I flew to Cancun, and was stamped in Mexico for entry. When I returned to the US, at DFW, no entry stamp was placed in my passport. I'm a US citizen.

A few weeks later, I went to Mexico for a mission, and drove to the border. The Mexican border official would not let me enter Mexico, because I did not have a stamp showing I returned to the US. He told me that I had to go to the border office, which was closed at that hour.

I'm driving into Mexico again in a few days, still without a US re-entry stamp. What should I do? The rules seem very lax.

  • 2
    @JonathanReez voting to leave open! The suggested dupe is about the stamping process but does not address the underlying problem here of convincing the Mexican side of having previously left on time.
    – mts
    Nov 1, 2016 at 15:39
  • 3
    How far south were you driving into Mexico? Was the border officer sending you to the Mexican border office (I assume so since I don't know of a US port on that border that isn't 24 hours)? I have never known Mexican border officers to care at all about other-country stamps, and he clearly knew you left Mexico since you were trying to get back in, so I'll guess he might have been telling you that the stamp you needed for your trip but didn't have was a Mexican stamp (and FMM).
    – Dennis
    Nov 1, 2016 at 16:43
  • Your understanding of what he said is almost surely wrong. Countries don't stamp their own citizens on entry. Surely he meant something from Mexico reflecting your Mexico departure.
    – smci
    Dec 18, 2017 at 22:34
  • 2
    @smci "Countries don't stamp their own citizens on entry" Most don't, but some do, Russia, Turkey and the Philippines being examples, and the US has also traditionally done it. Also Serbia and Montenegro on exit.
    – Crazydre
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:04
  • @Coke: ok true, "don't in general". In our context here neither Mexico nor the US stamp their own citizens.
    – smci
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:05

2 Answers 2


What that officer did was wrong. As long as you turned in your immigration card to airline staff when exiting Mexico, your exit should be recorded.

Mexico also doesn't have exit formalities at airports, only at land borders.

Most countries don't even stamp their own citizens' passports, and not even the US is obliged to these days, so I have no idea what that Mexican officer was on.

Try again, and if you can, bring your boarding pass for the Cancun-Dallas flight if they should ask for proof of your departure.

Normally you won't even see a Mexican immigration officer at the border; instead you need to drive to the immigration office to get the FMM and passport stamp.

  • 2
    +1 - The OP circumstances are very strange to me. I've driven through the California -> Mexico border many times and they never even looked at my passport.
    – Itai
    Jan 13, 2017 at 23:51

Passports are often not stamped when entering your own country because the turning in of your entry visa is digitally recorded and filed. If you request a stamp, they will do so. Driving a US vehicle into Mexico has nothing to do with the border official that waves you through. You park and go into the building that houses immigration. There you show your car papers, your passport and fill out a temporary vehicle importation permit form for 6 months and a tourist visa for you. Then, to the SAT line. (Servicio Administracion Tribunal). Copies of your passport..Then to Banjercito to pay for your vehicle permit;approximately $300.This money will not be returned to you if the vehicle is in Mexico after the date on the permit. You ay be denied re entry to Mexico if you too are not out of Mexico by the date on your visa.

  • There is no ‘entry visa’ for own citizens. The entry may or may not be recorded but it certainly is not a visa process.
    – Jan
    Dec 19, 2017 at 5:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.