Mexico Travel Documentation

Exploring Mexico beyond Nogales
oquitoa mill

Ruins of a mill in Oquitoa, Sonora

When planning a trip to Mexico, in addition to preparing your Mexico travel documentation don’t forget that there are also documentation requirements for returning to the United States from Mexico.

Documentation Required for Entering Mexico Individuals

The type of tourist visitor document needed to visit Sonora depends on where you plan to go, and how long you plan to stay there.

Travelers who plan to travel more than 21 kilometers into Mexico must complete a Foreign Citizens Tourist Visa (FMT), either at the border customs office or at the 21km Customs checkpoint.

The FMT form is simple and straightforward, and after completing it you must present it to a customs official along with your passport. If you plan to stay in Sonora for five days or fewer, the FMT is issued free of charge.

If you will be staying in Sonora for a longer period of time (the FMT is issued for up to six months) the customs officer will provide you with a document to take to the nearby bank to pay for the visa (about $25). After that, the Customs official will stamp the visa.

Be sure to return the visa to a Customs office before you leave Mexico.


If you are bringing your personal vehicle into Sonora from the United States and do not plan to travel south of Guaymas, you will not need a vehicle permit.

However, you must be the registered owner of the vehicle, and of any vehicles in tow. Be prepared to present the title to the vehicle and insurance forms at the border and at the 21km checkpoint.

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