Passport needed for cruise to Mexico? and how long to get it?

My family is going on a cruise to Mexico this January. I’ve heard they changed the rules regarding traveling to other countries, and now you need a passport to go to Mexico. However, I believe this is if you are traveling over land/air, not by boat.

Do you need a passport if you are on a cruise ship making stops at cities? I plan on getting on anyway, just curious. Also, how long does it usually take to process? I’m planning on going today, because I’ve heard they are really behind with passport stuff…

Ask the Man —>

It might depend on where it’s registered. Although Americans, we have to get one for a Hawaiian cruise because the ship’s of Norwegian registry.

Beginning in January, you’ll need a passport regardless of how you’re traveling to Mexico. Apply for your passport now. It’s taking the government a minimum of three months to process passport applications.

If you’re applying for a passport for the first time, you’ll need to apply in person and you’ll have to have a certified birth certificate as proof of US citizenship. A certified birth certificate has a registrar’s raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar’s office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. They will not consider a photocopied or faxed birth certificate as sufficient proof.

I would also suggest you do it now. They are so backed up because of the new rules, it is taking far more time than it used to. My husband was flying to mexico and with six weeks notice and having paid for it to be rushed, it didn’t make it in time. Fortunately, they were accepting proof of receipt of application to reenter the country.

If I were you, I’d go down there next week and take care of it. You will sleep better.

A bit of advice; get there early. The lines fill up fast and can move horrendously slow. Also, if you’re bringing the required 2 photos with you, make sure they’re the right size. My wife and daughter were applying, got photos at Kinkos and not only theirs but probably half the people we saw applying were rejected because they didn’t fulfill the stated dimensions (not just the pic size, but that of the person’s image). They can take your pic there, although it may be a bit more.

One more thing, if you’re taking kids under a certain age, both parents must apply for the child’s passport in person, obviously an attempt to prevent child custody dispute flights.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll get it done ASAP next Monday morning- there’s a place not too far away but I’ve been wanting to get there as early as I can in the morning (to minimize the line-waiting). Already have my birth certificate and photos done, just hope to god they’re the right size! :stuck_out_tongue:

[hyjack]When I read this, my mind started screaming cite. But about 1 minute of googling shows you are correct.
Why is this? if you are never leaving the US, why do you need a passport? This would be similar to flying KLM from LA to New York and needing a passport for the trip.[/hyjack]

Beats me. We’re flying direct from the US mainland to the islands where we’ll then board the ship for a cruise within US waters, be we still have to have passports because the ship is registered elsewhere. Go figure.

Welcome to the beguiling world of maritime law. I don’t know all the details, but the flag you sail under counts for a lot.

I thought I’d hijack this thread instead of starting a new one. I used to have a passport but it expired years ago. I hadn’t used it since 1994. Two moves since then, and I can’t find the old one anywhere. I know it didn’t get stolen, but it could have gotten accidentally thrown away during one of the moves.
Now I need a passport for a trip next spring. I was looking at the online application and was appalled at some of the questions they ask on the application, because I don’t have the answers. For instance, I was divorced almost 30 years ago. They want my previous husband’s name (I know that of course, except I don’t remember his middle name) and they want his birthdate and his birth place, neither of which I know. I think I’m screwed. I don’t even know where I might have gotten that information the first time I applied for a passport about 17 years ago. Do they really need that information for a marriage that happened that long ago? Yikes.

I see they have a form you have to fill out if you’ve lost your passport. Does anyone know if that still needs to be filled out if the passport has expired? It expired before it was lost.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

Get it ASAP. Ours actually went through in a MONTH, but considering they last ten years there’s really no reason not to get one now.

Don’t know if any minors are going on this trip, but I would add that if they ARE, they need written permission from the other parent (if they’re not also going on the trip) to leave the country. They detained my sister for a good 20 minutes when we tried to cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago.