Lets say you enter Mexico via the US border and forget to obtain an FMM. What is the penalty for this violation if an immigration officer asks to see your FMM and you fail to show one?

1 Answer 1


I do not know the official penalty, I imagine officially it's deportation or along those lines. However I do know people who have been asked to present FMM and not had one - none were at the border, rather at military, police, or specific INM (Mexico Immigration) checkpoints.

So, speaking from separate second-hand experiences:

  1. Get an FMM - You are instructed to obtain one within n hours (I don't recall - less than a day)

  2. Expulsion from Mexico - You are taken to the border and forced to leave the country. Doesn't seem to be any official process to this, so I wouldn't call it deportation.

None seemed to have anything official noted (that they're aware of), nothing in passports etc., and there was no problem re-entering and gaining FMM at the border.

However there is regular talk about how many US citizens live in Mexico illegally (I guess since it's often mentioned how many Mexicans live in the US illegally), so occasionally we see a lot of police and INM around, typically stopping those with current US plates. I have been asked for my Mexico Residency ID more often at checkpoints and "random" stops than I ever have crossing the border. Once they see that I have residency they wave me on, so I'm unsure how the conversation goes after that.

I still haven't found an official source, however I did find this on the Mexpro Mexico travel blog site:

Consequences of Not Having an FMM If you do not get an FMM, any of the following may happen:

  • You may be detained and then told you need to go back to the border and get one.
  • Depending upon your insurer, it’s possible that your vehicle insurance will not cover you if you are in an accident. Check your policy.
  • If you need to be evacuated by air due to a medical emergency, you will have difficulty as an FMM must be presented for air travel (even in emergencies).


  • How would the INM know you've overstayed if you've never obtained an FMM and the border has no one checking passports?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 15:23
  • @JonathanReez If you enter the country and don't have an FMM, then you're in the country illegally. FMM, visa, residency etc. are required, so if you don't have it then you're illegally in Mexico.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 15:25
  • Sure, but looks like for the most part you're just asked to go get an FMM and no one actually cares how long you've been there?
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 17:40
  • @JonathanReez until they don't. There are times they threaten to crack down on things, and do for a short time, and I imagine that legally there are pretty severe consequences that could be applied if they desire. But all of this would likely be weighed against the cost of making it difficult for people to live here - the Americans bring a lot of money with them.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 19:29
  • @JonathanReez I have updated my answer - still not an official source, and still not very harsh penalties (unless of course you are in an accident or need to fly)
    – Midavalo
    Commented Oct 4, 2020 at 16:49

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