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Need to carry passport all the time?

Washington DC...
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Need to carry passport all the time?

Will I need to carry my passport with me at all times while in Italy? I'd rather not carry my actual passport with me though I will have a photocopy at all times. I've reserved my tickets to the various attractions via the web and was wondering if I will need to present a passport while entering the Vatican museums/Colosseum for identification or if they'll take another form of ID like my credit card with my picture on it.

Thanks

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

Italian law requires that anyone in a public place must carry an identity document issued by their national government. For citizens of the USA, the only such document is a passport.

Many people will say that the do not carry a passport or that they carry a copy, but the law is as stated.

San Francisco Bay
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2. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

I would do as you have planned.

St Paul, MN
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3. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

I hardly ever had to present my passport for anything not at the airport or checking into lodging. When I have the copy was fine. When I do carry my passport with me, I do so in a neck pouch under my teeshirt.

There are traffic laws in Italy also that most of the time it seems like they are obeyed like they are only "suggestions".

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

As sydneynick stated, it is Italian law. Not a copy but the actual document. And lately, it seems to me that carabinieri and polizia checkpoints are on the increase. I have gone through 3 in just the last 2 days along the SS73.

I carry my documents with me at all times which includes my passport and my permesso.

And I can't believe that the airport would except a copy of a passport???

Latina, Italy
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5. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

I reiterate what has been said: Italian law requires you to carry your original ID (in your case, passport) at all times. If by any chance you need to go to a bank, they can - but don't always - ask for 2 original documents (for Italians, identity card and driving licence for example).

Greater London...
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6. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

I suppose that if your stay is uneventful, then the chances are that you won't need to produce your passport, but unexpected things happen. I was taken ill at Como station and the police asked for my passport when they called for an ambulance, they were not being officious, far from it, they were extremely kind - they were just doing their job.

Another time was at Milan Centrale station when they were doing random checks on passengers getting off the train from Paris.

You have been told the law, it's up to you if you choose to ignore it.

Norwich, United...
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7. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

If they've not already thought of doing so, those visiting from Britain might care to note the advice currently offered by the FCO - in which they say the following about carrying ID....

"Local laws and customs

By law you must be able to show some form of identification at all times. In most cases a photocopy of the data page of your passport should suffice, but you may be asked to accompany the police to collect the original document, or to produce it within 12 hours. The police will normally ask for your full passport if you are stopped while driving."

https:/…local-laws-and-customs

...........

And, unless driving, I'd guess that the most common official request for a foreign visitor's ID comes after they've been discovered riding public transport without a properly validated ticket?

Whether the original offence was down to an innocent mistake or not, it's hardly the moment to compound matters by also being unable to produce one's documents!

Peter

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde

Latina, Italy
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8. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

As a resident I have a regular Italian ID card and driving licence. Those suffice when I am out and about locally. But if I go further afield (on holiday within Italy, say) I tend to take my passport along as well for good measure.

I know some folks can't abide them, but I keep it in one of those round the neck pouch things next to the skin.

Le Marche, Italy
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9. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

The other occasions on which identification are required are when you may have been a witness to an accident or crime, or if the police are looking for a suspect, or making a general control of an area. Someone posted on the forum once that she was asked to show ID once after getting off a train at Termini station. If you have only a photocopy, that may satisfy them, but if they want to see the real ID, they're allowed to bring you to the police station, where you would wait until someone brought your passport there, or until a police officer or employee was available to accompany you to your hotel.

When I first came to Italy, I carried my passport with me everywhere, on the advice of a friend of my husband, who is a marshall of the carabinieri. Once I had an official residence card, I began carrying that instead.

The US passport office now issues, for an additional fee, passport cards, which have all the essential information from your passport on a card the size of a credit card. While this is not an official substitute for a passport, it is obviously less easily falsified than a photocopy of the front page of your passport, and may be more acceptable as ID. The law in question just requires nationally-issued identification.

One of my daughters accidentally left her passport at home when we went on a trip to Florence. As you all should know, hotels have to photocopy, or manually copy, the information from the passport (or national identity card for EU citizens) for all guests. The hotel in Florence was willing to copy the information from my daughter's passport card in lieu of the actual passport, but they had no obligation to do so.

NYC
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10. Re: Need to carry passport all the time?

Just got back. We carried copies of passport for prebooked tours/museums. Nobody asked and nobody cared. It's the law! It's the law! Listen, the border control at the airport barely hlanced at our passports and then refused to stamp them at our request. As they said atborder control in munich, this is the Italian way. You are a dumb tourist snd they are not out to prosecute you. Leave your valuables in the safe and carry your copy. The hotels, however, will require your original passport.