U.S. Department of State Requirements for Tourists Re-Entering the United States

As a result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), travelers who enter the U.S. must have a standardized form of identification to show the traveler’s identity and citizenship.

Traveling by Air

Tourists traveling to Mexico by air must have a current U.S. passport to re-enter the U.S.  Also, Canadian citizens entering the U.S. from Mexico must also have a valid Canadian passport.

For more information about getting a US passport, click here.

Traveling by Land or Sea

Since June 1, 2009, all tourists entering Mexico by land or sea are required to present a valid US passport or other valid WHTI travel document to enter the United States.

Unfortunately, this requirement has proven to be somewhat unenforceable. As a result, adult travelers are allowed to return to the U.S. if they present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, and a document that demonstrates citizenship, such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate, a U.S. passport card, or another accepted WHTI form of identification.

Be aware that when you do not have a passport or passport card, your re-entry to the United States may be delayed by the customs confirmation process.

U.S. Passport Card

Also referred to as the “pass card,” the new U.S. passport card is available for issue to U.S. citizens, and may be used as a valid travel document for individuals returning to the U.S. by land or sea.  The passport card may not be used for international air travel.  Click here for more information about the passport card.

Additional WHTI Forms of Citizenship and Identification

  • Trusted Traveler Cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST)
  • State Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (when available)
  • Enhanced Tribal Cards (when available)
  • U.S. Military Identification with Military Travel Orders
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in
    conjunction with official maritime business
  • Native American Tribal Photo Identification Card
  • Form I-872 American Indian Card