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Tourists Should Be Aware Of These Basic Laws Before Visiting Mexico


What better way to spend your vacation than on a Caribbean beach in Mexico. Vacationing in Mexico portrays an illusion that traditional laws and rules do not apply, Mexico is regarded as a vacation destination where you can let loose, with no boundaries and no consequences, think spring break in Cancun. However, you should be aware that the local Mexico laws apply to you as a visitor as they do to all Mexican citizens, and it is your responsibility to respect them.

If you commit a serious felony, your country or consulate cannot interfere in the Mexican legal or judicial processes.  They cannot get you out of jail, and they can not demand special treatment for you should you be arrested. Those in violation of Mexico’s laws risk being expelled, arrested or imprisoned.

A few laws a tourist may not be aware of when vacationing in Mexico;

  • Foreigners must have a valid tourist card or a resident visa to be in Mexico; it is illegal to overstay your visa.
  • Vehicle insurance is mandatory in Mexico if you are renting a car you need insurance with liability coverage.  Consider purchasing a policy which includes legal representation and the cost of bail bond from a service provider who is available 24 hours a day.
  • Many tourists come to Mexico to indulge and take in the nightlife, but did you know it is illegal to be drunk and disorderly in public, even in Mexico.
  • It seems logical but drunk driving is a serious crime in Mexico; foreigners do not get any special privileges regarding drinking and driving, and if you cause an accident you will end up in jail.
  • Under Mexican law, possession and trafficking of any illegal drug is a federal offense; you may be fined or imprisoned.

To avoid any issues with a controlled medication, carry a copy of your prescription or doctor’s note with you.

  • Considering some countries allow their citizens to carry guns, we should advise you guns and weapons are illegal in Mexico.  It is also advisable you leave your pocket knife at home.
  • Going fishing? Any boat carrying fishing gear in Mexican waters must hold a valid fishing license for each person on board, regardless of age and whether they are fishing or not. A fishing license is not required when fishing from land.
  • Foreigners should not get involved in political activity including, demonstrations or protests. Foreigners who engage in this type of activity may be asked to leave the country.

If you are arrested or detained in Mexico, ask the police officials to notify your Embassy or Consulate immediately, they will notify your family or friends and put you in touch with a local Mexican lawyer.