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 Moderated by: bartmanaz  
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bartmanaz
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All visitors to Mexico are required to obtain a tourist card, properly a Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM).  These forms are available at border crossings on the Mexican side. Look for the Imigracion or Migracion office.  The fact that you may get a green light from customs or even waved on after a customs inspection does not relieve you of the responsibility to get your FMM. 

The FMM is valid for a maximum of 180 days and cannot be renewed.  It can be used for multiple visits to Mexico within the validity period.  Upon departure or expiration, the forms must be turned in at a border Imigracion office.

There is no charge for the FMM for visits of 7 days or less.  From 8 - 180 days, there is a fee that is about $22-23 dollars depending on exchange rate.

To assist you in completing and understanding the form, we have posted it online in a document format with instructions in English that you can open, print and take with you to help fill out the form.  Click Here to open the document.

Bart

kensue12
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Thanks bartmanaz! Now you won't have to answer that question in my post from a few minutes ago.

B.Bailey
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Bart - I guess I've been lucky. When Mexico declared "Sonora Only" I was told by a guy at Km. 21  " you don't need a visa , FMM card , tourist card - whatever it is called for "Sonora Only". Now I know better. Thanks. My question is if you pay for a 180 day visa and are there for only a few days but will be coming back in the next week or two - do you still have to turn in your paper on departing or keep your visa and be sure to turn it in before the 180 days expire. 

juanstua
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When I got my visitors permit in october they date  stamped my passport.hoping I can reenter in may?  

bartmanaz
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For BB, the FMM is good for multiple entry/exit til it expires and should be turned in before the expiration date.

For juanstua, October to May is more than 180 days.  Best hi thee to a consulate or the border and surrender before your expiration in March.

Bart

Cole4
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What if you are planning on staying for 6 days so you don't pay the FMM tourist fee when you get your toursit card, but then you extend your stay past the free 7 days.

bartmanaz
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My understanding is it can be extended to the maximum of 180 days.  Based on that understanding and review of the information available, it would be your responsibility to report to the nearest Migracion office and get it extended before the 7 day expiration period and pay the fee.

My advice would be that if that possibility exists, you would be well advised to get the FMM for 180 days and pay the fee in the first place.

If anyone has any practical experience here please share it.

Bart

applegrower
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I heard yesterday that one is limited to one 180 day pass a year. Do you know if this is correct? We come down several times a year and if this is true, we need to rethink our plans.
Thanks

bartmanaz
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As far as i know that rule is not enforced.  Anybody else have experience with this?

 

Cole4
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Are you able to pay for the FMM card with US currency?  Are people still able to use US currency at the local shops in San Carlos or have money exchanged at the Banamex?

TheColoradoDude
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I was issued a 6 month FMT(nowFMM)in November of 2009. It was set to expire on May 20, 2010. On May 15th or so I drove to KM21 and was issued another now FMM for 180 days. I left to the USA late June and turned that in. Recently I obtained another 180 day FMM in December at KM21. I have yet to hear a story of someone being denied another FMM after the 180 stay is up. I follow this topic rather closely on several different Message boards including BajaNomads.

As far as the US currency question. They can exchange dollars for pesos at KM21 although not sure of the rate. You can get pesos at the current exchange rate from your own bank. Some places are still taking US dollars but from my understanding they have cracked down on the amount a local business can deposit in US dollars per week so it is best just to get them before hand or us your ATM card in town. I hope this helps.

bartmanaz
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You can pay for an FMM with Us currency at Banamex at KM21.  Other places i can't say.

This thread is about the FMM.  If you have other $$ questions, start a new thread, please.

nice guy
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I came down yesterday (Feb 2) - my FMM expiration date was Feb 22 so I stopped for a new one. I gave her the old one (an FMM issued under the new computerized rules), she cancelled it & gave me a new one for 180 days. I paid at the bank, back to immigration, she stamped it and I left. No issues. Maybe a different person on a different day does different things - who knows - it's Mexico. I'll take some variation to not have all the paranoia up there.

There are 4 BIG signs just before Km21 clearly stating the requirement to stop at immigration and get a permit. Three in Spanish but the meaning is obvious even if you don't know a word of Spanish, the last one is in very plain English. I didn't have a camera with me or I'd have taken photos to post here.

So let's not hear anymore - "Oh, I didn't know." If you don't have one - you didn't get one on purpose.

Last edited on Thu Feb 3rd, 2011 04:29 pm by nice guy

RichD
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Thanks for the first hand report Nice Guy.  Clears up a lot of questions.

scirocco
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Another question I don't think was answered, If you have 180 day FMM and you leave Mexico with the expectation of returning halfway thru your 180 day period and you are unable to return to Mexico and turn in your permit. Can you turn it in at your local consulate?

bartmanaz
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Simple solutuion would be call the consulate and ask them.

Bart

kensue12
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Bart, you said we must turn in our FMM forms at a border Imigracion office. Do we just turn them in to the Mexican boarder people as we cross, or do we need to go into "a border Imigracion office" somewhere at the border?

onthehook
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If you're talking about the US Consulate, regarding Mexican visas, you'll probably get the answer that they don't deal with Mexican visa issues. They will probably direct you to the Mexican authorities.....or maybe a Mexican Consulate in the US.
Our Consulate may, informally, give you an answer, but when those questions have been asked before (involving Mex. issues) they have directed you to the source- the Mexican gov't. Our Consulates deal with American issues.

bartmanaz
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You need to turn them in at Imigracion wherre you cross.  I've turned in both at Naco and Nogales 21km

Bart

taoswheat
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Where at Naco?

bartmanaz
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Just south of Bisbee, AZ. 

Bart

taoswheat
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I am sorry Bart- I did not ask the right question.  I have been through Naco a number of times, but  do not know where the Mexican office for leaving FMMs is located.  We usually wind up on a street that parallels the border fence and then turns right to cross the border if I remember correctly.  No obvious Mexican immigration office.

bartmanaz
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The office is immediately on the right just before you cross going back into the US, right under the awning over the border crossing.  You'll need to stop short and walk to it.

Bart

Timothy B.
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Good evening,

Sounds like Taoswheat is describing the AP-Douglas crossing even though he says Naco.

If you are actually crossing at Naco, Barts info is right. If you are crossing at AP then that is different.

Timothy B.

taoswheat
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Thanks Bart and Timothy,
I had a senior moment because we did use AP once.  Naco was my real interest and Bart answered my question.

MARIGOT
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On the border, crossing into Douglas, AZ, in the USA.

bartmanaz
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Marigot

The crossing at Douglas is from Agua Prieta, not Naco.  The Naco crossing is between A-P and Cananea and is opposite Naco, AZ, just south of Bisbee.

For details on these crossings, see http://www.riosonora.com

Bart

justgeorge
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we drove in 5 months ago and will return before the 180 days are up, but will be busing out of the country on the overnight Tufesa.  do you know if it stops at km21? If that is "sometimes:, is there a place in Guaymas to turn it in?

MARIGOT
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Bart-
Sorry I 'mis-wrote' in my post. 
I have crossed at Naco, so I know where it is. But because I drove straight to Douglas after crossing, and the distance was so short, my memory put Douglas right across the border from Naco.

Had I the option of deleting my post, believe me, I would have deleted it rather than appear the idiot.

Shipwreck
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Last visited SC three weeks ago entered thru K21.

I filled out the FMM for 4 days and it was issued for 7 free of charge, the officer said, so long as I didnt stay longer it was ok.

She insisted I return to K21 to hand in my FMM when leaving or I could be refuse entry and a heavy fine next time. She stamped my passport and when I left I returned the FMM and my passport was stamped exit.

When you return at K21 you have to cross the road and go to the office that stamped you out, then cross the road again to head north.

 

no problemo less than 2 minutes.

maryt
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We entered 3 days ago after Christmas in Phoenix. Did not turn in our FMM when we left Mexico. Stopped at K21 and got new ones because our old ones would have expired before we are ready to leave again. No problem getting new ones even though we had not turned in the old. Only problem for me was that this time they were processing the FMM's and taking the money in the immigration office and when he directed me to the line further ahead I misunderstood and went to the bank. That was a long line of people waiting to get vehicle permits. After a while, I discovered my error, returned to the proper line and got the paperwork stamped and paid my money. I believe they were doing it this way to make it go faster for people who only needed visas and not vehicle permits.

Blaker
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Bart
After 180 days if you choose to stay can you renew for another 180 days ???

bartmanaz
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No-you have to return to the border, turn in the expiring one and get a new one.

Blaker
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I understand ... however 180 turn i .......180 turnin
what is the limit to live there
tks Bart

bartmanaz
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I'm sorry but do not understand ur question

Blaker
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Bart

after getting FMM for 180 days and wanting to stay another 180 or a total 1yr is this possible Im looking to lease condo for a year and try living San Carlos to see like it
thanks
Blake

bartmanaz
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Yes you can get another 180 day FMM but you have to return to the border to turn the old in and get a new one.

Blaker
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Tks Bart !!

CJ
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Question: If you return to the US during the 180 day validity period once per month for 3-4 days and return to San Carlos, do you turn in your FMM and then retrieve it where??? Or are you required to purchase a new FMM every time you come and go? We are property owners new to San Carlos and business requires us to return to the US for a few days each month.  We are attempting to seek out proper sources for the most up tp date information for our FMM and what cannot be brought into Mexico. Thanks.

Ian948
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When we were in same situation we used one FMM for 180 days and just went up and back without handing in or getting new.
Worked fine
:)

bartmanaz
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As long as your FMM has not expired, it can be used for multiple entries into Mexico.

Bart

Maggy
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I have a Permanente residente visa that is good forever ( that is until the laws change again!!!!).Have been trying to find out if I have to stop at Km 21 and get my passport stamped coming into Mexico and going out of Mexico every time  like I used to do with the FM3????????

palmadita
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We have Residente Temporal and when we stopped at Km 21 a few days ago, in order for our friend to get her FMM, the agent there told me that we need to get our passports stamped on the way in, and then stamped at the US border on our way out. That might just be the whim of the moment.

jimmyjack
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What is KM21?? A place 21km's across the border? Took me 2 hours to get my last tourist visa thingy in 2011

bartmanaz
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Yes, KM21 is a place on MX 15 south of where the roads from the downtown and truck crossing merge.  It is very large and well marked as the location to get tourist cards.  It can get busy, especially during the holiday season.

Bart

jimmyjack
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Took 2 hours 2 years ago Dec 22 at the boarder! U think this other place will be faster? Thanks
jim

bartmanaz
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I have no idea what the traffic will be like on your arrival.  Sorry but seeing the future is not one of my talents.

jimmyjack
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thats not the word on the streets:)
Just wondering witch place is the fastest?
thanks

Blaker
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BartDo you have to go back to border to renew 180 ?

bartmanaz
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Yes-you need to return, turn in the old one and get a new one.

TravelLover
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Is it true if you're caught in Mexico without purchasing your FMM that you can be fined $1,000 USD? I was told this by someone last year who is fluent in Spanish and seemed to be in the know. On Facebook there were people from the US living in Mexico who never bothered getting one and told others to do the same. I warned them about the $1,000 fine but no one believed me. I responded that it doesn't matter if it's true or not, it's simply not worth the risk especially since the FMM is so cheap.

dukie
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Hi Batmanz,
I clicked on the link to the FMM form but it took me nowhere.  Any ideas?
Thanx Dukie 

Jax
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Bart,

I was in Mexico in May - I was told the 180 day FMM was only for people going and staying - not for going back and forth to Mexico during the time.

Is that right? Or is it one of those, "Rules for the day"?

horseylady
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I don't know if posting reply to first post is correct, or not.  I apologize.  Reading rules for FMM and I may have a problem.  We were in Baja last year starting January and out end of March  We did not turn our FMMs in.  We were negligent, I guess.  We are thinking of leaving Florida and heading out to go to San Carlos, probably going in through Nogales.  We have been afraid due to cartel activity but the heck with it.  Do we have a problem and is there a way to correct it?  We are not at home (Virginia) and don't have anything but passports with us.  My inclination is to just go and hope for the best.  We're seniors and maybe they will take pity on us?

ezmony
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No worry----most folks don't turn them in.

Come on down the water is fine!!!!!!!

horseylady
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Thanks.  We're in an RV.  Do you think we will have a problem finding a place to stay?  Or, should I post this elsewhere?

ezmony
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No problem---check this website for info on rv parks and if you feel the need----call them. But you will find plenty of room at the inn.

bachrachj
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I was asked by a friend about a guest that they had come down a couple of days ago on the bus. It seems that the driver went past immigration and this person is here without an FMM. My friend asked me if they had to take her back to KM 21 to obtain one and I told him that I believed that this was the case. Can you confirm this so I can pass along a correct or confirmed answer? I've picked up our car permit at the Empalme station but I'm pretty sure that's for cars only and the FMM is a border thing. Thanks for your help all.

MARIGOT
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You are correct.  
The visitor must return to km 21, Mariposa or DiConcini crossing to get the FMM.  The sooner, the better.

bachrachj
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I will pass this along. Muchas gracias.



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