Information for Residents and Visitors
Emergency passport services for U.S. Citizens
In an emergency, a consular officer can usually issue a replacement passport within 24 hours. However, the replacement passport will be limited in duration, and you will have to replace it with a full validity passport before traveling again. If you believe your passport has been stolen, first report the theft to the local police and obtain a copy of that report. Under routine circumstances, you must be a resident of Mexico to obtain a passport at the Consulate General Tijuana.
Help Finding Medical Assistance
If you get sick, you can contact a consular officer for a list of local doctors, dentists and medical specialists. We recommend that you obtain private medical insurance before you travel to cover the high cost of a medical evaluation in the event of an emergency.
Help Getting Funds
Should you lose all your money and other financial resources, a consular officer can help you contact your family, bank, or employer to arrange for them to send you funds.
Help In An Emergency
Your family may need to reach you in Baja California because of an emergency at home or because they are worried about your welfare. In such cases, concerned family members should call Tijuana Consulate General at 011-52 (664) 977-2000. After hours or on weekends, one can call the emergency answering service at (619) 692-2154 or, as a last resource, the Office of Overseas Citizens Services in the U.S. at 1-888-407-4747 (during business hours) or 202-647-5225 (after hours).
Visit In Jail
If you are arrested, you should ask the authorities to notify the Consulate General. Consular officers cannot get you out of jail. When you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. Consular officers can work to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against. They can provide you with a list of local attorneys, visit you, inform you generally about local laws, and contact your family and friends.
Arrangements after the death of an American
When an American dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the American's family and informs them about options and costs for the disposition of the remains. Costs for preparing and returning a body to the U.S. may be high and must be paid by the family. Often, local laws and procedures make returning a body to the U.S. for burial a lengthy process. A consular officer prepares a Report of Death based on the local death certificate. This is forwarded to the next of kin for use in estate and insurance matters.
Help in a Disaster/Evacuation
If you are caught up in a natural disaster or civil disturbance, you should let your relatives know as soon as possible that you are safe, or contact a consular officer who will pass that message to your family. Be resourceful. U.S. officials will do everything they can to contact you and advise you. However, they must give priority to helping Americans who have been hurt or are in immediate danger. In a disaster, consular officers face the same constraints as you: lack of electricity or fuel, interrupted phone lines, closed airports, etc.
Please Observe These Recommendations
- When hiring a service or buying any product, verify the established conditions and require the corresponding invoice or receipt.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Do not bring firearms or narcotics into Baja California.
- Always use your seatbelt.
- Obey all road signs and traffic laws.
- Don't leave valuables visible in your parked car.
- Always carry a valid I.D.
- No police officer is authorized to accept money.
- Traffic fines must be paid at the nearest Police Department Office.
- Be careful in the water. There are strong currents at some beaches. Use life vests, and don't eat or consume alcohol before swimming.
- When buying medication, be sure there is no restriction on its purchase.
- On your trip through Baja California highways, you will find military check points. They are for your own safety.
- It is strongly recommended that during your visit to Baja California you purchase a full coverage insurance policy that includes bail. In case you are involved in an accident, call the insurance company and wait for its representative.
- You do not need to pay any temporary importation fee for your car while visiting Baja California.
- Remember that the laws in Baja California and Mexico are applied both to its nationals and foreigners. Do not forget to respect them.
You can be arrested for:
- Disturbing the peace or being a public nuisance
- Drinking in public
- Nudity or immoral conduct
- Use, production, or sale of false documents
- Possession, introduction, or use of any weapon
- Possession, introduction, or consumption of restricted drugs (Note: Most drugs that are restricted in the U.S. are also restricted in Mexico.)
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs
- Causing an auto accident or injuring someone
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