Are you considering traveling to Cabo? Read on to learn more about what sort of documentation you’ll need to reach this fantastic destination.

From whale watching to water sports like scuba diving and snorkeling. Rich culture to cuisine, and from historical architecture to stunning vistas. There are so many reasons to fall in love with Cabo.

As this fantastic location is so close to the US, Cabo also draws in those from further away. Those include Canada and Europe mainly.

Let’s discuss what paperwork you need to enter Mexico and visit Cabo, such as a passport or alternative documentation.

Traveling to Cabo San Lucas from the U.S.

Depending on where you live in the United States, you may have one or two options.

Road trip and flight options

If you’re looking for a summer road trip and an adventure this can be it. Living in Southern California or neighboring states, driving to Cabo is possible.

Those who live further away or who aren’t interested in a road trip will need to fly to Cabo instead.

No passport required

US citizens can visit Cabo without a passport or a tourist card.

The Mexican consulate does recommend the use of a passport. However, it is possible to travel to Cabo San Lucas from the US without us of one.

Instead, you may use two forms of identification.

  • One document must be valid-official photo identification, such as a driver’s license or any other form of state-issued photographic ID.
  • A second document is a further form of identification. A birth certificate, voter registration card, citizenship card, or certificate of naturalization.

Children and minors traveling to Cabo

The Mexican consulate states that minors do not need to submit a passport. Children and minors do require specific alternative identification such as a birth certificate or naturalization papers.

In the specific case of minors, it is a trickier option. That is due to the lack of state-issued photographic ID available. Therefore, many parents choose to issue a passport instead.

Children are allowed to travel to Cabo with the consent of only one parent. Minors can travel alone to Cabo, but minors under the age of 16 have to have written permission that is signed by both parents or a guardian in either Spanish or English.

This also needs to be signed by a notary, an embassy representative, or local police. This will also be required for a child that travels to Cabo with an adult other than their parents or legal guardian.

Using the border to enter Mexico

When traveling to Cabo from the U.S. by land (i.e. car, bus, etc.,) you may not be required to present a passport at the border.
However, you will require a valid photo ID to return to your home country.

Therefore, it is essential to make sure you have your passport or another form of ID with you when entering Mexico. You will need it to enter back in the United States.

Cabo is more than 20 miles from the US/Mexico border. This means that when traveling by vehicle to Cabo, you will need to stop at an INM or “Instituto Nacional de Migración” office when entering the country to be issued an entry permit. This is referred to as a tourist card or FMM.

You’ll need to provide a valid passport to receive this permit. You’ll also likely need to present an entry permit and passport at checkpoints along your route.

While some countries require your passport to be valid for at least six months, this isn’t the case in Mexico. Visiting Mexico, as long as your passport is valid for the time of your stay, is deemed acceptable.

There are also some special cases that may alter the passport requirement. For example, school children traveling as part of a school trip may not require passports but instead will need a signed, notarized letter from their parents authorizing travel during specific dates.

Traveling to Cabo from Canada and Europe

When traveling to Cabo San Lucas from Canada or Europe, the only option is to fly.

Flying to Cabo, you’ll need a valid passport. It is strongly recommended that the passport will be valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel.

Canadians do not need a visa, so long as their trip to Cabo is for tourism and is not longer than 180 days.

Canadian tourists will require a tourist card that will be stamped at the first port of entry.

British tourists can travel to Cabo without a visa so long as they travel with a valid UK passport, are visiting for tourism purposes, and are staying less than 30 days.

As of next year, UK tourists to Cabo will also be able to fly direct to the region for the first time, meaning that Cabo is more accessible than ever to those in Europe.

Always Double Check!

Lastly, note that at the time of writing, the following information is correct concerning traveling to Cabo. You are required to check with the relevant authorities to meet the entry conditions before your arrival.