Canadians need passport to visit Mexico as of March 1

Canadians will need a passport to enter Mexico as of March 1, the country’s tourism board advises.

Canadian passport

Canadian passport

TORONTO — Canadians will need a passport to enter Mexico as of March 1, the country’s tourism board advises.

Canadian citizens have been able to visit the country with just a birth certificate plus photo ID, but that is changing as Mexico “aligns its entry requirements to the rest of North America,” said Alfonso Sumano, the Mexico Tourism Board’s regional director for Canada.

Out of the 1.2 million Canadian tourists who visited Mexico last year, about 10,000 — or less than one per cent — did not have a passport, Sumano said.

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Department says it strongly recommends that Canadians travelling to Mexico carry a passport “to avoid delays and misunderstandings” and to ensure they will be allowed to board their return flight.

Most airlines refuse boarding to Canadians wanting to return home from Mexico without a passport, the department says.

The department also says Canadians should exercise “a high degree of caution” in Mexico due to high levels of crime and violence throughout the country.