I am a permanent resident (U.S) and I'm crossing the border into Mexico and taking a flight to Mexico city. The passport from my home nation is expired and I'm trying to avoid the last minute 500 mile+ trip to the nearest embassy. My question is, can I get on the plane with my green card or state license? or my expired passport and birth certificate? also, can i get the FMM/tourist card with my drivers license? all the official information says i need a valid passport, but other travelers have had different experiences, does it just depend on the officer? I already purchased my flight!


It appears that you must have a valid passport to enter Mexico, see e.g. the following links:

Mexican Consulate in San Francisco, http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sanfrancisco/index.php/visas-traveling-to-mexico

  1. Effective March 1st 2010, all US Citizens are required to present U. S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card when entering Mexico (traveling by air, land or sea).

  2. US Permanent Residents traveling by air, land or sea to Mexico are required to present a valid Permanent Resident Card. Plus a valid and not expired passport or travel document. If you do not have that card consult other documentation also accepted to prove the US Permanent Residence status.

Mexican Consulate in Detroit, http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/detroit/index.php/info-english

US Permanent Residents traveling by air, land or sea to Mexico are required to present a valid Permanent Residency Card, as well as a valid passport from their country of origin or travel document.

Mexican Consulate in Anchorage http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/anchorage/index.php?option=com_content&id=34&Itemid=31

All permanent residents of the United States who are holders of a “Permanent Resident Card”, also known as “green card”, who want to travel to Mexico as tourists just need to present their passport and “Green Card”.

More importantly, Timatic (the database that airlines use) says that

Passport required.

  • Passports and/or passport replacing documents must be valid on arrival.
  • Warning: if departing from the USA (regardless of any destination passport exemptions), a valid passport and/oraccepted departure document For details, click here is required by the US immigration authorities.

Passport Exemptions:

  • Holders of emergency or temporary passports.

Airline employees will use this Timatic information when they decide whether to let you board your flight to Mexico. Most likely, they will not let you board the plane (even if an immigration officer in Mexico may let you in).

I would suggest that you contact a Mexican consulate and your airline, and double check with them whether you need a valid passport.

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  • yea, the airline says my green card or drivers license would be enough, the consulate tells me i need my passport so I don't know who has more authority. – Lani Oct 22 '14 at 19:08
  • @Lani You can exit the US on your green card, but Need a passport to enter Mexico. However, if your nationality normally requires a Mexican visa, your green card exempts you from that – Crazydre Nov 23 '16 at 6:29
  • @Lani I would trust the consulate over the airline – user Jun 16 '18 at 1:42

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