Travel Tips

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Do You Need A Passport To Go To Cozumel? (By Land, Sea, or Air!)

Planning a trip to Cozumel? Find out if you need a passport for travel by land, sea, or air, and get tips on the necessary documentation.

Tobi Miles
July 1, 2022
Do You Need A Passport To Go To Cozumel? (By Land, Sea, or Air!)

Cozumel, Mexico, is a stunning beach destination that offers plenty for travelers to see and do. Between the relaxing white-sand beaches, captivating scuba diving, and vibrant nightlife, Cozumel is a must-see destination.

International travel can be tricky when determining the correct documentation needed to enter the destination country and re-enter the United States.

If crossing the border by land, sea, or air, a passport is required to travel to Cozumel, Mexico. A passport is not needed for closed-loop cruises that start and end in the United States. Closed-loop cruises will only require government-issued identification with proof of citizenship.

For visits shorter than six months, a visa is not required, however, additional documentation is needed to enter Mexico. Before arriving in Mexico, ensure your Official Mexico Tourist Card is completed and have a bank statement and proof of a return flight. Those visiting Mexico from the U.S. Military on active duty with official orders are exempt from providing a valid passport.

Do You Need a Passport to Travel to Cozumel?

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A valid passport is required for travel to Cozumel, Mexico, the majority of the time. You must have a passport if you are traveling through an air, land, or sea border crossing. Your U.S. Passport must be valid at least six months from its expiration date. While a valid passport is always the safest route to ensure entry to Cozumel, there are some exceptions to this rule, including:

  • U.S. Military personnel traveling on official military orders. Military personnel must present their orders and military identification in place of a valid passport.
  • Merchant Mariners serving as marine officers do not require a passport to enter Cozumel. Mariners must present documentation stating they are serving as an officer.
  • Visitors who are arriving and departing on closed-loop cruises. These cruise ships will start and end their journey within the United States while stopping at various international ports.

Guests traveling on closed-loop cruises to Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean can come back to the United States with simple proof of citizenship. Often, a birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, and government-issued photo ID are enough for entry.

Please note that certain cruise lines, including Carnival, Celebrity, Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America still require a valid passport, even if the beginning and ending ports are within the United States.

What Documentation Is Required for U.S. Citizens?

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In most cases, a valid passport is required to visit Cozumel, Mexico. U.S. citizens must issue special documentation to enter Cozumel along with a valid passport (or other necessary military documentation or birth certificate).

In addition to a passport, U.S. citizens will need:

  • Proof of Return Flight Citizens will need to show evidence of a confirmed return flight and justify the purpose of their visit.
  • Proof of Funds - U.S. citizens must show they have sufficient funds to cover the duration of their stay. Acceptable documentation includes a financial bank statement.
  • Official Mexico Tourist Card - This document is also called the Entry Immigration Form, or FMM for short. Any foreign citizen visiting Mexico must complete this form before arrival. Every person of every age must complete registration. This form is free of charge and can be completed online prior to arrival.

Failure to complete any of the above forms can result in denied entry to Cozumel, Mexico. Of course, before traveling internationally, it is a good practice to check with the local areas to ensure the proper documentation is completed, submitted, and approved.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Cozumel

What Are the Covid-19 Restrictions for Entry and Re-Entry?

Covid-19 has changed how the world travels, and individual cities, regions, and countries maintain their regulations regarding Covid-19 testing requirements. Always be sure to stay up to date on constantly evolving Covid-19 procedures worldwide.

Entering Cozumel

Travelers do not need to present a negative Covid test to enter Cozumel, Mexico. There is also no regulation stating a traveler must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter Mexico. Please follow safe guidelines surrounding this disease.

If you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have recently recovered from Covid-19, refrain from traveling. Further, if you have been exposed to Covid-19, do not travel until you have a negative test result.

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, do not travel to Mexico within ten days of the positive test result. For those who contract Covid-19 while in Mexico, be sure to have a safe area to isolate until you can produce a negative test result properly.

Entering The United States

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Returning to the United States after traveling internationally can be more complex. If you are traveling via air, a negative Covid-19 test is required. Travelers must have a Covid-19 viral test no more than one day before traveling to the United States. A negative test result is needed to board a flight into the United States. A negative test is required for all passengers aged two and older.

Luckily, Cozumel, Mexico, has several locations throughout the city that provide viral Covid-19 testing. Most tests will cost about $25, and results are available in under 30 minutes. Many resorts in Cozumel, Mexico, have testing centers onsite.

Those that have recently recovered from Covid-19 may still test positive, despite recovering. In these cases, a document from a licensed healthcare provider will be accepted instead of a negative Covid test.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen or a Non-U.S. Immigrant returning to the United States, you must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. You must show proof of your vaccination for entry into the United States.

This requirement means travelers must have an approved vaccine and wait the mandatory two weeks between vaccinations and after the final vaccination.

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Mexico's Riviera Maya

Do I Need a Passport If I am Not a U.S. Citizen?

Permanent residents of the United States who are not citizens must present a valid passport to enter Cozumel, Mexico. Residents from other nations arriving in Cozumel must also present a valid passport for entry. The passport must be issued from their citizenship country and valid at least six months from the expiration date.

Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Cozumel?

For most people traveling to Cozumel, Mexico, a visa is not required. If you are staying for six months or less, a visa is not necessary. However, more extended stays that exceed six months do require a visa. In addition, a separate work visa is required for entry to the country if you are in Cozumel for work.

Is a Driver’s License Enough to Travel to Cozumel?

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In most cases, simply having a driver’s license will not be enough to enter Cozumel. For the majority of land, air, and sea crossings, a valid passport book or a passport card is required.

In the case of closed-loop cruises, a valid government-issued driver’s license can be acceptable as long as proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate, is also provided.

Related Read: 20 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Cabo San Lucas

Will a Real ID Be Enough to Enter Cozumel?

Similar to a driver’s license, a Real ID will likely not be enough identification to enter Cozumel. The majority of visitors will need a valid passport book for entry.

If traveling on a closed-loop cruise, a Real ID is acceptable if paired with proof of citizenship. For travelers crossing into Mexico via land or air, a Real ID alone will not be enough for entry into the country.

Do Children Require a Passport to Travel to Cozumel?

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The same passport rules that apply to adults also apply to children. If a child is entering Cozumel through a land or air crossing, they must have a passport.

In addition, children under the age of 16 not traveling with a legal guardian will need documentation to enter the country. A signed authorization document is required if the child is crossing with an adult that is not their legal guardian. This document is also needed if the child is crossing the border unaccompanied.

Related Read: 20 Best Beaches in Mexico for Families

Can I Drive in Cozumel?

It is very easy to rent a car in Cozumel, Mexico, as long as you have a valid driver’s license from your country of residency. Mexico’s traffic laws are similar to those in the United States, and automobiles drive on the right side of the road. Travelers may want their license translated to Spanish with an International Driver’s Permit.

Be aware that many major automobile insurance companies in the United States do not cover accidents that occur in Mexico. Be sure to check your individual policy before renting a car in Cozumel.

What Vaccinations are Required for Cozumel?

There are no vaccinations officially required for entry to Cozumel. However, the CDC advises that travelers are up to date on standard vaccinations. At a minimum, ensure that your vaccinations are updated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, rabies, typhoid, meningitis, MMR, polio, Tdap, shingles, chickenpox, influenza, and pneumonia.

A Covid-19 vaccine is strongly recommended for travel to Cozumel but not required. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, a Covid-19 vaccine is necessary for re-entry to the United States.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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