Traveling between the U.S. and Mexico

Crossing the U.S./Mexican border requires a little more planning than a trip to the mall. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to bring.

Traveling into Mexico

Mexican citizens:

  • A valid passport.

Non-Mexican citizens:

  • A valid passport OR Enhanced Drivers License OR Certificate of Indian Status (for more information on acceptable forms of identification, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website).
  • Your ticket for your trip back to the states (or another destination out of Mexico).
  • The address of where you’ll be staying in Mexico.

A word of warning: If you don’t have the correct documents for your trip, you won’t be allowed to board the bus because you would be denied entry at the border and would have to buy your own ticket back. So make sure you have everything you need before you board.

When you reach the Mexican border, all passengers need to get off the bus and collect all their belongings, including checked baggage. You’ll be asked by immigration what the reason is for your trip, and they may want to inspect your baggage.

To reduce the time needed at the border, we may collect Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) details from you when you first get on the bus.

Once the border checks are all done, you can return your bags to be loaded onto the bus and be on your way.

Children traveling into Mexico will need proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Mexican law states that any non-Mexican citizen under 18 years old who is entering Mexico must be accompanied by an adult, and if the adult is not a parent or guardian, they must have notarized written permission from a parent or guardian (and carry this with them).

It’s fine to bring food across the border if in its original, sealed packaging, but you’re not allowed to carry fresh fruit, meat or vegetables. There are also certain regulations on dairy products, flours and raw cereals.

Traveling into the U.S.

U.S. citizens:

  • Valid U.S. passport OR
  • Enhanced Drivers License OR
  • Other WHTI-Compliant ID (see full list on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website).

Non-U.S. citizens:

  • Mexican citizens need a valid passport AND visa.
  • Foreign nationals need a valid passport AND visa (depending on country of citizenship).
  • A round trip ticket.
  • The address of where you’ll be staying.
  • An I94 form (which you'll get from the immigration officer). More info about the form on the U.S. Customs & Border Protection website.

If you don’t have the correct documents for your trip, you won’t be allowed to board the bus because you would be denied entry at the border and would have to buy your own ticket back. So make sure you have everything you need before you board.

When you reach the U.S. border, all passengers need to get off the bus and collect all their belongings, including checked baggage. You’ll be asked by immigration what the reason is for your trip, and you may have your bag searched.

To reduce the time needed at the border, we may collect Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) details from you when you first get on the bus.

Once the border checks are all done, you can return your bags to be loaded onto the bus and be on your way.

Children traveling into the U.S. will need proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Under U.S. law, children under 18 aren’t allowed to travel into the U.S. without an adult.

Mexican law also states that any non-Mexican citizen under 18 years old who is leaving Mexico unaccompanied must carry notarized written permission from a parent or guardian.

There are some restrictions on agricultural products you can bring into the U.S. from certain countries. This is because they may carry pests or foreign animal diseases that may threaten U.S. crop production and livestock. To see what foods you can and can't bring into the U.S., please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

If you do bring agricultural products from Mexico into the U.S. you will need to declare them.

A few more tips for your trip

We've put together a few travel tips to help you get the most out of your journey with Greyhound.