Carry Your ID in Puerto Vallarta
Would you drive without your driver’s license in the country of your origin? Probably not, and if you were stopped, there’d be a nasty fine to pay. So, why would we think it’s any different, carrying ID when traveling? It doesn’t matter where you are, if you don’t have your identification on you, it could spell trouble, and in Puerto Vallarta that would be FMM for a tourist and normal ID for anyone else.
This is a question that has arisen countless times in the past couple years. We have been asked by friends who visit if there is a chance they might be asked for ID on any occasion. You must have your passport when changing money at a bank or any other money exchange. This is not new; we’ve been doing that for decades.
Some people are not crazy about carrying their passports around town, especially to the beach and out to bars at night. That’s fine. Carry a copy. However, it must be in black and white. As innocent as you may think you seem, authorities don’t always see it that way. They might think a color copy is someone’s attempt at forging a counterfeit copy of a passport. Black and white doesn’t matter to them because they know it’s a copy.
Here is the important part. The FMM is the bottom piece of the form you filled out when coming through immigration, be it by air, sea or auto. You are expected to keep that precious piece of paper and relieve it with the proper authority when you exit the country. You do not want to lose it or you’ll pay a fine and possibly be held up for a lengthy time (and in some cases miss a flight). Make a black and white copy of this, as well. There are many bars in the US and Canada, where you will not be admitted if you can’t show proper ID. We have been told it’s okay to take photos of your passport and FMM with your phone and show that if you are stopped at a border or asked for your identification.
If you see a road block, chances are they are only asking for ID; be polite, stay calm, and do as the officers ask. Same as you would do in your home country.
Que es cómo es.