Give up passports?

Sep 15th, 2003, 07:31 AM
  #1  
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Give up passports?

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are taking our first trip to Italy in 9 days We have read from some travel books that when you first check into a hotel in Italy, the receptionists will need to keep your passports for one day in order to register with the local police. Is this true? Thank you very much.

clok
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Sep 15th, 2003, 07:34 AM
  #2  
 
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Yes, it's the law. In a *very* large number of trips to Italy never had any problems getting them back within 24 hrs.

Enjoy your trip.

Phil.
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Sep 15th, 2003, 07:42 AM
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We've never given up our passports, but I do carry some reproductions of the picture page to give them if they need to keep it more than a few minutes.
clevelandbrown is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 08:08 AM
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Italian hotels don't need to keep your passport in order to register with the police. They need to copy details from your passport which takes five minutes. Many hotels want to keep your passport as security, but they have no legal right to do that. Whenever I've wanted my passport back, it has been returned. If a hotel insists on keeping it overnight, then offer to pay the bill in the evening - then they don't have to worry that you're going to run off in the night, and you don't have to worry about leaving your passport.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 08:15 AM
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I've never had a problem with getting my passport returned to me. But I agree that carrying copies of your passport (one to go with your "in case I lose stuff/get stuff stolen" folder, the other to go to your hotel) is a very good idea. Then you can offer to show them your passport and GIVE them the copy. They just need the info, not the actual passport (as long as they feel confident the copy is really from your passport!).
BLN is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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jor
 
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This is news to me. I have never given up my passport in all my years of European travel. Far as I know you are not suppose to. It's the property of the US government.
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Sep 15th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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To Jor, it's esp. true in Italy you give up your passport. Hotels need to register guests. They do not keep the passport.
francophile03 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 09:39 AM
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Don't get anyone worried, jor! If you've ever been to Italy, we'd all be shocked to find out that they didn't ask for your passport when you checked into your hotel. Of course, if you were staying with friends or with a large organized group it's possible you never dealt with this.

But again, to answer the original question, the hotel will give it right back to you, but it they are required by law to tell the police you're there.
BLN is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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I've had to give it up on both trips to Italy. In both cases, however, it was returned to me after taking down information.

My first trip into Italy was several years ago via overnight train from Paris. I was nervous when the conductor came around and took all of our passports, collecting them in a wicker basket much like at church. They weren't returned until in the morning prior to our arrival in Italy.
MelJ is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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So to clarify.....

By Italian law, you MUST give up your passport for as long as it takes the hotel to write down your details, but that should not take more than a few minutes, right?

So they don't need to keep your passport AT ALL beyond those first few minutes, correct?

And in lieu of a passport, they will accept a copy of your passport instead? Or do they have to see your actual passport?

Please make clarify these things for all of us, thanks.
BrimhamRocks is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:32 AM
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Scratch 'make', oops.
BrimhamRocks is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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Millions of tourists provide their passports at check-in to Italian hotels every year. I've never heard of anyone having a problem as a result.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:48 AM
  #13  
jor
 
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I guess I should have been more clear. Give Up means surrendering your passport for a period such as over-night. Who on earth thinks that Give Up your passport means showing it to someone so they can get your info for a minute or two? Get real.
jor is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 10:56 AM
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i remember in 1971 that it was required to hand over passports on the ferry from tunis to palermo. they were returned upon arrival.

fortunately, i did not suffer this indignity as i had stowed away in the back of a VW van.
subcon is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 12:08 PM
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I have "given up" my passport at every hotel in Europe when I check in. They need to keep a record of who is staying where. You can get it back in a few minutes, but I often just tell them to leave it in their safe & I carry a copy with me for security purposes. I have often been asked to produce it when stopped/checked by the metro police in Prague, etc.
amp322 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 12:48 PM
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I've never had to show my passport in the hotels I've stayed in when visiting Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. But I've had to show my passport in hotels in Austria and Belgium. What's up with that? Is this because some places do not accept credit cards?
I would be very uncomfortable giving up my passport to a hotel for more than a few minutes. In addition, I've never had to show my passport to a conductor on a train except for night trains traveling through more than one country. Even then the conductor lost the passport of a fellow traveler. What a pain.
Bird is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 06:12 AM
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Bird--in Italy it's a law that tourists register with the police, the hotels do it for you and they need your passport information to do so. As I recall, the law technically requires them to see your actual passport. Perhaps Belgium and Austria have similar laws.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 06:32 AM
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This is a left-over law from the Mussolini times. Every citizen and/or visitor has to register with the local police when traveling. Today, in most cases the local police chief will accept either a hotel register with your passport # and country of origin or a copy of your passport. But there are always some that like to follow the law to the letter, and they make the surrounding hotels collect the passports and bring them down to the station for a check. So, in most cases the hotel will just write down the information, in some cases they will accept copies, but in few they have no choice but to collect your passport for an overnight check. Don't blame the hotels, IT IS THE LAW of your host country. Accept it or don't visit.
When you're staying with relatives, or are renting a house/apt, you're suppose to go down to the police station yourself, and again, it's a matter of where you are. Obviously if you're staying in Rome, it would be hard for the police to notice you, so no big deal, but in the countryside, they have been known to knock on your door, if you did not register, and "help" you do that, and in some cases collect a little fine.
Again, it's no big deal, although I just talked with my friend who's visiting Italy now, and she said that it seems to be "little" bit more enforced, and the war on terrorism is the universal excuse being used now.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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Can't see the problem here.
Just give ID card/passport at check in and get it back later when going out.
Also UK hotels require registration if you're not UK citizen.
LeCanard is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Italy's insistence on handing over passports seems to upset Americans particularly.

But it applies to everyone. And in a country with marginalised illegal immigrants on almost every street corner, stealing an EU ID card or passport really does have a value. Immediate legalisation, and - though it's not what migrants come here for - immediate rights to the EU's social security net. More importantly - because it is what they come for - immediate abilty to work and live anywhere in the EU.

And yet I've not heard a single story about ID cards or passports handed to an Italian hotel ever going missing.

Probably because to let a piece of ID go missing would be unprofessional of the hotel. And few things in this world are more certain than the professionalism of an Italian hotel or restaurant.

Now letting a credit card out of your sight for an instant is an altogether different story....
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