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passport questions for an expert

maine
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passport questions for an expert

Two questions for any State Dept. readers or experts:

Is it necessary to take your original passport with you on outings or will a copy do?

And, Are you required to surrend it to a local official if requested? When we were in Italy years ago, we made the mistake of surrenedering our passports, at the request of the local police, and then got hijacked for a lot of money to get them back. Do not want to repeat this experience!

Thanks for any advice!

Cozumel, Mexico
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1. Re: passport questions for an expert

I am not a passport expert but will give my opinion.

As far as taking it with you, if I venture far from home here, I take it. I have been in police and military checkpoints when traveling by bus and they wanted to see the original passport and the tourist card-(or in my case my FM3 residents visa)-not a copy. I would carry it.

I have never had anyone ask to keep it in other countries --or in Mexico--so cant advise about that.

maine
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2. Re: passport questions for an expert

Well, it was more along the lines of may we "see" your passport please. And then we had to pay to get it back once it was in their hands. BTW, it was a traffic stop.... we had done nothing wrong.

northwest
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3. Re: passport questions for an expert

Are you sure they were police sounds more like mafia to me. Never give your passport to anyone. Hold it and let them look at it but never give it to anyone unless it is a border guard.

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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4. Re: passport questions for an expert

With the greatest of respect to Chriskim, if someone in a police-type uniform asked to see my passport, I'd hand it over without question. I certainly wouldn't insist on holding it while they looked at it. Seriously, in that situation, would anyone (especially if said uniform included a gun!)?

To the OP, I'm sorry you were scammed in Italy ('cos that's sure what it looks like to me) but I've never heard of this particular con in Mexico.

Unlike Robert, I don't live in Mexico and I certainly defer to his greater knowledge but I NEVER carry my passport with me when going on excursions etc. If I do venture off the resort, I carry a copy of my passport and the original stays in my room in a secure place (which could be the hotel safe or squirrelled away someplace else). However, I'm never venturing "far from home" - just doing day trips from my resort. If you were travelling all over Mexico, then I think it would be prudent to carry your passport with you.

In numerous trips to Mexico, I have never been asked for my passport - other than when checking in at a hotel/resort. It's common for the front desk to ask for them (in fact, it's my understanding that they're SUPPOSED to ask for them).

HTH

Wyoming
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5. Re: passport questions for an expert

I have been to Mexico at least 20 times(various places and resorts) and have never been asked for my passport at the front desk. My passport stays in the safe at all times. I do have my drivers license on me for ID. We have never had a problem and I have never been asked for my passport anywhere except immigration and at the border. We have traveled by bus and car from Cancun to Xcalak, the ruins, etc. Never been asked. Not saying I won't be sometime.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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6. Re: passport questions for an expert

On excursions with a tour company, I don't carry my passport. If I was traveling independently, either by car or bus, I think it's prudent to have it.

I think here in Belize all hoels are supposed to record your passport number when you check in. Doesn't mean they all do though...

kansas city
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7. Re: passport questions for an expert

we too have been to Mexico over 20 times. We NEVER carry our passports- keep locked in safe and we have never been asked to show it. we do not rent cars so never had any traffic stops

Playa del Carmen...
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8. Re: passport questions for an expert

Yes, properties are supposed to ask for and record guests' passport information upon check-in. People often don't seem to realize that this, if for no other reason, is so that authorities will have the proper information in the event that there is an emergency situation or crime committed or the like.

I'm with Llisa: I don't think you can fight with an official who wants to take a look at your passport. If you don't want to let an official in a foreign country handle your passport, then I'd suggest you just may not be the ideal candidate for travelling abroad in the first place.

Anyway, you _always_ have a copy of your passport accessible to you in some place other than where the real passport is. In the worst case scenario of this type, just as in the worst case scenario that you lose your passport and cannot find it, you go to that copy and get yourself to some sort of consular representative of your country and you show them that copy, and then you get your passport replaced.

By the way, I don't know that anyone here is a State Dept expert. I could be wrong... :-)

Steve

Beantown
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9. Re: passport questions for an expert

I am always asked to show my passport upon check-in.

Cozumel, Mexico
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10. Re: passport questions for an expert

I would agree, if I were on a tour (which I never am), I might feel ok just to take a copy of my passport. But I travel all over Mexico on ADO buses, and other buses, and in several cases, they have asked for my passport at military or police checkpoints. The reason the original is wanted is because they want to look through the passport.

While I wouldnt want to lose my passport, I had a friend do so while in Mexico, we took his copy to the US Consulate and it was a very easy process to replace it. Maybe easier than replacing a drivers license.