Mexico's new passport law takes effect next month February 22, 2010 6:36 AM Jared Taylor The Monitor McALLEN Foreign travelers will have to show a passport when traveling to Mexicos interior beginning next month. The new requirement takes effect March 1 and is expected to create few problems, given that all U.S. and Canadian travelers heading to Mexico already need a passport to re-enter their home countries, said Miriam Medel, spokeswoman for the Mexican Consulate in McAllen. We are not doing this to hassle Americans or bother them, she said. It is to have better order, be more organized and provide better services. Travelers destined for Mexicos border cities, such as Reynosa or Nuevo Progreso, will not need passports to cross. But travelers flying from Reynosa to Mexico City, or taking a bus to Monterrey, for example, will be required to show their passports to immigration officials, Medel said. When traveling overland, passports will be checked at the interior checkpoints about 13 miles from the border. If you are just going shopping (along the border) or just to the dentist, you dont need it, Medel said. The U.S. State Department began requiring all travelers including citizens at land and sea ports to present passports upon arrival at customs in June 2009. Air travelers already were required to present passports and U.S. permanent residents already had to present their permanent resident card upon arrival at U.S. customs. U.S. or Canadian citizens traveling into Mexicos interior still need to obtain a tourist card from an international crossing or port of entry to legally travel beyond the border area, Medel said. Travelers returning to the U.S. or Canada within seven days can get a tourist card at no cost; otherwise a six-month tourist card costs about $20, she said.