Immigration & Visas, Transportation

Replacing Your Lost or Damaged Mexico Residency Card

If you discover that your Mexico residency card is lost, or it becomes damaged beyond use, you'll need to enter a special process to request a replacement card

Residency Cards and Travel Documents

If your Mexico residency card becomes lost or damaged beyond use, you’ll need to replace it.  The procedures for doing this differ depending on whether you are in Mexico or abroad when your card is lost or becomes unusable.

Replacing lost or damaged residency cards

To show that you’re legally resident in Mexico, you need to present your residency card, either Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente.

Many foreign residents in Mexico use this card as a form of official ID on a day-to-day basis, and the card must be presented in situations where you are asked to prove your residency status for some official reason—for example, when you open a bank account.

The card also needs to be presented at the border just before you leave Mexico and again when you return.  If you fail to show your residency card when you enter the country and get admitted as a tourist/visitor this may jeopardize your residency status altogether.

For these reasons, a lost residency card needs to be attended to in short order.  How you go about doing this depends on whether you are in Mexico when you discover the loss, or traveling outside of Mexico.

Replacing a lost card when you are in Mexico

If you discover that your residency card is lost, or becomes damaged to the point of being unusable, when you’re in Mexico, you will need to attend your local INM office to get it replaced.  If you are outside of Mexico when you discover the loss, see the next section about replacing a lost card from outside of Mexico.

Damaged card only

If the card is damaged and you still have the card, take that with you to the INM and begin the card replacement process—that is identical to the lost card process, except that you won’t need a police report.

Lost/stolen residency card

If the card is lost, you will need to enter a specific process to get your card replaced:

  • You must report the loss at the local Ministerio Público, and get a  report reference number.  After filing the loss, you’ll get a stamped copy of the report on paper, which you will need to take to the INM office.
  • You must attend the same immigration office in Mexico that issued your card; so if you are in Mexico but visiting or traveling away from your ‘home base’ you will need to return to your local office to begin the card replacement process.
  • There are forms to complete, and a letter to write explaining the situation, and you’ll need copies of your passport and, if you have a copy of your card (both sides) this will help, too.  You’ll also need to go to the bank to pay a card replacement fee.
  • When the paperwork is gathered, you’ll need to attend your local INM office to file the request for a card replacement.
  • They will probably interview you to ask more about the circumstances surrounding the loss of the card(s).  If they don’t issue the replacement the same day, they will give you a receipt and the system will send you an email when the card is ready to pick-up—this can take 2-4 weeks.
  • You cannot leave Mexico while this replacement process is in train.  You must stay until your card is replaced.

Get practical support when you need to replace your Mexico residency card

If you need assistance with the residency card replacement process, whether you are in Mexico or outside of Mexico when you discover the loss, our associate’s Mexico Immigration Assistance service can help.  They’ll talk you through the procedures in detail and provide practical help with all the forms, letters, etc. to facilitate your procedures as you make your own way through the card replacement process.

Learn more about the service and make a request here

Replacing a lost card when you are outside of Mexico

If you are abroad when your residency card is lost, you will need to enter into a process to begin to get it replaced before you return to Mexico.  The process begins at a Mexican consulate.

  • Report the loss to the local police and get a report number.
  • Visit or make an appointment at your nearest Mexican consulate.  All consulates world-wide can deal with lost card replacement requests.
  • The consulate will ask you for details about the loss, ask you to complete some paperwork, and you’ll need to pay a consular fee.  Be sure to have the police report with you.
  • You will need to leave your passport with the consulate so that they can place a residency visa sticker in the passport.  You will use this visa to re-enter Mexico and afterwards request a new card via your local INM office when you return to Mexico.
  • When you arrive in Mexico, you must present this sticker to the border official and attend your local INM office in short order (before the visa’s expiry date) and begin the card replacement process, that is similar to the process for exchanging a visa for a residency card.

Get practical support when you need to replace your Mexico residency card

If you need assistance with the residency card replacement process, whether you are in Mexico or outside of Mexico when you discover the loss, our associate’s Mexico Immigration Assistance service can help.  They’ll talk you through the procedures in detail and provide practical help with all the forms, letters, etc. to facilitate your procedures as you make your own way through the card replacement process.

Learn more about the service and make a request here

Learn more about residency in Mexico

Mexperience publishes information and resources to help you learn about how to apply for and obtain legal residency in Mexico: