants.
  • Get used to being careful in crossings and traffic lights, as you slow down you must be cautious for any unexpected circumstance that may occur.
  • Avoid using your cellphone while driving, use a hands-free device. Avoid eating and smoking as well.
  • Always bring a first aid kit with you.
  • If a tire goes flat, pull over into a safe place when possible.

Remember these 3 rules at traffic lights:

  • Stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Make sure the vehicle's engine is started.
  • Keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.

When parking:

  • Try to use public parking lots.
  • Do not leave personal objects in your vehicle that can be spotted at first sight to prevent someone from breaking your crystals.
  • Always slow down at public parking lots, turn on your lights when as soon as it gets dark, and drive defensively and cautiously.
  • Observe the preference, first pedestrians and then cyclists.

Requirements for Tourists.

According to Mexican government regulations, as of March, 2010, all U.S. citizens must show a valid passport, book or card, to enter Mexican territory, by any means of transportation, beyond the border zone (20 kilometers, 13 miles, from the border); no exceptions are made for children. No visa or tourist card is required for stays of less than 72 hours within the border zone.

When traveling beyond the border zone, or when entering the country by air, U.S. citizens are required to pay a fee to obtain a tourist card (FM-T), which is available at border crossings, Mexican tourist offices and airports, within the border zone. Major airlines will provide this form during your trip. You must include the following information on the form: number of days you will be in the country, passport number, destination, city of origin and other related information.

Business travelers must complete and file form FM-N 30 DAYS, which authorizes them to perform business activities, but not to accept employment, for a period of 30 days. Entering the country for other purposes, besides tourism and business, or for stays of more than 180 days, requires a visa and a valid U.S. passport.

U.S. citizens who plan to work or live in Mexico, must request the corresponding Mexican visa at a Mexican Embassy or any Mexican consulate in the United States of America.

All U.S. citizens 16 years old or older must show either a U.S. passport, in a book or a card form, in order to re-enter the country by land or by sea.  Children under the age of 16 can re-enter the United States by land with a legal document (naturalization certificate or birth certificate). 

Upon entering the United States by air, all citizens, regardless of their age, must show a U.S. passport in book format. A U.S. passport in a card format is not valid for entering the United States by air.

Entry requirements.

To enter Mexico, all tourists need to have a permit called Customs Form for Tourists, which is valid for 180 days. This document is available at airline offices, travel agencies or Mexican ports of entry. Each passenger must be provided with one. 

As of 1999, a Non-immigrant Tax (DNI) is charged in Mexico, which is intended to promote tourism and improving immigration services. This tax must be paid upon leaving the country. Its cost is about $48USD and it is updated anually. For more information, visit the National Immigration Institute’s webpage at http://www.inm.gob.mx.

Other requirements.

Additional to personal belongs; all passangers entering Mexico can carry a maximum of $300.00 dlls of merchandise, otherwise they will have to pay an extra charge. All baggage is reviewed by the Mexican Customs authorities.

Information and emergency contacts from some Mexican organizations that can help you while you travel.

Secretaría de Turismo

From México City and metropolitan area: 553 002 6300

Toll free: 01 800 903 92 00

Toll free from United States of America: 1 (800) 482 9832
www.sectur.gob.mx   Embajada de Estados Unidos en México

Reforma 305, col. Cuauhtémoc, del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06500
Inside Mexican republic : 55 5080 2000
From USA: 011 52 55 5080 2000
spanish.mexico.usembassy.gov 

If you are an American Citizen and you are in an emergency situation, please dial the following numbers:
(From USA ) 011 52 55 5080 2000
(From México) 55 5080 2000

For further information, check out the directory of embassies and consulates online: www.sre.gob.mx 

Informative signs

The informative signs contain captions or symbols which objective is to aid and guide the user along the road, and inform them about names and locations of towns, services, mileage, attraction places and some touristic recommendations. Below you will find the different types of informative signs:

- Identification informative signs, which function is to identify the streets according to their names and the highways according to their route number and mileage.

- General information and recommendation signs, whose function is to advise the user about some security provisions and recommendations, and to provide general information that is convenient knowing.

- Tourist and services signs, whose function is to inform the existence of service or attractive tourist places.

Examples:

Warning signs.

Within city limits, on a highway or in some remote settlements, the traffic signs can help us in difficulties encountered or even save our lives. Therefore, we will show you some of the road signs that are used in Mexico, their meaning, importance and how useful they are for daily driving.

Warning signs are displayed in yellow signboards, they have a symbol in the middle and its main objective is to show the drivers the existence of any type of danger on the road.

Examples:

Restrictive signs

The restrictive signs are indicated on white signboards with a red outline, its principsl objective is to indicate the physic limitations or regulatory prohibitions that regulate transit.

Examples: