The American Citizen Services (ACS) Unit of U.S. Consulate General Tijuana provides a wide range of services to U.S. citizens visiting or residing in the Baja California region of Mexico. The ACS Unit issues passports, registers U.S. citizens born in Mexico, performs notarials, and provides assistance to U.S. citizens arrested in Mexico and to the families of Americans who pass away in our consular district, which includes the Mexican States of Baja California and Baja California Sur. Our Consular Agency in Cabo San Lucas handles services for U.S. citizens in the Cabo San Lucas/ La Paz region.
Additional travel information can be found at http://travel.state.gov
Recommendations for visitors and residents
- When hiring a service or buying any product, verify the established conditions and require the corresponding invoice or receipt.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Do not bring firearms or narcotics into Baja California.
- Always use your seatbelt.
- Obey all road signs and traffic laws.
- 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.
- Be careful in the water. There are strong currents at some beaches. Use life vests, and don’t eat or consume alcohol before swimming.
- When buying medication, be sure there is no restriction on its purchase.
- On your trip through Baja California highways, you will find military check points. They are for your own safety.
- It is strongly recommended that during your visit to Baja California you purchase a full coverage insurance policy that includes bail. In case you are involved in an accident, call the insurance company and wait for its representative.
- You do not need to pay any temporary importation fee for your car while visiting Baja California.
- Remember that the laws in Baja California and Mexico are applied both to its nationals and foreigners. Do not forget to respect them.
If you get sick, you can contact a consular officer for a list of local doctors, dentists and medical specialists. We recommend that you obtain private medical insurance before you travel to cover the high cost of a medical evaluation in the event of an emergency.
U.S. Consulate Tijuana can help you find medical assistance and, at your request, notify your family or friends of your condition.
If it is an emergency we recommend that you call 911 from within Mexico to contact emergency services.
You may also request the lists by e-mail at: ACSTijuana@state.gov or by telephone at (011-52-664) 9772000 (during working hours).
American Citizens Services cannot recommend a particular physician and assumes no responsibility for the quality of service provided.
More information can be found on the Department of State site at Medical Information for Americans Abroad.
If you lose your money and/or other financial resources, or are robbed, the Consulate can help you contact your family, bank, or employer to arrange for them to send funds.
To transfer funds through the State Department, information is available on the State Department Website.
The fastest way to provide money from the U.S. to Mexico is to use a commercial service. Several companies offer such a service including Western Union. Your family in the U.S. can visit Western Union’s website for a list of procedures and requirements by clicking here.
What Receivers Need
In order to collect the money, senders must provide the cash recipient with:
- The 10-digit confirmation number
- Full (and correct) name and telephone number of the sender
- Name, address and telephone number of the Western Union office in the U.S. from which the money was sent.
Cash recipients must bring a passport or other valid photo identification.
If you are aware that a U.S. citizen has been arrested in the states of Baja California or Baja California Sur, please ask the authorities to notify the U.S. Consulate Tijuana immediately.
Though consular staff are not able to provide legal assistance, they ensure that detained citizens are treated humanely and without mistreatment. Also, consular staff can assist by contacting family members or friends who may be able to help, as well as providing a list of Local Attorneys (PDF 222KB).
Consular staff visit imprisoned American citizens on a regular basis. During these visits, they monitor jail conditions, observe the overall health of the citizen, and provide dietary supplements and reading materials.
List of Translators
ENGLISH SPANISH TRANSLATORS
(List as of September 2016)
The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana and U.S. Consular Agencies assume no responsibility for the integrity or professional abilities of persons whose names appear in this listing. The order in which they appear has no significance.
Guns are Illegal in Mexico
Don’t bring firearms or ammunition across the border into Mexico.
Don’t carry a knife, even a small pocketknife, on your person in Mexico.
You may become one of dozens of U.S. Citizens who are arrested each month for unintentionally violating Mexico’s strict weapons laws.
If you are caught with firearms or ammunition in Mexico…
- You will go to jail and your vehicle will be seized;
- You will be separated from your family, friends, and your job, and likely suffer substantial financial hardship;
- You will pay court costs and other fees ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars defending yourself;
- You may get up to a 30-year sentence in a Mexican prison if found guilty.
If you carry a knife on your person in Mexico, even a pocketknife . . .
- You may be arrested and charged with possession of a deadly weapon;
- You may spend weeks in jail waiting for trial, and tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fines;
- If convicted, you may be sentenced to up to five years in a Mexican prison.
Claiming not to know about the law will not get you leniency from a police officer or the judicial system. Leave your firearms, ammunition, and knives at home. Don’t bring them into Mexico.
Death of a U.S. Citizen Overseas
The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana can assist family and friends in the event of the death of an American Citizen in the Mexican states of Baja California and Baja California Sur. It is critical that families contract a funeral home to help them carry out their funeral arrangements. The Consulate maintains a list of funeral homes in Baja California and the border region of companies that have been recommended by families of American citizens who have used their services.
Although Consulate staff are unable to act as an agent for American citizens making funeral arrangements, we can help locate and notify the next of kin of their loved one’s passing, inform families about the Mexican legal requirements for claiming a loved one’s remains, identify remains in certain cases and assist in shipping personal effects to the States.
The next of kin must pay all costs of the funeral home, shipment of remains or personal effects and carry out the funeral arrangements with assistance from the funeral home they contract. Please be aware that Mexican authorities will often request identification documents for both the next of kin and the decedent, such as passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates. The funeral home will advise each family what is likely to be needed.
Even if no assistance is needed in understanding funeral arrangements , the death of an American citizen, whether resident or tourist, should be reported to the Consulate so that the officers can issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad (the official U.S. death certificate for U.S. citizens who pass away overseas). This document is necessary to settle legal and estate matters in the U.S. In order to prepare this document, the Consulate will often need the next of kin to provide certain documents, such as a copy of the Mexican death certificate or United States passport. A consular officer will explain to the next of kin what is needed in each case.
Sport Fishing in Baja California
U.S. citizens should be mindful of immigration and permit requirements when traveling into Mexican waters by private boat. Likewise, the U.S. Consulate 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 s/he is in compliance.
As part of the Government of Mexico’s efforts to manage the environmental impacts of sport fishing along the Baja California peninsula, they are increasing enforcement actions. 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 visiting Mexico by private boat, please refer to this guide on entry requirements. (PDF file, 3 MB).
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: