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Do you need to carry a passport in France?

Do you need to carry a passport in France?

Jul 11th, 2004, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 135
"if you look like a potential illegal immigrant (african, arab, etc..), rather than a tourist, you're way more likely to be profiled and asked to show an ID."

LOL, we ARE Arab (don't really look it, though), so that should settle it for us.
mebanese is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,330
I figure I have to securely carry my passport, extra cash, extra credit crad, etc. between hotels which means a money belt.

Since I'm doing that anyway I might as well carry it all the time...

BTW I find it interesting when people say they don't bother with a money belt. They just put valuables in their hotel safe. How do they get the valuables between hotel safes?
indytravel is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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The same way millions of others do,in their zippered pockets. I know many are married to this money belt-fanny pack philosophy but I have zero doubt there is less chance for theft/loss/mugging etc. when they are secured in a safe than carrying them around with you. It's not rocket science.
mgmargate is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 05:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you want to carry an ID at all times, better take a driver license than a photocpy of the passport. It would take very unusual circumstances for a driving license not being sufficient proof of identity, if it has a photo, of course.
Hans is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 07:51 AM
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Perhaps. I'm foolish, but I only use a money belt at what I consider risky areas, like the airport, train stations, metro, and very heavily-visited tourist sights. Since we do not intend to be in Paris at all, I will probably wear my money belt very little. Also, we are not staying in a rented apartment, but using a friend's place which will be more secure. I think I may settle on carrying a photocopy of our passport and my driver's license. In 1995 during a 5 week trip to Champagne we were stopped 5 times while driving. There had been a terrorist bombing on the metro.Sometmes our passports were requested and sometimes not. We had them on us at that time. On our last trip in summer 2001 we were stopped at least 3 times for sobriety checks (there were easily 100 people pulled over) and also once because we were driving back and forth through this small village late at night. We were lost and I imagine someone had reported this car continually retracing their route. We are not immigrants or dark skinned. We were also stopped at several road blocks in the countryside late at night.
annetti is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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>I thought flan is sweet. How do mushrooms figure into it?<

"Flan" has come to mean any sort of a thing made with custard. I have seen places offering "flan tart" when they meant quiche.
ira is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Grist for the mill:

Author: robbiegirl
Date: 05/02/2004, 02:50 pm
Message: This was posted on another credible site by someone:
Unsafe Prague Hotel: While in Prague in July 2003 a group of 21 students and three teachers stayed at the Hotel City Club, and all our rooms were robbed. . . . we returned at 9PM 6 rooms had valuables (camera, money, CD players, CD, change,....) stolen. The rooms were NOT broken into but rather keys were used to get in. . . . Also two other people staying at the hotel HAD VALUABLES STOLEN FROM THE SAFE at the same time! The desk clerk and manager did nothing but laugh at us and said they were not responsible for any loss.

Author: FlyFish
Date: 06/14/2003, 11:52 am
Message: We were in Venice and decided to take a short walk. I took the equivalent of about $40 out of my billfold for incidentals and put everything else - cash and credit cards - in the safe. When we returned the hotel had lost power and WE COULDN'T OPEN THE ROOM SAFE FOR SEVERAL HOURS.

Author: dugi_otok
Date: 06/14/2003, 12:57 pm
Message: Hate to put a damper on the safety of hotel room safes.
Friends traveling with us in Budapest had their ROOM SAFE BROKEN INTO while we were out to dinner. This was at a big time US hotel chain.All gone- passports, $,travelers checks, airline tickets....
Earlier that evening my friend went down to the lobby and asked how do you operate the room safe. He recalls, the staff members eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree.So we suspected an inside job. . . . . (the police said that hotel safe burglaries happened before), the hotel manager made good by believing my friends- reimbursed them . . . . I will never leave anything of value in a hotel safe again.

Author: E_from_Texas
Date: 06/14/2003, 03:44 pm
Message: Well, I used to trust them, but now ...
I recently returned from Europe and stayed at the Hotel Cluny Square in Paris. The Hotel Cluny Square has a big issue with room key control and will give a room key to anyone requesting it. Noting this, I made sure that my valuables were either on me or in the in-room safe and that my suitcase was locked when I left the room. However, this did not deter a thief who gained access to my room with a key and BROKE OPEN THE SAFE. Filling out a police report in the wee hours of the morning was not the way I wanted to end my stay in Paris. So I would say, the best place for your valuables (and that includes charge receipts that may have your credit card number on them) is on your person. The best investment I made for my trip was a $14 money pouch. The only item they took from my safe was receipts with credit card numbers on them.
Travelnut is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for the update on room safes. Quite an eye opener. guess I won't feel very secure using them anymore. BTW I usually black out my credit card number on the receipt before I put it in my wallet.
annetti is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 09:10 AM
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A driver's license doesn't work as ID if the policeman looking at it doesn't read the language. A US license is only printed in English. Many countries require you to carry some form of identification at all times and you have to assume the person requesting it may not read English. I'm not even sure they would necessarily recognize a foreign driver's license. Perhaps paired with an Internation Driver's license it would be okay. We prefer to carry our passports with us so we don't have to worry about it.
SalB is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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This reminds me of the time I was stopped for jaywalking in Antwerp many years ago, and the policeman was satisfied with nothing less than seeing my passport. When he noticed I was an American, he screamed "Do they walk against the traffic like this in America?? I think not!" I wasn't brave enough to tell him the truth.
usbeauty is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 09:28 AM
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I simply keep my passport in my wallet in my regular pocketbook (same as I would at home with my drivers license) that I always carry.

I think it's hard to get a straight answer(for annetti) because there's no right or wrong, just different methods of coping with travel arrangements.
suze is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 10:23 AM
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Sal, you're right about the driver's license being in English. I had not thought about that. Now, I don't know what to do. I don't want the extra bulk of carrying an international drivers' license. In that case I may as well carry my passport. You're right Suze, there really is no answer.
annetti is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 11:22 AM
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mmargate - No there wasn't an in-room safe - I'm not THAT trusting! We were staying at a kind of longer term motor hotel/suite kind of place. (We don't always get put up in very nice hotels when we're working). Because we arrived at an odd time the front desk was not open (hard to explain here) and since I was working weird times I usually wasn't there when the desk was open. It was a stupid decision for me not to take the trouble to access their safe. And more stupid not to hide the passport on my person. Years of travel in Europe and Australia, where I have always been careful, and it was the one lapse, closer to home, where I got caught.
taggie is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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When I'm making credit card purchases they like a passport number, I never carry one on me - I'd hate for it to be pickpocketed etcetera - I get the store to phone the hotel and they supply the details that I provided them with upon check-in. Now I've taken to carrying a photostatic copy of my passport, the real document is kept in the in-room safe.
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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I'm just wild and crazy in Europe -- don't carry a passport around with me in case of getting stopped by the police. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't, but I don't think anybody in stores etc cares about passports (except for the VAT refund, probably) because they aren't the law and aren't checking your status in the country. I don't use a moneybelt, either, I just live dangerously -- but have never had a problem.

Any time I have shown my drivers license in Europe for ID, the person, even lowly museum or store clerks, accepted it and knew what it was and could figure it out, even though it was in English. I know both French and Spanish so could have translated it, but no one ever asked me a single word about anything on it. I'm sure a policeman in France could do that, also, which is the country in question here. Probably not in some other countries, I suppose, but they mainly want to match a photo with a name, and the driver's license shows you are from the US.

Any store that wanted ID for a credit card (and they do in FNACs in France, at least for foreigners) has always accepted a driver's license as ID from me.

(the reference to leaving it in one's apartment was the vacation rental apt)

I imagine if you get picked up by the police or detained, they will allow you to retrieve your passport from your hotel to get out of jail or avoid getting deported or whatever (although that would be easier if you had a companion who could fetch it).

I've been in Paris for a month or more at a time going to school, I wasn't going to carry a passport around with me every day.
Christina is online now  
Jul 14th, 2004, 11:39 AM
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I'm going to be in France for 5 weeks, and I guess I feel like Christina (above) that I don't want to carry my passport everywhere I go, especially when I have a secure place to leave it. I think, in conclusion, that I will take my Driver's License and a copy of my passport's front page with me as I walk and drive around Southern France and hope for the best.
annetti is offline  
Jul 14th, 2004, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Well to be perfectly honest...you don't need to carry your passport but only a photocopy of it unless you (and don't beleive anyone who says otherwise)-

1. Of Arab/North African descent or anyone who could be mistaken for such a person including many Latino-Americans

2. You are black or asian (mostly if you male and are under 35 or look it)

3. You are a young traveler who plans on carrying a backpack with you, wherever you go (there is a good chance such people might be randomly checked for drugs in certain regions)

I am Canadian but I lived in France and Germany both for many years and can honestly say that these groups are (more) often checked for identification there and from I am aware of in both countries YOU ARE REQUIRED TO CARRY Indentification at all times, as a non-EU foreigner- a passport if the only officially sanctioned identification the police "should" accept but if you aren't in the above mentioned groups you probably won't be checked for ID.
Jacoby is offline  
Jul 15th, 2004, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 380

As I wrote above, you *aren't* required to carry an ID at all times in France. Since even a number of french people believe it, I can understand that you're mistaken, but the statement is still false.
clairobscur is offline  

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