Required Documents to Fish in Mexico Waters

These four documents are required to fish in Mexico waters aboard privately owned boats

Mexico offers many excellent fishing alternatives, inshore, nearshore and offshore, just south of the U.S. border. Mexican law requires anglers aboard privately owned boats to carry four documents when crossing the border by water to fish within 12 miles of Mexico’s coast, even if the boat doesn’t make landfall in Mexico.

fishing off Mexico's Pacific coast
If you want to fish here for the variety of saltwater species available, you need certain government-issued documents. Illustration by Mile Garces

If you plan to travel into Mexican waters by boat, you’ll need the following documents.

Subscribe Now and Save 63%
Limited time offer. Salt Water Sportsman for iPad included. Gift subscriptions available.


Passport: Everyone on board must carry a valid passport.
Fishing License: If the boat has fishing gear on board, everyone, regardless of age, must have a valid Mexican fishing license, available online at A nonresident annual license is $40.93 USD. One-day, seven-day and one-month licenses are also available.
Immigration Visa: Boat captains are required to pay 390 pesos ($21.93 USD at current exchange rate) online at The captain must report vessel entry and departure from Mexico by email ([email protected]) and provide the list of passengers on board by filling out a form available at
Vessel Temporary Import Permit: The application for this 10-year permit is available online at The cost is $45 USD when paid online.


Email Newsletters and Special Offers

Sign up for Salt Water Sportsman emails to receive features on travel destinations, event listings and product reviews as well as special offers on behalf of Salt Water Sportsman’s partners.

By signing up you agree to receive communications from Salt Water Sportsman and select partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You may opt out of email messages/withdraw consent at any time.