Can You Go to Cancún with an Enhanced License?


An enhanced license has become a popular piece of personal documentation for its convenience, as it not only functions as a valid driver’s license but can also function as a passport in certain situations. Much to every American’s dismay, you can’t get into every nation using an enhanced license, which is why many are curious if they can enter the stunning Mexican city of Cancún with one or not. 

A United States resident is permitted to enter Mexico and travel to Cancún using an enhanced license if they are traveling across the United States-Mexican border via land or sea. All travel via air will require a passport. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what travel scenarios allow you to enter Mexico and Cancún using an enhanced license, and why others do not. As you read, you’ll also learn what other forms of documentation you’ll need to travel to Cancún in general and depending on your choice of transportation. 

How Can You Go to Cancún with an Enhanced License?

Traveling can be tricky, and oftentimes, even stressful, especially if you’re unsure what documentation you need to enter your destination safely. The last thing you want is to book your dream trip to Cancún and discover at the Mexican border that you’re not allowed in because of improper paperwork. 

Americans interested in traveling to Cancún who only have an enhanced license can breathe a sigh of relief knowing there is possible to go here as long as they are traveling by land or sea. 

By land, of course, means you’re determined enough to drive thousands of miles from the U.S.-Mexican border to this vivacious city. The best way to do this is to travel to Mexico City and then drive about 30 hours along a road that connects this city to Cancún. 

If you already live near the border, then this is absolutely a feasible option. Of course, that means that the thousands of other Americans who live nowhere near California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, are up for a hefty road trip.

Traveling to Cancún by sea usually involves some sort of cruise. This is the ideal choice for travelers who either prefer to spend the majority of their trip on the water or are aiming to visit multiple coastal hotspots throughout their trip.

Keep in mind that if your goal is to travel using only enhanced licenses, you’ll need to be accompanied by travelers who also have this documentation or travel solo. The alternative is to have an official passport, a NEXUS Card (viable for land, air, and sea travel), a FAST Card (viable for land and sea travel only), or a Sentri Card (viable for land and sea travel only). 

Can You Fly to Cancún Using an Enhanced License?

For most Americans, the fastest and most efficient way to get to Cancún is going to be via plane. Sadly, if you’re flying, an enhanced license isn’t enough.

An enhanced license can be used instead of a passport for domestic flights, but since Cancún is in another country, you will need a passport or a NEXUS card. 

What Other Documentation Do You Need to Go to Cancún?

An enhanced license (or similar documentation) is undoubtedly one of the most important pieces of documentation you’ll need to travel from the United States safely and legally to Cancún, Mexico, but it isn’t the only paperwork you’ll need. 

When traveling to Cancún from the United States, travelers need:

  • An FMM Mexico Tourist Card
  • Visa for Mexico (if applicable)
  • Valid automobile registration (when traveling via land)
  • A return flight ticket (when traveling via air)
  • Documentation proving the purpose of visit (ex. hotel reservation, event tickets)
  • Proof of sufficient funds

According to Mexican travel laws, any tourist is required to show these forms of documentation upon arrival at the Mexican border when requested by an official. 

Individuals interested in traveling to Cancún and staying for more than 6 months will need to go through a separate process and supply additional documentation proving they are cleared for an extended stay in Mexico as a United States citizen.

Final Thoughts

If you’re an American who only owns an Enhanced License, traveling to Cancún is still an option as long as you’re traveling via land or sea. That being said, having a passport or a similar form of documentation will not only allow you to travel via air, but it will open up a plethora of other travel options as well. And remember, your license isn’t the only documentation you need to have on hand, so make sure you have all the paperwork boxes checked off before you embark on your trip to Cancún!

Sources:

https://www.visasmexico.com/Cancún/

https://www.visasmexico.com/entry-requirements/

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/need-passport/us-mexicoborder.html#:~:text=U.S.%20citizens%20must%20present%20a,remaining%20in%20the%20border%20zone.

https://usa.immigrationvisaforms.com/us-passport-alternatives

https://getawaytips.azcentral.com/us-passport-policy-Cancún-travel-2651.html#:~:text=Enhanced%20Driver’s%20License,-In%20certain%20states&text=EDL%20holders%20may%20travel%20to,valid%20form%20of%20international%20identification.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/documents-needed-for-mexico-travel-3150203

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