I have a family emergency and need to travel from San Diego CA to Zacatecas Mexico. I am 28 and do not have a passport. Can I travel by airplane with just my birth certificate or ID? My 2 yr old will be coming along as well; what do I need for her?

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    If you are in San Diego, you should be able to cross over to Tijuana and take a Mexican domestic flight from there. Whether you will be able to take a Mexican domestic flight without a passport, I am not sure
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 2:28
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    Following on from @user102008's comment - if you are Mexican national or resident (and have ID to prove it) you can fly domestically within Mexico. Typically foreigners must have a passport as ID for a domestic flight. On your return you would need to show US residency or citizenship at the border to be allowed back into the US.
    – Midavalo
    Commented Apr 12, 2021 at 16:48
  • i know this is old, but i want to say, yes, you can travel within mexico without a passport. you can cross the border into TJ and fly out of TJ. i know this, cause i just came back from cabo and thats what i did. i flew with my california ID from TJ to Cabo. you dont go thru immigration, cause you are flying domestic within Mexico, you dont board international flights, which would be if you flew out of san diego. you will need the tourist form if you have your passport.
    – Bern
    Commented May 11, 2021 at 23:34

1 Answer 1


No, in order to enter Mexico or the US by air, both you and your child will need a passport.

If you are US citizens, you may be able to get a passport in a hurry at the San Diego Passport Agency; be sure to follow all the instructions on their page regarding appointment scheduling and necessary documentation for both you and your child.

If you are Mexican citizens, you can follow up with the Consulado General de México en San Diego for advice. If you are some other nationality, you will have to figure out the closest consulate of your country to you and go from there.

  • Many countries offer "emergency passports" and other types of provisory documentation. I once needed a Swiss one (eda.admin.ch/countries/latvia/en/home/services/…) when I lost all my documents in a hotel fire in Ghana. Commented Apr 10, 2021 at 7:14
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    @PatricHartmann the US offers emergency passports, but only to people who are abroad and need one to return to the US. Normally, there is same-day service available for those with "life or death emergencies" at US passport agencies whereby they can get a full passport, and those without an emergency but with imminent travel plans can get a passport within three days. But some parts of the US are as far as 800 km from a passport agency (not including San Diego, as noted here), and public health restrictions seem to have slowed processing times, including for emergency service.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 11, 2021 at 15:00

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