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When do you give out a copy of your passport?

Travel Forums General Talk When do you give out a copy of your passport?

1. Posted by brighteye (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey there!

This is my first thread just to let you know.
I am taking off on my rtw-trip in February (being my first trip over a period of 1 year living out of a backpack) so I am unexperienced when it comes to some security issues.
I have read that some people don't give away their passport but instead they give a copy of it, for ex. when stopped by a police officer.
Obviously this does not work at borders or with customs.
But: Would you recommend this for example in South America or Asia when you are asked to give your passport to the receptionist in a hotel?
Could you think of other situations when this was a good thing to do? Or am I just being overly anxious?

Thanks for your help.

2. Posted by CarrLegend (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Great question, im a first time traveller too and leave in 2 weeks so im interested in this thread very much, can you give photocopies at hostels too? Great thread!

3. Posted by vanessa (Travel Guru 257 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I always have a copy of passport with me when I travel.
At my expirience - often no one asks for passport in hotels/hostels - you just fill the blank yourself; at another side - if they already asked for passport (driving licence usualy good as well) - copy will not be enough.
Leaving your docs usually a lil bit bothering thing, but usually it's ok.
I travel a lot and never had any problem.
Border-crossing, police, bank and other oficcials - you can't give them a copy, only original is count.

Another thing - when you going to crowded places - like market or parties, etc. - it's safer to leave your docs in reception then taking them with you.

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

There are some countries where people pretend to be a police officer just to get their hands on your passport.

So if somebody stops you in the street try showing the person a copy first and tell a story about having the passport at the hotel or some such. In many cases it will be real police that stops you, in this case show them the passport, not the copy. Let them see the passport, but if they want to take it away from you out of your sight insist upon giving them the copy.

A copy is also for you - in case you loose your passport it is much easier to get a new one at the embassy if you have a copy of your old passport.

5. Posted by Adri204 (Budding Member 82 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I have never serrendered my pastport at any hostel and/or Hotel. If I am asked to ever surrender my passport at a Hotel/Hostel I leave and refuse to stay thier. I also learned my lesson on that and ask ahead of time. Keep your passport with you at all times and never give it to anyone who claims to be Law enforcement on the street Period. They could take it and try to sell it. Dont DO IT!!!!. I love to travel and this isent meant to scare anyone however it helps to be aware, happy travels and stay safe. Keep a copy of your Passport on you at at the hotel/Hostel and also keep your pack in front of you in crowded places or they can unzip and take stuff.


6. Posted by brighteye (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

In Europe it is common that you are asked to give your passport to the receptionist of the hotel. I was unsure how this is handled in other parts of the world.
I will be cautious and keep my passport on me at all times. Thanks for your answers!

7. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I think if hotel requests for your passport, it's because they need to comply with regulations and register details of all travellers staying there. In smaller budget hotels etc, the receptionist may ask to keep a copy so that he/she can fill in the various forms in one go.

If I were you, I'd opt for staying there until the form is filled, so you can get your passport back. If he/she says the forms will not be filled till later in the day, then certainly give only a copy or ask for the time when it will be done so you can be back around then for them to handle your passport. Passport stays with person at all time.

No harm, prior to leaving, scan your passport and save a copy attached to a draft email on your webmail. This is in case your passport (and the copy) is lost, you could print the scanned copy and the availability of the details help in speeding up the process of getting a replacement/emergency passport.

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