My husband and I are going on our mini vacation to El paso. While we are there we would like to visit his parents in Juarez mexico. Unfortunately I didnt get my passport on Time , . I'm a American citizen born and raised in colorado . My questions is if i go can I be denied entrance back to the U.S ? Can I re enter the the U.S with my Birth certificate state Id and Social security card ?

  • 1
    Can you, probably. Will it be easy, probably not. Will it be worth it, probably not.
    – user13044
    Feb 24 '17 at 9:31
  • 1
    A more pertinent question would be how do you hope to get into Mexico without a travel document? Feb 24 '17 at 10:29
  • @HenningMakholm I've never done it myself, but as I understand it, there's not much in the way of document checks on crossing into Mexico from the US.
    – phoog
    Feb 24 '17 at 13:32
  • @HenningMakholm If you walk across the border at Tijuana or Juarez there is typically nobody that looks at your passport-- since most visitors are not going deeper into Mexico they don't need to get a tourist card (if you are, you need to find someone). Of course with the current state of US-Mexican relations there is no guarantee they won't start checking a lot more closely. Feb 24 '17 at 17:17

US citizens have a right to enter the US, and the rules described in Michael C's answer are in conflict with that right. If you can prove your US citizenship, they have to let you in.

Your problem is with proving your US citizenship. A birth certificate is a much less secure document than the officially accepted IDs. The border officers will have to decide whether it is genuine and whether you are the person it describes. This could take hours or even days, and in the worst case they might determine that the certificate has been forged or altered, in which case you would be denied entry.

Even in the best case, you will face a delay of many minutes and, likely, a good deal of stress, as you are questioned about your citizenship and lectured on the rules.


You cannot use a birth certificate, ID, and SSC as documentation to enter the United States:

Take note: changes in U.S. law took effect June 1, 2009; you can no longer cross the border with only a birth certificate and driver's licence. Also, as a United States citizen traveling to another country, you need to meet that country's entry requirements.

According to US Customs and Border Protection:

U.S. citizens entering the United States by land or sea are required to present a valid WHTI-compliant document, which include:

  • U.S. Passports
  • U.S. Passport Cards
  • Enhanced Driver's Licenses Trusted
  • Traveler Cards (Global Entry*, NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • Military Identification Cards (for members of the U.S. armed forces on official orders)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document (for U.S. citizens on official maritime business)

Depending on when your trip is, you could expedite the process of getting a passport in under 2 weeks. Or, if there is an family emergency, you could get one in under 72 hours.

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