Documents required for Children
We have traveled extensively throughout Mexico with our children. In the 25 years of travel with kids of various ages, our experience says
- the regulations are unevenly enforced AND
- that the rules are continuing to get more stringent.
We therefore highly recommend that children carry a passport regardless of age or requirements and that you carry authorizations letters, custody papers and any other document you feel may be requested by officials.
There are a number of factors that determine the documents required for children entering Mexico.
By far a passport is the best document to carry for identification into Mexico. We highly recommend a passport for children – regardless to whether it is required – when traveling with kids.
Children must now produce a passport when entering Mexico by air.
Via Land or Sea
Canadians or Americans 16 and older are required to carry a passport or a passport card.
Children up to the age of 15 may present proof of citizenship alone; birth certificate, a consular report of birth abroad, a naturalization certificate, or a Canadian citizenship card.
Parental Authorization Letter (Under 18)
Mexico requires an authorization letter if the minor (under 18) is NOT traveling with both parents. Minors traveling with one parent or other relatives or guardians must show a notarized letter from the other parent granting permission to allow the child to enter Mexico.
Mexican law requires that if only one parent (or grandparent, or other guardian) is accompanying a minor under 18 into Mexico, they must bear a notarized letter from the child’s other parent (or guardian) granting permission to enter Mexico with the child. The letter must include a notarized signature, the dates of travel, the accompanying adult’s name and contact information.
If only one parent is traveling with the minor, it is advisable to carry documents proving that they have legal custody of the child.
The minor must be carrying the original letter as well as proof of the parent/child relationship, usually a birth certificate.
Exceptions to this rule:
- In the case that only one parent’s name appears on the birth certificate, that parent’s authorization is sufficient, along with presentation of the birth certificate or passport.
- If one parent has sole custody of the child, a court order must be presented.
- If a parent is deceased, the death certificate should be presented.
Example Letter of Authorization for Travel
I (parent’s name), authorize my child/children, (child/children’s name) to travel to (destination) on (date of travel) aboard Airline/Flight # (flight information) with (accompanying adults), returning on (date of return).
Signed by parent or parents
Notary Public Signature/Seal
Call the nearest Mexico Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date requirements.