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Children under 18 FREE in museums? Proof of age?

Children under 18 FREE in museums? Proof of age?

Sep 21st, 2012, 08:28 AM
  #1  
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Children under 18 FREE in museums? Proof of age?

Hello...in doing research on visiting certain museums...(Versailles) it states that children under 18 are free but will need to show proof of age...

My question is...am I supposed to carry around my children's passports to show at the ticket counter? Will a photocopy suffice? I really don't want to carry the passports around for obvious security reasons. My son is 17 and looks like he may be older. This may not be a problem with a younger child, as just looking at them you can see they are younger.

Thank you for any input.
DMuller is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 08:53 AM
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A photocopy should be sufficient. It's not as though you are crossing a border.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Does he have a driver's license?
Gretchen is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 12:16 PM
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I agree a photocopy would be fine, that and perhaps his student card. I never was asked for any id for my younger kids there or at any museum but they were obviuosly younger, ( 11 and 13)
justineparis is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Hm, I've more than once been asked for an *actual* ID document to leave as security just for renting an audioguide, so I'd think in the case of your elder son it would certainly be advisable. It's not a big deal if you take sensible precautions as you would in any big city - millions of Europeans are legally obliged to carry their ID documents at all times. And I'm more than happy to do so when it means I get discounts
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 08:42 PM
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Caroline i would never leave my passport with the museum people, I did once at the Louvre and was quite pissed to see that they just stuck in in a box that resembles recipe card box. Then when you come back you just say your name and they hand it back, it does not seem secure, and they are not locked up.

I have since (numerous times now, and as recently as this past summer) left only my British Columbia Drivers License which they have always accepted at the Lourve and The Orsay.
justineparis is offline  
Sep 21st, 2012, 08:51 PM
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Had you thought about getting your son an International Student Identity Card? This will entitle him to any discounts due to him through his age. He is eligible to get one from 12 years of age, and I am sure you wouldn't mind leaving one with the museum if that's what they require.

http://www.isic.org/

Lavandula
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Sep 21st, 2012, 11:29 PM
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People seem to be talking about two different issues here. Once is the age of your children, so that they can get into museums free. For that a photocopy or student card should be sufficient.

The other is some kind of security that is required if you want to use something valuable like an audioguide. Obviously the museum people want you to bring it back, and so they require a document which is valuable to you. If you're not happy leaving your passport with them, that's up to you.
Carlux is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 04:27 AM
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I've never had a photocopy of my passport rejected as an ID in France for things like stores, museums, etc. As long as it is clear and readable, should work. I don't know what good a student ID will be if the issue is official birthdate, but I'm not sure what student IDs have on them, none of mine had my birthdate.

I won't leave a passport at museums for those audioguides, either, I leave my drivers license. They take credit cards, also, something of value you won't leave without. That's an interesting question of what they do for children, as lots of children wouldn't have IDs on them. Perhaps the ID deposit of the parent or adult getting the guides applies to the children? don't know
Christina is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Yes you can leave one id/security item for multiple rentals in a family. I have each time I have taken my children.
justineparis is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 02:23 PM
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great information...thanks everyone!
DMuller is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Hi,

My kids always used their student ID while traveling in Europe. It is what is expected - not a passport.

But, you could also carry a passport photocopy.

I never cart the passports around all day. Just in case...

We have traveled extensively in Europe with teens and never had a problem with the student ID.
gruezi is offline  
Sep 24th, 2012, 10:10 AM
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I've left my passport as security a number of times, not worried about it & had no problems. (I don't have a driving licence.) Many but not all places will accept a credit card instead. IME you only need to leave 1 item for however many people - e.g. 1 passport for 2 audioguides.
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 24th, 2012, 11:40 AM
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I have never worried about leaving my passport even when they use a shoebox. I am wondering what sort of passport security ceremony would reassure people who are worried about such things. Even if a passport is put in a safe (like so many of you do at hotels), there are any number of people who can remove it from the safe ten seconds after you have walked away.

I would like to hear from anybody who has ever had their passport stolen at a museum desk.
kerouac is offline  
Sep 25th, 2012, 02:43 AM
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LOL kerouac - "passport security ceremony"!
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Sep 25th, 2012, 07:31 AM
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sorry, you can mock it all you want, I just don't like the idea of leaving my passport with someone. It isn't necessarily even the issue of it being stolen, but even lost somehow, who knows. And some people do work in lots of places who steal things or are involved in some kind of crime.

I don't understand the concept of a student ID to prove age, but maybe some other IDs are different than the ones I've had. I had a student ID when I was 40 as I was in college then. I was just an ID that you were a student there so you could use the facilities, etc., it wasn't meant to indicate your age in any way as there was no purpose to that.
Christina is offline  

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