Passports and hotels------

Apr 27th, 2002, 11:55 AM
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Passports and hotels------

Do you have to "leave" your passport at the
hotel desk when you check in?
Apr 27th, 2002, 11:59 AM
Jim Rosenberg
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I certainly never have and I can't imagine why you would. Your passport number may be collected on the registration, however, so have it handy.
Apr 27th, 2002, 12:02 PM
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Leaving your passport at the desk is an old custom almost everywhere I've been. No one has ever lost it. If you are worried, you can ask that they take down the information immediately and return it to you while you wait. But generally they do it during the times when they aren't busy, or overnight.
Apr 27th, 2002, 12:05 PM
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Apr 27th, 2002, 12:18 PM
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Depends on where you travel.
In most places it's an obsolete custom from the days before there were credit cards, as a guarantee you'd pay before leaving.
In certain countries the local police indeed wants hotel owners to keep records of who's passing through.
But in France for instance, they're not even supposed to ask for any identification whatsoever. My advice: show it if they ask, but hang on to it. Not necessarily because the hotel would lose it, but because you may well need it outside the hotel.
Apr 27th, 2002, 01:11 PM
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I always leave my passport with the hotel. It it the safest place. Bring a copy with you. One hears about so many people geting into trouble with the theft of their passport, but it would be the extremely rare for it to be required on normal tourist business.
Apr 27th, 2002, 09:41 PM
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It depends on what country you visit. For example, the hotels in London and Paris did not ask for ours. However, in Rome they kept it for a half an hour. As I understand, the hotels are required in Italy to record the all guests' information. We heard about this before we left for Rome and were uneasy about leaving our passports at the desk, however, it's a common thing so there is nothing to worry about.

Apr 28th, 2002, 06:36 AM
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Insist on the clerk copying down the passport information while you wait. It only takes a minute for him to do this.

Refuse to leave your passport with the clerk. Be firm about this, and argue if necessary. The clerk will almost always decide an argument is not worth the trouble.

An alternative is to insist on a written receipt. However, it is better not to leave the passport at all. (In the time it takes to write the receipt, the clerk could get all the information he needs from the passport, and return it to you.)

Last year in Florence, I saw a pile of passports on my hotel's front desk. The clerk had temporarily walked away, and the desk was completely unattended. Anyone walking by could easily have stolen all the passports.

Italy has one of the highest rates of passport theft in the world. I am sure a contributing factor is hotel clerks holding onto passports instead of writing down the information immediately.
Apr 28th, 2002, 07:11 AM
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My experience mirrors some of those above. I've never been asked to leave my passport in the UK, Republic of Ireland or France (though most hotels want your number on your registration), but I did have to leave it in Rome (not Florence or anywhere else). I wasn't comfortable, but didn't know I could refuse (can I?). My scariest time was when we got on a night train from Paris to Rome and the conductor collected them. He returned them in the morning, but needed to send numbers ahead to Italy before we arrived.
Apr 28th, 2002, 07:23 AM
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If you visit a casino in Europe they require to see your passport.... Will the casinos accept a photocopy?
Apr 28th, 2002, 10:47 AM
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I had been to 5 european countries before I went to Italy, and in Sorrento it was the first time I'd been asked for my passport at the hotel. I refused, they tried to convince me otherwise and I stood firm. Despite popular opinion on these groups, I would not leave my passport with anyone else or in the room/safe/desk. Always carry your passport on you. Should you get questioned by local authorities for any reason (you never could happen) you'd rather have it on you than not. That's what money belts are for.

Apr 28th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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You will not be the first guest to refuse handing over his passport. Most European hotels are used to occasional refusals. Just say politely that you do not want to part with the passport.

On a related subject, it is a good idea to pack xerox copies of your passport, and carry one of them in your day-pack. Many museums and historical sites ask for IDs, for example, when renting a self-guided tour audiocassette. Most places have been willing to accept my photocopy in lieu of a passport or other ID card. The photocopy is also supposed to be useful in getting a replacement passport in case the passport is lost or stolen.
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