Nearly two million Canadians visit Mexico each year for business or pleasure (and often both), making it the second most popular tourist destination for Canadians, according to the government of Canada website. Prior to 2010, Canadians could visit Mexico with a government-issued identification such as a driver's license and birth certificate, however, times have changed, and since the United States phased in the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, travel document requirements for Canadians traveling in North America have become more stringent.
Canadians who wish to visit Mexico nowadays do need to present a valid passport.
Canadian citizens who do not hold a valid passport will not be allowed entry into Mexico and will be returned to Canada. Some countries require visitors to hold a passport which is valid for several months beyond the time of entry; this is not the case for Mexico. Mexican authorities do not require a minimum period of validity of passports. However, your passport must be valid at the time of entry and for the extent of time you are planning to remain in Mexico.
Requirements for Canadian Residents
If you are a permanent resident in Canada but not a Canadian citizen, you should present a Resident Card, and a Certificate of Identity, or Refugee Travel Document. It is also advisable to carry a passport from the country of which you are a citizen. Airlines may refuse to allow boarding to travelers who do not carry the proper identification. If you have any questions about travel documents and other entry requirements for visiting Mexico, contact the Mexican embassy or consulate nearest you.
The passport requirement for Canadian travelers to Mexico came into effect on March 1st, 2010. Since that date, all Canadian citizens need a valid passport to enter Mexico. A passport is the best form of international identification and having one can help prevent hassles! Here is the official take on the matter from Passport Canada's website.
If You Lose Your Canadian Passport in Mexico
If your Canadian passport is lost or stolen while you are traveling in Mexico, you should contact the Embassy of Canada, or the consulate of Canada nearest you in order to obtain an emergency replacement travel document. The Embassy of Canada is located in the Polanco district of Mexico City, and there are consular agencies in Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, Cancún, Guadalajara, Mazatlán, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Playa Del Carmen, Puerto Vallarta and Tijuana. Depending upon your circumstances, and at the discretion of the Canadian consular officials, you may be able to obtain a temporary passport, which is a travel document that will allow you to continue your trip, but will need to be replaced upon your return to Canada.
Emergency Assistance for Canadians in Mexico
If you experience an emergency situation while traveling in Mexico, remember that the emergency phone number is not 911, it is 066. You can also receive bilingual assistance from the Ángeles Verdes by dialing 076. They offer both roadside assistance for people driving in Mexico as well as more general tourist assistance.
You should also keep the emergency phone number of the Canadian Embassy on hand. It is (55) 5724-7900 in the greater Mexico City area. If you are outside of Mexico City, you can reach the consular section by dialing 01-800-706-2900. This toll-free number is available throughout Mexico, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.