Traveling within the US with Only a Mexican Passport [Your Questions Answered]

A picture of a Mexican passport and lines signifying traveling within the US.
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Maybe you’re already living in the US, or you simply want to travel there to visit your family members, you might be wondering: 

Can I travel within the US with only my Mexican passport? Or do I need to carry additional documents?

Can you travel in the US with a Mexican passport?

The TSA (Transportation Security Administration) recognizes any foreign government-issued passport as an acceptable form of identification. Thus, a Mexican passport is a perfectly valid travel document, allowing you to freely cross state lines, be it by land or air.

👉 Related reading: Is your passport expiring soon? Learn how to renew your Mexican passport in the US and how to correctly book an appointment to get your Mexican passport issued.

Note that once you enter the country, you’re not legally required to carry your Mexican passport on you while traveling (you also don’t need to have your visa on you after you legally cross the borders). However, it’s more convenient to have the document with you in case you are stopped by a police officer for an identity check (i.e., to check your immigration status and whether your stay in the US is legal). 

💡 Did you know? Depending on the state you are in, you may be required by law to identify yourself to a local law enforcement officer and provide a valid form of ID. You can read more about what authority police have to demand personal information or to check your legal status in different states. 

Traveling in the US with a Mexican passport—minors

Similarly to adults, children are also not required by law to have a passport on them when traveling through the country by land. However, if you, are going to cross state borders with your child (especially if you’re only visiting), it’s a smart idea to have their Mexican passport with you.

Considering that an estimated 14,500–17,500 foreign nationals are trafficked into the US each year (including minors), failing to prove a child’s identity with their photo ID during a potential control check might cause unnecessary trouble.

A child’s Mexican passport photo taken at home with a mobile photo booth.

Leaving the US with a Mexican passport

Now that you know you can travel within the US (both by land and air) with only your Mexican passport, is there anything stopping you from leaving the country with one? It depends.

As a Mexican citizen with a valid photo ID, you can leave the US with only your passport in hand and travel visa-free to over 90 countries. So, depending on your destination, your Mexican passport may—or may not—be enough to leave the US.

A list of other countries you can travel to visa-free using only your Mexican passport to leave the US.

Additionally, once you leave the US, you’ll be denied re-entry by the US Customs and Border Protection unless you present a valid Border Crossing Card (BCC) or a visa.

A graphic explaining how to get a 100% compliant US visa picture to enter the country from Mexico.

Download our photo booth app on iOS and Android


Is a Mexican passport a valid form of ID?

Yes, it is. Mexican passports are recognized as a valid form of identification, allowing you to travel freely within the US. Remember, however, that your valid passport isn’t enough to obtain an entry permit.

Can I use my Mexican passport to travel in the US?

Yes, you can. A Mexican passport is recognized by the US government as a valid form of photo ID for foreigners.

Can I fly inside the US with a Mexican passport?

Yes, you can. A Mexican passport is a valid form of identification allowing you to board domestic flights in the US.

Can I use my Mexican passport to leave the US?

It depends on your destination. You can leave the US and travel to over 90 countries with only your Mexican passport (via visa-free entry). However, according to US Customs and Border Protection, coming back to the US won’t be possible unless you present a valid visa.

Travel in the US with a Mexican passport: recap

Mexican nationals account for 24% of all foreign-born people living in the US (based on data from 2021). But with the country’s strict immigration laws, it’s no wonder that many ask themselves if they can travel within the US with only a Mexican passport—leaving their visas, Border Crossing Cards, or Green Cards at home.

We hope that this article answered all of your questions and you now know how you’re allowed to travel across the 50 states—but also beyond them—as a Mexican national with a valid passport in hand.


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