All people traveling to Mexico will need to have their U.S. passport or passport card in order to cross the border and reenter the United States. This requirement includes travel by land, sea, and air. If you do not have a U.S. passport, you’ll need to procure one in advance of your travels to Mexico.
To obtain a U.S. passport, you must be a United States citizen. To apply, you must be able to show proof that you are a U.S. citizen as well as show proof of your identity. To show proof of your citizenship you must present a birth certificate. A previous passport can also be used to prove citizenship. If you were not born within the U.S., you may present a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate.
To prove identity, you may present a drivers license, naturalization certificate, or a government or military identification. Secondary identification items like a social security card and credit card may also be used provided you show two forms of secondary identification. You can clickto access the government website with links to the application form and a full listing of required documents that are acceptable proofs of citizenship and identity.
When applying for your U.S. passport, you will need to provide photo copies of the identifying documents to accompany your application. You must also present your application in person if it is your first time applying for a U.S. passport. To find a passport agency in your vicinity, you can visit the above website or call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778. Though you can print your application online and fill out a considerable portion, be sure not to sign until you are in the presence of a passport official at the time you present your documentation.
Finally, don’t forget that you’ll need a passport photo. If you don’t submit the right type of photo, your application can face delays. Be sure to visit the website to find out the particulars for your passport photo. Currently, the application requires that a 2×2 inch color photo accompany your request for a U.S. passport. The photo also must have been taken within six months of your application. The background of the photo should be white and you must present your full face in the photo.
The government website also provides a fee schedule for a U.S. passport. A passport book for a first time applicant age 16 and older can expect to pay $110. You can also apply for a passport card at the same time; however, the fee increases. Check the fee schedule before you visit your passport office to ensure you have the correct amount.
Obtaining your U.S. passport is essential if you plan to travel outside of the country. If you need to procure a passport quickly, there are fees that may be paid for expedited applications. Check with your passport office or by calling the above number to find out more about fast-track passports as well as passports for children under age 16.