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"Open Border?"

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson, Arizona, Northern Mexico
Level Contributor
17,831 posts
90 reviews
"Open Border?"

I got a pm from someone asking about passport requirements, and mentioning there is an "open border" in the area of Puerto Peñasco. There is no open border. Mexican authorities are lax in that area about requiring visitors to have passports and obtaining the Mexican tourist permit called a FMM. This is information below from a website about PP. I find nothing different. US citizens can enter Mexico at Lukeville without a passport as a result of the unique situation there with lack of enforcement by Mexican immigration authorities which is not official. On return however, people can be inconvenienced by having to wait and meet with US ICE personnel before being permitted to re-enter the US.

From puerto-penasco.com:

In order to travel to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), you need a valid USA Passport or a USA Passport Card (or carnet) authorized by the US Department of State. This requirement has not changed since the US started requiring passports/passport cards to travel by LAND/SEA in 2009. Please know that you are not able to use a USA passport card when you travel by PLANE, you need a valid USA passport.

Children under 16 years of age arriving to USA from Mexico or Canada may present a birth certificate (original or copy). If child is traveling with only one parent or under the supervision of an adult, they must present a notarized parent permission document (authorization to travel).

If you are a resident of the USA of another country, we recommend you contact your immigration office before traveling outside of USA.

6 replies to this topic
1 post
1 review
1. Re: "Open Border?"

My kids (13) and (15) both have passports and I have a passport with same last name (I'm Mom).

My finance's kids (17) and (14) also have passports. Last name matches with Dad's.

-Do I still need to get a notarized parent permission doc from my ex-husband (and he needs to do the same from his ex-wife)? They've both agreed in text message with this trip, but getting notarized docs might burden them more than they want to oblige.

2. Re: "Open Border?"

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Removed on: 01 April 2018, 15:00
Teton Valley, Idaho
3 posts
3. Re: "Open Border?"

Do we need tourist cards, and/or to register a rental car (we will get the Mexican insurance). Just want to make sure we have all documentation ready to cross the border quickly and easily.

New Paltz, New York
Level Contributor
57 posts
7 reviews
4. Re: "Open Border?"

Hi Amy--don't know if you took your trip already, but at this time FMM cards are not being enforced at the Lukeville border crossing. Officially, they are required for a visit ANYWHERE into Mexico (distance unimportant) and for ANY length of time (duration unimportant) since 2015. But, it's not enforced as of 4/1/2018. If you decide to go the official route, they can be filled out online and are free for visits up to 7 days. They still need to be validated at the border though.

Also, you do not need any kind of Temporary Import Permit for your rental car as Penasco's within the Free Zone. There is probably a distance limit on the rental car contract in any case. As of 12/2017, All rental car companies from the PHX airport allow driving to Penasco EXCEPT Avis, Budget, Advantage, and all run ~$30/day for insurance. Only Hertz charges more--$38-$48 depending on the car. Be sure to double check before you reserve anything.

7 posts
5. Re: "Open Border?"

We love spending time in Rocky Point!


Goodyear, Arizona
Level Contributor
5 posts
20 reviews
6. Re: "Open Border?"

YOU MAY or MAY not have a problem entering Mexico, and Lukeville may or may not be enforcing the MANDATORY PASSPORT OR TRAVEL CARD LAW? I can assure you that ANY TRAVEL ACROSS THE BOARDER REQUIRES One or the other! ( Passport or travel card!) In addition, if you are visiting other area's such as San Carlos, YOU NEED TO OBTAIN A travel Visa permit. This is issued from the IMS office in Mexico. You Obtain that 7 day or longer travel Visa at Kilomiter 21 if driving down. That would be on Hwy 15. Any travel visa to Mexico is free for the first 7 days. You can obtain a six months travel visa fr a very nominal amount of money. You'll get 50 different answers about travel to Mexico! Check with the Mexican consulate in your state PRIOR TO LEAVING! There are "new travel advisories posted" to MANY VERY POPULAR TRAVEL DESTINATIONS that are with in 8 hours of the USA...... head the advise! ( see Consulate Hermosillo update 08/02/2018. Enjoy your travels and as always be safe. Mexico is a wonderful place to experience.

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