This article will provide guidance on how two serve legal papers in Mexico.  The Hague Service Convention, which Mexico ratified on November 2, 1999, and whose provisions went into effect on June 1st, 2000, may be used to complete Mexico Process Service. Due to its objection to Article 10 of the Hague Convention, Mexico does not allow service via postal channels, and any other method of delivery is prohibited. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

International Process Service

México has a number of articles that it does not agree with.  Additionally, a subpoena cannot be served under the Hague Service Convention, but must instead be served under the Hague Evidence Convention.


Similar to the US federal court, the Mexican Federal Judiciary has a three-tier structure. All state and federal appeals courts answer to the Supreme Court (Supreme Corte de Justicia de la Nacion). Circuit Courts are federal appeals courts. District courts and jury courts are the federal tribunals of the first instance (Jurados Populares Federales). Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

Tax Court (Tribunal Fiscal de la Federacion), Labor Courts (Juntas de Conciliacion y Arbitraje), and Military Courts are all federal entities in Mexico that are not part of the normal federal court system (Tribunales Miltares). Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

Disputes stemming from violations of individual guarantees by state and federal authorities or laws, disputes between states or a state’s and federal authorities, disputes involving all federal laws and treaties, disputes to which the federal government is a party, and disputes involving members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps fall under federal courts’ purview. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

‘Amparo’ suits (juicio de amparo), on the other hand, are one of the most significant types of cases that federal courts in Mexico hear. Legally, the term incorporates elements of various common law proceedings, including the writ of habeas corpus, injunction, error, mandamus, and certiorari of the common law tradition. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Translating the petition into Spanish is a necessity for Mexico Process Service. It is required to ask for an original citation or summons from the clerk of the court where the case was filed. Request for Service Abroad should be sent to Mexican Central Authority in both original and translated English versions of the petition as well as complaint and citation

Under Article 5, Mexico requires all documents that are served in a language other than Spanish to be accompanied by a Spanish translation.  The proper forms and payment for Mexico Process Service are sent to the Central Authority in Mexico. Once the documents are sent to the Central Authority, one will not receive any updates until the proof of service or non-service is sent back to the office. Despite its proximity to the United States, the Hague Service Convention places Mexico among the countries with the greatest wait times. They have a stringent set of rules and may reject a document as per Mexico Process Service  reasoning


Mexico is a signatory to the Hague Service Convention in 1999, although it only went into effect in 2003. Mexico identified the Directorate-General of Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as its Central Authority in its instrument of accession4 and opposed to other means of service under Articles 8 and 10 of the Convention. The English courtesy translation of Mexico’s Article 10 declaration gave the impression that Mexico’s objection was restricted to alternate modes of service under Article 10 when they were attempted ‘through diplomatic or consular personnel.’ Article 10’s original Spanish statement makes no mention of this. Article 10’s alternative service methods are all met with a resounding refusal.

Mexico’s position on formal service of process has changed. Now, in addition to the formal Hague Service Convention request, Mexican courts need the submission of Letters Rogatory. Letters Rogatory are letters sent by a local court to courts in the jurisdiction where documents will be served, pleading for their assistance. Although it is time-consuming and difficult to implement, this practice is now required by the Mexican government. 

The Central Authority, which is mandated by Mexican law to administer the Mexico Process Service, will handle it. Three to five months is a common duration (recently 4 months). In Mexico, only this method may be used for Mexico Process Service.


Service via an agency is also a possibility, but the government of Mexico will not recognize it. Mexico is not bound by decisions made in the United States. In cases where decisions need to be enforced, Mexico Process Service through an agent might be an alternative, since the time and expense are much lower than via the Hague Convention.

Despite the fact that Mexico is a signatory to the Hague Convention on the International Service of Process, it is more difficult to serve Mexico Process Service there than in many other nations. To minimize unnecessary delays and expenditures, it is vital that all papers and translations be handled appropriately. One must follow the proper Mexico Process Service procedures based on the situation and the expected result when serving.

Mexico is a party to the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra Judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters. Directly to Mexico’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention, requests should be sent in triplicate with two sets of the papers to be served and translations. Either an attorney or a court clerk should complete the request form in the United States. Attorney at law or clerk of court should be included in the applicant’s name and address and signature/stamp areas. Mexico has officially protested to Mexico Process Service under Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention and does not authorize service via postal channels, as stated in its Declarations and Reservations to the Convention. Mexico’s ratification to the Hague Service Convention stipulates that service via the Mexico Central Authority is the only way that may be recognized by the United States courts.

As a signatory to the Hague Convention on the collecting of evidence abroad in civil and commercial cases, Mexico is bound by its obligations. When crafting the letter, it is helpful the Hague Model Letters of Request of Evidence Convention for guidance. Requests for evidence coercion from the United States are sent directly to the Mexican Central Authority under the Hague Evidence Convention and do not need diplomatic communication. Make two copies of all Mexico Process Service, including the letter of request and any accompanying documentation, if at all feasible. 

There are various methods of acquiring evidence that Mexico considers unacceptable under Articles 17 and 18, which are included in the Convention.


The Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol, to which both the United States and Mexico are signatories, likewise includes both countries. The Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Foreign Litigation in Washington, D.C. serves as the primary U.S. authority on the treaty. Under the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol (IACRLP), the US Department of Justice’s contractor may receive requests for assistance from the Mexican Central Authority.

The United States has received a number of requests from Mexico for evidence. U.S. Central Authority for the Hague Evidence Convention is the Office of International Judicial Assistance in the Department of Justice’s Civil Division at 1100 L Street N.W. Law enforcement cooperation between nations may be facilitated through the Inter-American Convention on Letters Rogatory and Additional Protocol (IACAP). Both nations must be signatories of both accords in order for a treaty relationship to exist under the United States’ interpretation of those agreements. With the IACAP, papers may be served by a foreign central authority instead of the old-fashioned letter-rogatory method. The U.S. Central Authority for the IACAP is the Department of Justice. Requests from the United States are routed via a private contractor acting on behalf of the Department of Justice as the U.S. Central Authority.

The International Agreement on Civil and Commercial Arbitration (IACAP) has a limited scope, but it also allows governments to apply it to criminal and administrative disputes. The preparation of letters rogatory and the service of process posters provide broad information on the use of formal letters rogatory to accomplish service in criminal or administrative issues. It is important to keep in mind that foreign nations may have different legal definitions for what constitutes ‘administrative affairs.’

A central authority stamp and seal are required in accordance with the IACAP, as opposed to only the Hague Service Convention’s signature and seal. ‘Signature and stamp of judicial or other adjudicatory authority of the state of origin’ must be stamped and signed by the clerk of the court in the United States where the case is pending.’ The signature or stamp of the U.S. Central Authority will be executed by the Department of Justice’s contractor.

It is permitted under the IACAP to charge parties for expenses incurred in order to provide Mexico Process Service in compliance with local legislation, even if the IACAP states that processing requests should be free of charge. The foreign central authority may be charged USD 25.00 in certain countries. Argentina and Mexico have both said that they will not be charging the levy. Other nations that are signatories to the Convention and Additional Protocol have not spoken on the issue

The IACAP empowers border courts to immediately execute the requests and such requests do not need to be authenticated by the parties. Central authorities in border states may transfer evidence of Mexico Process Service to the U.S. central authority if lawyers representing their clients in those jurisdictions submit requests directly. As a result, it is critical to provide a return address in the request. Mexico likewise requires that a request sent to the Mexican Central Authority from a border state be authenticated in line with the Hague Apostille Convention, according to the United States Central Authority.

Depending on the country, the time it takes to process a Convention request may not be significantly quicker than the time it takes to process letters rogatory. As a general guideline, a request might take anywhere from six months to a year to be fulfilled. U.S. Central Authority said Argentina and Peru have been able to process petitions more swiftly, on average in a little over three months. It is not explicitly stated in either the Convention or Additional Protocol that service by mail may be performed. If mail or other means of service are not available, or if the employment of other channels would affect subsequent attempts to have a U.S. decision locally enforced, litigants should seek advice from local counsel.

The United States made a reservation according to the Convention omitting its applicability to requests to gather evidence. The reserve was made by the United States. In order to learn about the options available, litigants should speak with a local attorney.  As part of the Convention, the Department of Justice’s private contractor, which serves as the US Central Authority on behalf of the Department of Justice, accepts requests from foreign Central authorities for service of process in the United States. For Mexico Process Service requests submitted in accordance with the Convention and Additional Protocol, the private contractor does not charge a fee.


Voluntary depositions of US citizens may be taken in Mexico regardless of the witness’ nationality, as long as no force is used. It is the responsibility of Mexico’s central authority under the Hague Evidence Convention to provide permission for voluntary depositions of Mexicans and foreigners. For depositions by U.S. diplomatic staff or private attorneys from the United States or Mexico in the United States, the U.S. Embassy, one of the U.S. Consulates, or another location, such as a hotel or office, may be utilized on notice. If arrangements have been made in advance with the U.S. embassy in the nation where the witness is being detained, US diplomats may administer an oath on their behalf to the witness, interpreter, and stenographer.

As a party to the Hague Convention, Mexico does not need the legalization of its public records. Mexico’s authorized authority for the Hague Apostille Convention will validate Mexican public documents with Apostilles.

Mexico Process Service by mail or a private process server on parties in Mexico is invalid under the Hague Service Convention. Other alternatives for Mexico Process Service outside of the nation, such as those listed in Article 10, are likewise no longer available. To comply with Articles 3 through 7 of the Convention, service of process by US litigants and courts on parties in Mexico is to be carried out through Mexico’s Central Authority, as stated in the Convention.


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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
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Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
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Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004


Pick up the phone and call Toll Free (800) 774-6922, or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your Mexico process service needs; no job is too small or too large!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

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1. Justices and Chief Justices comprise the Supreme Court. In addition, the Supreme Court meets in four separate panels: criminal, civil, administrative, and labor.

2. Sending the required documentation and then waiting for a response might take many months. There may be a need to regularly check with the District Clerk to see whether they have received any correspondence from the Central Authority (usually in the form of a ‘return of service’).


From Mexico: 55-8526-2561

From the United States: 1-844-528-6611

U.S. Embassy in Mexico City

Paseo de la Reforma 305

Colonia Cuauhtémoc

06500, Ciudad de México

Phone: +52-55-5080-2000

Fax: +52-55-5080-2005

U.S. Citizen Services

From Mexico: 55-8526-2561 

From the United States: 1-844-528-6611


U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez

Paseo de la Victoria #3650

Fracc. Partido Senecú

32543 Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México 

Phone: +52-656-227-3000

U.S. Citizen Services

From Mexico: 656-344-3032 

From the United States: 1-844-528-6611


U.S. Consulate General in Guadalajara

Progreso 175

Colonia Americana, 44160

Guadalajara, Jalisco, México

Phone: +52-33-4624-2102

U.S. Citizen Services

From Mexico: 334-624-2102 

From the United States: 1-844-528-6611


U.S. Consulate General in Hermosillo

4. From Mexico: 55-8526-2561

From the United States: 1-844-528-6611


5. Mexico’s response to the 2008 Hague Conference on the practical implementation of the Hague Evidence Convention for further information.

6.  It’s important to note that if service is requested outside of Mexico and Argentina, a $25.00 certified check or money order should be sent together with a form and any papers being served. The check will be refunded if no fee is imposed.

7. Attorney information, such as name and address, should be included here as well.

8. The Passport Services, Vital Records Office of the US Department of State for an Apostille on a US Consular Report of Birth Abroad of a US Citizen.


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