Oct 13, 2009, 6:43 AM
Post #13 of 17
Yes, Maritsa, I think it IS changing, slowly, due to computerization. When flying out, there is now a fine if you don't have your FMT (tourist card) to turn in, whereas a few years ago, it was more common for airline counter clerks to just wave you through. I'm not sure if they check for expiration date. Probably not, during busy times, or in certain places. The fine for not turning in your FMT on exit by air is around 450 pesos, in case you've lost it or inadvertently tossed it out. Someone, somewhere reported that although he has a FM-3, he comes in on a tourist visa. That is illegal and the authorities sometimes "go nuts" over it. They can tell on the computer, I think, if you have an FM-3. Once my FM3 expired while I was traveling so I came in on FMT and went to migracion the next morning with my boarding pass, turned in my FMT and renewed my FM3. I got scolded. They did not like it and said I should have renewed my FM3 in USA. If I had waited a few days or longer, I think there would have been a fine. It really DOES pay to know and obey the rules. Easier, cheaper all around.
I don't come and go by land, which I understand offers different experiences. But I think with computerization, Mexico is getting a lot more organized re FM3 holders. At least in my experience. It's much easier to find an agent in the airports to stamp your FM-3 when exiting, for instance.