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Handing over your passport

Travel Forums General Talk Handing over your passport

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1. Posted by J9travels (Budding Member 15 posts) 10y

Have I been doing it wrong all this time or does everyone do it. When you check into a guesthouse or hotel they always ask for your passport which I always hand over. However, after arriiving in Hanoi, I found a room, gave my passport and then decided that the room was really awful and I just couldn't stay there (I was really tired after a 12 hour bus ride). Anyway, I went to get my passport back (I'd only been in the room 10 mins) and the guy wouldn't give it back. We argued and I ended up paying a dollar towards what they had said they'd paid the biker that had brought me and only then did I get it back.

Another girl said to never hand your passport in, always give them a photocopy which I'd never thought of doing.

I'm new to all this travelling so just wondered what everyone else does...

2. Posted by danalasta (Travel Guru 519 posts) 10y

legally no one is allowed to hold on to your passport..but it always happens with hotels and guesthouses giving all kind of crap reasons...in one hotel in thanh noa (vietnam), they told me it was a police requirement! and when you are in no mood to argue ( esp when you are tired!), you give in...but not before first conducting a room check...not all accept photo copy...some even ask for a hefty deposit in lieu of holding on to your passport...strangely i dont see this happening in cambodia!

3. Posted by cruisegirl (Respected Member 244 posts) 10y

The only place where I know that they can legally hold your passport is on cruise ships. This is just for security reasons (so that crew can't jump ship) All other places should accept a photocopy.

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 10y

I never, ever give my passport out, and I can't understand it when they ask for it. It's like asking someone for a blank cheque - totally inappropriate.

I always say that it's in a safety deposit box at the bank.

5. Posted by mtlchica (Respected Member 922 posts) 10y

I've only had this happen to me once, at a hotel in Florence, Italy. We decided not to stay there in the end. The guy was going to take a photocopy and give us back our passports, but it seemed kinda sketchy to me. The guy at the desk said it was a police requirement so they could make sure no criminals were staying at the hotel. When I brought up the question of "Wouldn't they arrest us at the airport if they saw he had a criminal record while entering the country?" he got all bumbling and couldn't give a straight answer. The next hotel didn't ask us for it. We asked them if it was a requirement and they said no. Mmm hmmmm.

Cheers,
Katie :)

6. Posted by Twinkle (Travel Guru 1112 posts) 10y

Ive started to carry a few photocopies of my passport as supposedly the only reason they take your passport is to make a copy. I can understand them wanting a copy it for security reasons but you need to know you have your passport safe!Whilst out and about there are often times you need to be able to show a passport whether it be to change currency or apply for visas. I always just say I need it to change travellers cheques whenever they ask and whip out a copy for them. Ive had a couple of places tht have complained they want the real thing but usually they give in!

7. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 10y

I carry a couple photocopies of my passport, but always forget that I have them and end up giving people my actual passport anyways. I really should start giving people the photocopies. That's why I made them.

8. Posted by mally (Respected Member 199 posts) 10y

never give anyone your passport except customs ie government officials. this document guard it with your life without it you have no proof who you are!!!!!

9. Posted by john7buck (Respected Member 458 posts) 10y

I'm wondering if this is more of a concern in Asia; as I've never been.

I'm not sure I've ever been asked to give up my passport at any sort of accomodation. I've been told they'd hold it in their safe, but I can't ever remember being asked to hand it over. In South America, they generally ask you to write down your passport number, though it's always seemed to me a pretty voluntary ordeal.

10. Posted by nahumzh (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8w

No one mentioned that the ship does not even give you a receipt.
I have two nationalities and give over the least desirable passport.