Mexican Consular ID Card: What You Need to Know to Obtain One

Upon arriving in the United States, many of us are laser-focused on getting the sought-after "Green card" that we forget that there are other very useful ways to establish our identity. One of those documents is the matrícula consular of Mexico, also known as consular ID. If you are unaware of its benefits, read along to review what it’s used for and the requirements to obtain it. Your nearest Consulate of Mexico is waiting for you to obtain yours!

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What is the Mexican Consular ID Card?

The Mexican consular ID is a document issued by the Consulates of Mexico, in the US and abroad. This certifies the nationality and identity of a Mexican national residing abroad. 

The matrícula consular mexicana is similar to the ID issued by the Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE, per its abbreviation in Spanish). It includes a person’s full name, current address, place and date of birth, date of issue and expiration date, as well as the name of the consulate that issued it. The ID comes with the person's photo and signature. 

All consular IDs issued by Mexican Consulates abroad include an electronic chip to validate the authenticity of the document.

What is the Mexican Consular ID Used For?

Regardless of their immigration status, all Mexican nationals who reside abroad —such as in the United States— have the right to be registered at their local consular office. By having this consular registration, a Mexican national can identify himself or herself to Mexican authorities and receive protection in the event of natural disasters, political or social events that may affect their safety. 

Likewise, the consular ID can be used as a means of identification with government institutions. For example, in Arizona the consular ID is already accepted as an official form of identification. This allows Mexican nationals living in Arizona to be able to identify themselves to state and local government departments that way.

In the case of California, some of its cities (including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento) have accepted the Mexican consular ID as an official form of identification for years. And recently it was confirmed that it can also be presented to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Keep in mind that laws change from state to state. To verify if the Mexican consular ID is accepted in your area, first verify the guidelines of the state in which you are located.

Limits of a Mexican Consular ID

Obtaining your Mexican consular ID document can be very useful, and it’s also worthwhile to know where its limits lie. Here are the most common: 

  • It does not give you the same rights as a US citizen
  • It does not change your immigration status in the US
  • It is not accepted as a form of identification to enter the US
  • It cannot be used to enter federal buildings or to take domestic flights
  • It does not allow you to work legally in the US

How Can I Get My Mexican Consular ID?

To complete the consular ID process in the US, it is necessary to schedule an in-person appointment at a Mexican Consulate. To schedule an appointment, call 1-(424)-309-0009 or schedule it through this website

Due to the pandemic, keep in mind that consulates are not operating at 100% capacity, which means that response times may take longer than normal. Consider this when planning your appointment.

Mexican Consular ID Registration if You Are of Legal Age 

  • First expedition: If this is your first time processing your consular ID, you will need to present the documents that prove your Mexican nationality and identification during your appointment at the corresponding consulate. Remember to bring along your proof of address and the payment receipt. 
  • Renewal: To renew a consular ID, you will be required to present the original matrícula consular that is no longer valid. In the event that the address has changed, it is necessary to bring a receipt that includes the new address and is in the applicant’s name. Finally, the corresponding payment must be covered.

Mexican Consular ID Registration if You Are a Minor

People under 18 years of age must attend their appointment in the company of their parents or guardians. To carry out this procedure, the documents that prove the nationality and identity of the minor must be presented, as well as the authorization of both parents (this format is provided at the consular office), the parents' identifications and the receipt of payment.

Requirements to Obtain a Mexican Consular ID

Below find the requirements to prove your identity and nationality, in case it is the first expedition of your Mexican consular ID.

Ways to Prove Your Nationality

To request your consular registration for the first time, you must present one of these documents in their original version as proof of your Mexican nationality for both adults and minors: 

  • Birth certificate of Mexico
  • Certificate of Mexican nationality
  • Declaration of Mexican nationality by birth
  • Mexican naturalization letter
  • Mexican passport

Likewise, it is necessary to prove your identity by presenting one of the following documents in its original form. Remember that the personal information must match the data of the document that proves your nationality.

Ways to Prove Your Identity for if You Are of Legal Age 

  • Valid Mexican passport 
  • Voting credential issued by the INE
  • National Military Service Card 
  • Professional license
  • Job title 
  • Certificate of Mexican nationality
  • Declaration of Mexican nationality
  • Naturalization letter
  • Mexican driver's license
  • Washington, Alaska, or Idaho driver's license
  • Official identification issued by the state of Washington, Alaska or Idaho
  • Primary or secondary certificate with photograph and official seal
  • Certified ballot from any school year with photograph and official stamp
  • US Residence Card (“Green card”)
  • IMSS, ISSSTE or any other Mexican institution credential

Ways to Prove Identity if You Are a Minor

  • Valid Mexican passport 
  • Primary or secondary certificate with photograph and official seal 
  • Certified ballot from any school year with photograph and official stamp 
  • Student ID
  • Proof of degree of studies
  • Official identification issued by the US government
  • US Residence Card (“Green card”)

Children under the age of 7 years can present medical records with a photograph and seal of a medical institution as valid forms of ID. 

When the consular ID of a minor is processed, both parents must present a valid official identification, with a photograph and signature. In addition, the names recorded on the identifications must match the name that appears on the minor's birth certificate. 

Finally, the corresponding payment receipt and an original proof of address that is in your name is required. This includes all the information about the place where you live (street name, number, city and zip code).

8 Frequently Asked Questions About the Mexican Consular ID Registration 

Below please find recurring questions about the process of obtaining a Mexican consular ID.

8. How Long is a Mexican Consular ID Valid For? 

5 years. 

7. How Much Does the Process Cost? 

The cost of the Mexican consular ID is $33.

6. How Soon Can I Receive My Consular ID? 

The same day as your appointment. 

5. How Can I Make an Appointment Online to Get a Consular ID? 

Visit the appointment scheduling portal here

4. What Are My Options if I Don't Have Proof of Address Under My Name? 

If you have money transfer receipts that have your full name and address on them, you can present those as proof of address. 

  • In case you live with a relative: You can present proof of address under that person's name plus the birth certificate that demonstrates how you are related. 
  • If you do not live with a family member: You can ask someone to mail a letter to your home, and you can present that as proof of address as long as it has the postage stamps. 

3. Is There a Problem if I Changed My Last Name After Getting Married? 

When the form of identification appears with the spouse's last name, it is necessary to present the original marriage certificate in order to process the consular ID. 

2. What Should I Do if My Mexican Consular ID Was Lost or Got Stolen? 

You must report the theft or loss to your local police department and present the printed report when you go to the consulate for your appointment. 

1. Is it Possible to Process the Consular ID of a Minor Without the Authorization of One of the Parents? 

No. In the event that one or both parents cannot appear in person for the appointment, the authorization form can be signed from Mexico (through the nearest SRE delegation) or abroad (at the closest Mexican consulate).

Obtain Your Consular ID Today!

If you don't have your consular ID yet, get started today! Locate the consulate nearest you and get in touch to obtain your document. Note that you need an email account to schedule your appointment online. In case you don't have one yet, follow the step-by-step process in this guide.

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