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The Government of Mexico requires that all U.S. citizens present proof of citizenship and photo identification for entry into Mexico. The U.S. Embassy recommends traveling with a valid U.S. passport to avoid delays or misunderstandings. A lost or stolen passport is easier to replace when outside of the United States than other evidence of citizenship. However, U.S. citizenship documents such as a certified copy (not a simple photocopy or facsimile) of a U.S. birth certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Citizenship are acceptable. Driver's licenses and permits, voter registration cards, affidavits and similar documents are not sufficient to prove citizenship for readmission into the United States.

As of December 31st, 2007 you must have a passport to travel to Mexico. Your U.S. Drivers license will no longer be accepted for re-entry into the United States. For more information see The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

What You Must Declare
When you come back, you will need to declare everything you brought back that you did not take with you when you left the United States. You must state on the CBP declaration, in U.S. currency, what you actually paid for each item. The price must include all taxes. If you did not buy the item yourself—for example, if it is a gift—get an estimate of its fair retail value in the country where you received it. If you bought something on your trip and wore or used it on the trip, it’s still dutiable. You must declare the item at the price you paid or, if it was a gift, at its fair market value. You must declair items such as:

Items you purchased and are carrying with you upon return to the United States.
Items you received as gifts, such as wedding or birthday presents.
Items you inherited.
Items you bought in duty-free shops, on the ship, or on the plane.
Repairs or alterations to any items you took abroad and then brought back, even if the repairs/alterations were performed free of charge.
Items you brought home for someone else.
Items you intend to sell or use in your business.

Duty-free Personal Exemption Limits
The duty-free exemption, also called the personal exemption, is the total value of merchandise you may bring back to the United States without having to pay duty. You may bring back more than your exemption, but you will have to pay duty on it. In most cases, the personal exemption is $800, but there are some exceptions to this rule, which are explained below.

200 Cigarettes
50 Cigars or 250g of Tobacco
2 Litres of wine
1 Litre of Spirits (>22% alcohol by volume)
60cl of perfume

Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs can only be imported from Tijuana if you have a prescription from a US doctor (90 day supply only). Prescriptions written by doctors in Tijuana or other cities in Mexico are no longer considered valid. Medications are available over the counter in Mexico at considerable savings. Most tourist areas have several high-volume pharmacies per block. Amounts purchased must be for personal use, not for resale.

Prohibited Items
Lottery tickets, narcotics and dangerous drugs, obscene articles and publications, seditious and treasonable materials, hazardous articles (e.g., fireworks, dangerous toys, toxic and poisonous substances), switch blade knives, drug paraphernalia, and many meats & fruits (see customs for a complete list). Cuban cigars are legal in Mexico and readily available everywhere in the border area, but cannot be brought into the United States.
For a complete list of restricted or prohibited items click here.

For more information on re-entry into the United States visit the U.S. Customs and Border protection website.

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