Crossing the Border to Mexico: Requirements for Minors

As I’ve written before, Mexico is an ideal country for family travel. Luckily, kids are also easier to import than dogs, cats, or God forbid, tropical birds.

To get a passport, minors under the age of 14 must show proof both of citizenship and proof of relationship to the applying parent(s) or guardian(s). You will find the various applications and forms you will need at

To get a Mexican tourist card, both parents’ written notarized consent is required if a minor (18 and younger) is going to Mexico alone or with another person, even if that person is the other parent. For example, a father must have the mother’s consent to take any child under 18 into Mexico. In addition, if a minor travels with one parent and the other parent is deceased, or if the child has only one legal parent, a notarized statement must be given as proof.

These rules are strictly enforced, especially for tourists traveling by air.

From the State Department Website:

“The State Department recommends that the permission should include travel dates, destinations, airlines and a brief summary of the circumstances surrounding the travel. The child must be carrying the original letter – not a facsimile or scanned copy – as well as proof of the parent/child relationship (usually a birth certificate or court document) – and an original custody decree, if applicable.”

Children under 15 may be included on their parent’s tourist card. Although this eliminates some paperwork, the child will not be allowed to leave Mexico without the parent or the parent without the child. It’s easier and more flexible to fill out a separate tourist card for everyone in the family.

 Note: Most of the above text is excerpted from the 14th edition of The People’s Guide to Mexico by Carl Franz. All rights reserved.

One Response to “Crossing the Border to Mexico: Requirements for Minors”

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  1. -El Codo- says:

    Churpa, one of the things I have found out over the years is that a picture is worth several hundred words. On my laptop, I have a group image of Pilar, Dalia, Brenda, Jesus and myself posed in an unmistakable family pose.

    Oh yeah, official documents are crucial but for sheer speed, having images of both sets of driver licenses for a car borrowed to go into Bajas Californias or he free zone, plus a picture of the owner and the person driving the car linking arms (the cop compares the people to the images on the two driver licenses) may mean an official with a 6th grade education doesn’t have to grapple with legalize. It may mean leaving a scene in four minutes rather than forty minutes.

    Images do not replace legal documents, but images act as oil and things slip through a lot easier. Just last October a friend emailed me and said that at a federal police roadside check near Matehuala, the SSP got a little confused that he was driving a company car. Instead of digging through his satchel to grab the legaleeze notes of permission, he showed the cops a printout of him standing alongside the car next to the corporate signage on the building. He said he was on the way within 3 minutes.

    Just A Thought