U.S. Citizens Services

Security Alert – Cartel Violence (April 23, 2021)

The American Citizen Services (ACS) unit of U.S. Consulate General Tijuana serves U.S. citizens in Baja California and Baja California Sur.

  • New Passport Applications:  Make an appointment.  If you cannot find an available appointment, please check again later as new appointments will continue to be added.
  • Passport Renewals:  Eligible applicants may submit an application and supporting documents in person on any working day from 8am – 11am.
  • Pending Passport Applications: If you have questions regarding a prior passport application with U.S. Consulate General Tijuana that is pending further processing, please use our contact form.
  • Consular Reports of Birth Abroad
  • Notary: Make an appointment.  If you cannot find an available appointment, please check again later as new appointments will continue to be added.
  • Emergencies:  If you have a life/death emergency and require a passport or notary service, please use our contact form and explain the nature of the emergency in the space provided.  Please be advised that you will not be allowed to enter the Consulate without a previously scheduled appointment.

These lists are provided as a resource to U.S. citizens for local service providers in Baja California and Baja California Sur.  The U.S. Consulate General Tijuana cannot recommend a particular service provider and assumes no responsibility for the quality of services provided.

Baja California state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state. Particularly notable is the number of homicides in non-tourist areas of Tijuana. Most homicides appeared to be targeted; however, criminal organization assassinations and turf battles can result in bystanders being injured or killed.

Due to poor cellular service and hazardous road conditions, U.S. government employees may only travel on Highway 2D between Mexicali and Tijuana during daylight hours.

There are no additional restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California, which includes tourist areas in: Ensenada, Rosarito, and Tijuana.

Baja California Sur state – Exercise Increased Caution

Exercise increased caution due to crime.

Criminal activity and violence occur throughout the state, including in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Bystanders have been injured or killed in shooting incidents related to criminal organization turf battles. Petty crime occurs frequently in tourist areas.

There are no restrictions on travel for U.S. government employees in Baja California Sur, which includes tourist areas in: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and La Paz.

Essential Travel Advice

  • Be careful in the water. Strong currents and large swells can lead to dangerous conditions for even the most experienced swimmer. Pay attention to flags and warning signs posted on the beach which indicate if it is safe to swim, and do not consume alcohol before swimming.  U.S. citizens have drowned in rip currents and tourists walking along the shore have lost their lives after being pulled off into the water by rogue waves.
  • Do not bring firearms, knives, or ammunition (even used shells) into Mexico—all are illegal and will result in an arrest.
  • Carrying any form of marijuana into Mexico, even with a prescription or medical marijuana license, is a Mexican federal offense and can be considered as international drug trafficking.
  • Vehicle accidents are commonplace. Always use your seatbelt.
  • Exercise extreme caution if participating in off-roading activities.
  • Remember that the laws in Mexico apply to both to its nationals and foreigners. You must respect them.
  • There are long stretches of roads with limited services across Baja California and Baja California Sur —plan for this and exercise caution when stopping in sparsely populated places for any reason.
  • Don’t leave valuables visible in your parked car.
  • Always carry a valid I.D.
  • No police officer is authorized to accept money.  Traffic fines must be paid at the nearest Police Department Office.
  • You may encounter military check points on the highways. They are for your own safety.
  • It is strongly recommended that you purchase a full coverage auto insurance policy during your visit to Mexico that includes funds for bail. If you are involved in an accident, call the insurance company and wait for its representative.
  • It is strongly recommended you purchase medical insurance that covers you while travelling abroad, including for medical evacuation.

Sport Fishing

U.S. citizens should be mindful of immigration and permit requirements when traveling into Mexican waters by private boat. Likewise, the U.S. Consulate General recommends that all individuals on board vessels used for sport fishing, including passengers on commercial and charter boats, understand the entry requirements and permits needed before traveling. Each individual is responsible for making sure they are in compliance.

The Government of Mexico is increasing enforcement actions as part of an effort to manage the environmental impacts of sport fishing along the Baja California peninsula.  U.S. citizens should expect inspection of the required immigration documents and fishing permits. Please be advised that the presence of fishing equipment onboard a vessel could be interpreted as intent to fish, which would trigger the requirement for a fishing license. Failure to comply could result in confiscation of vessels and possibly detention of travelers.

If you are planning a sports fishing excursion, or if you plan to be a passenger aboard a private, commercial or charter vessel used for sports fishing, please visit the following for permit information:

http://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/sandiego/

http://www.sportfishinginmexico.com/

http://www.californiasportfishing.org/ 

U.S. Vehicles Stolen in the United States:  The Vehicle Recovery Unit in Tijuana assists U.S. citizens recover their vehicles stolen in the United States and recovered in Mexico. The Consulate General in Tijuana serves as a liaison between the Mexican authorities and U.S. citizens and/or their insurance carriers.

If your vehicle was stolen in the United States and you were informed it was found in Mexico, please send the following information about your vehicle to mexcarrecovery@state.gov :

  • Vehicle Make
  • Vehicle Model
  • Vehicle Year
  • VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Date stolen report was filed
  • Contacting agency (did you hear about your vehicle from law enforcement or an insurance company?)
  • Location of the vehicle
  • Your name and contact information

U.S. Vehicles Stolen in Mexico: Immediately report the theft by calling 911. You must then immediately visit a District Attorney’s office to obtain a police report. You may follow up on this report through the Office of Stolen Vehicles of the Baja California State Attorney General known as PGJE (The PGJE is the Mexican institution responsible for crime investigation and prosecution at a federal level), PGJE contact information is available at https://www.pgjebc.gob.mx/unidades-rv/. The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana does not have any official role in the recovery of vehicles stolen inside Mexico. We recommend having at your disposal the following documentation with official translation into Spanish:

  • Vehicle Title
  • Valid vehicle registration
  • Valid driver license or identification
  • Your name and contact information
  • A full list of translators can be found HERE.

U.S. Vehicles Seized by Mexican Authorities:  If your vehicle was seized by Mexican law enforcement within 30 miles of the Mexico-United States border or in Baja California, you will need to contact officials in the city where your vehicle was seized and follow their instructions. The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana does not have any official role in the recovery of vehicles seized by Mexican law enforcement.

If your vehicle was towed (for parking in a red zone, for example), you will need to contact the Municipal Police in the relevant municipality.

If your vehicle was seized by the police for being used in a crime or as a party to an accident, you should contact the District Attorney’s office.

Typically, when dealing with local officials, you will need to present original and Spanish translations of the following documents:

  • Valid vehicle registration
  • Valid driver license
  • Valid license plate number
  • Your name and contact information
  • A full list of translators can be found HERE.

In addition, you will often be required to pay fines connected with the seizure and storage fees. Storage fees generally run about $7-10 a day. Other penalties will vary.

Only registered owners or individuals with a power of attorney from the registered owner may recover a vehicle held by Mexican law enforcement. Typically, vehicles must be recovered within 45 days of seizure.

If your vehicle was seized more than 30 miles from the Mexican-Unites States border and not in Baja California, you may want to consider hiring local legal assistance to help you in recovering your vehicle. The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana does not have any official role in the recovery of vehicles seized by Mexican law enforcement. A list of attorneys can be found HERE.

If your vehicle was seized by Mexican Customs authorities, please follow the instructions provided by that authority to reclaim your vehicle. The U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana does not have any official role in the recovery of vehicles seized by Mexican Customs. You may wish to secure legal assistance. A list of attorneys can be found HERE.

Other inquiries may be sent to mexcarrecovery@state.gov along with the following required information:

  • Vehicle Make
  • Vehicle Model
  • Vehicle Year VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • Your name and contact information

U.S. Consulate General Tijuana

Business hours:  7:30 am to 4:15 pm
Email: Contact Form
Telephone:
Mexico: 81-4160-5512
United States: (844) 528-6611
Fax: 011 52 (619) 955-6053
After-Hours Emergencies involving U.S. citizens:
Mexico: 55-5080-2000
United States: 844-528-6611.

U.S. Consular Agency Los Cabos

Business hours:  8:30 am to 1:00 pm
Email: Contact Form
Telephone:
Mexico: 81-4160-5512
United States: (844) 528-6611
Fax: 011 52 (619) 955-6053
After-Hours Emergencies involving U.S. citizens:
Mexico: 55-5080-2000
United States: 844-528-6611.