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Carrying passport with you as ID?

Auckland, New...
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Carrying passport with you as ID?

I have come across numerous posts over the internet where tourists get in trouble with police for not being able to produce their official passport when spontaneously asked (photocopies not accepted), and the same with casinos, museums and even shopping, where they have been refused entry or service! Most of these posts were visiting Europe, but I was there 10 years ago and was never asked for my passport for anything, is this a new law? As a New Zealander planning to visit the United States, do I need to worry about this? The only time I have been asked for ID is checking into a hostel or buying alcohol, so I'm confused as to why this is a thing. Excuse my ignorance. Thanks :)

r c
Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

this has been my experience...

i have been asked for my passport at hotels and such for registering. I asked why and they said it was for tax and verification purposes.

in museums i was asked for my passport. I wanted to use one of their recorders/players and they said it was for a "security deposit" since the recorders/players were free. I asked if they would take my drivers license and that was acceptable to them.

i have been asked for my passport to purchase SIMs in some countries. They want to know WHO is using those SIMs.

on some trains i have been asked for ID. But its usually linked to the ticket. When you buy some tickets, they want ID and its sometimes printed on the ticket. depending on how i feel, i may use my drivers license or passport.

In some places, if you visit someone in a hotel you are asked to "sign in" to gain access. and that includes showing some ID. Any ID would do.

In the USA its common to show ID for purchasing alcohol. im 50+ years old but i was still carded to get some alcohol. I just do it to save any hassle. Sometimes the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) will send out decoys to buy alcohol from stores and if they are not carded, they will get a visit from the OLCC and may fine the owners. Im not sure how it is in other states. But that happens here. At one time selling cigarettes to minors was an issue too so again, there were sting operations going.

Chances are you will need to show some ID for your lodging and such. If you get carded at a bar or club, im not sure they will care what you produce.

also as far as police go, ive never had an issue or was asked by any law enforcement officer to do so. i dont drive and so far havent had any issues. I have not had any law enforcement officer just stop me on the streets anywhere in the world (yet) and ask for ID.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

Many countries require registration of guests in order to have further guest details available for law enforcement, if requested. Law enforcement may be looking for criminal activity or missing persons. Some countries require these documents more often than others. In these places, a passport is often the only acceptable identification recognized.

In North America, these requirements are not the same and we are, in fact, quite paranoid about never losing touch of our passports. They are not required to rent lodgings, and a driver's license, birther certificate or any other valid identification with date of birth is sufficient for most day to day activities.

If you don't have a driver's license or small version birth certificate, you may need to use your passport as proof of identification. I suspect a photocopy would not be sufficient, as it may have been tampered with.

Italy
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3. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

The US doesn't have a national ID card or anything similar. Your drivers license is likely good enough. In most countries you always need a way to identify yourself to the police. The only valid ways are usually a national ID of some form. An ID card is issued by most EU countries. If you didn't have something similar that leave a passport

London, England
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4. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

Some countries require foreigners to carry their passports at all time. (Japan for example, some European countries and no doubt others) Others do not. (the UK)

Look on your local US Embassy website to check the situation in the USA.

In the US I just carry my UK driving license, but my license says I am US born, so identification would never be taken to the next level. I don't know what the current US situation is and in the present climate, it could be an fast changing scenario.

Wales, United...
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for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
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5. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

I always carry my passport around with me, and I;ve faced criticism for that on a couple of forums. I'm quite comfortable doing so, however, as I don't have any other photo ID and I like to have it on me just in case.

In the past, I've had to produce it in the US before using a credit card, and when buying alcohol. My understanding is that it is legal requirement to have ID on you in some European countries. I believe that Italy is one of those countries.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

i put my real actual passport in the safe as soon as i get somewhere and in my pocket i have a nice color copy of the info and picture page, this has been fine everywhere so far

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

I've had my current passport of the time in my handbag 24/7 for the past 35 years.

It's my sole form of ID. I don't drive. I can't collect mail at the post office or buy medication at the chemist without ID.

Most of my circle of friends carry theirs at all time at home and of course when travelling.

Auckland, New...
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8. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

Interesting, thanks all!

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

"..Some countries require foreigners to carry their passports at all time. (Japan for example,..". I lived in Japan for 13 years and never carried my passport and was never asked. The few times I was asked for ID my drivers license was accepted. But I had a Japanese driver's license for most of that time, I know that some hotels will ask for a passport, but they don't seem to do anything with it other than verify the name on the reservation and credit card. And a few places in Japan give tourist discounts if you have a passport to show. It has been close to 10 years since I spent any extensive time in Japan, so some things may have changed with all the security concerns.

As for other countries I go with #6.

Edited: 18 June 2017, 23:57
London, England
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10. Re: Carrying passport with you as ID?

I have never been asked for my passport by the police in Japan either but that doesn't change the legal position. My understanding is that when the Japanese police ask to see your passport they want the original and that if you don't have it with you they will very politely accompany you back to your hotel to see it.

From what I have heard of the Japanese police and know of the Japanese legal system, I would prefer not to annoy them.

Warren, with your Japanese driving license it would have been clear where you were resident. (I am assuming it did not have a US address on it.). It probably also helps to speak Japanese. My 8 words of Japanese would not be enough to explain myself.

Like KweqSmanit and Warren, I carry a colour photocopy in countries that don't require the original to be carried and put the original in the safe.

Every time I have been in Japan the hotels have asked my permission to photo copy my passport and have done so.

I travel on a UK passport which allows a 6 month's visit.