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People who travel to foreign countries - do you have to show your passport at hotels?

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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:28 PM
Original message
People who travel to foreign countries - do you have to show your passport at hotels?
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 04:29 PM by Rabrrrrrr
I was just thinking about this and my various trips to Japan, that every hotel I've ever checked into I had to show my passport AND they photocopied it.

Never had that in Canada, but my last time in Canada was in the 80s, and my Japan trips have all been post-911.

Is it a post-911 thing, is it a normal thing in other countries, or is it just a "Japan is totally fucking addicted to officious paper trails" thing?

I have a feeling it's the latter, but am curious.*

(and this includes you non-Americans who have traveled to America - do you have to show your passports to check into hotels here?)

* Seriously, if you've never been to Japan, you have NO IDEA how much they love their official paperwork with many forms, stamps, signatures, and whatnot. Changing money at a bank in Japan is more difficult and time-consuming, and requires more paperwork, than buying a car in the US.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes,
in Rome they wanted us to surrender our passports while we were staying there and we refused. Couldn't figure out if this was official policy or the hotel having a stick up their ass because of the language difference.

They photocopy your passport in China too so they can register you with the PSB (police).
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Withywindle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sometimes, not always.
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 04:43 PM by Withywindle
I always thought it had to do with tracking tourists for safety reasons.

Then again, I don't think much of it, because you have to show ID when checking into most hotels here as well, and my passport IS my main form of photo ID since I don't drive.

Some foreign hotels will suggest you leave it in their safe-deposit box for your own protection (stolen passports are a big black-market business in a lot of places) but I've never done that, I don't like to let it out of my sight at all.
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theNotoriousP.I.G. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes it is required in Germany as well
to show your passport as a visitor. When I actually moved here I had to report my residence to the police. Everybody has to register with the police so they know where to find you at any given time. Strange but true. This was true before 9/11.

*Germans are even more obsessed than the Japanese with the official stamp for every move anybody makes. People must actually register and get approval for the name they have picked out for their child here.

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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. The German paperwork system...
How I don't miss it! :banghead:

"And then you need this Stempel from this Amt that is open every other Dienstag from 1300-1500."

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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
4. Oh yes, I hear you about changing money
I once took yen-denominated travelers' checks to Japan, thinking that would make it easier. Nope, it was exactly the same procedure: Go to the bank's international section, wait till 10AM when the new exchange rates come out, fill out the form, sign the travelers' checks, hand them over to the first clerk, watch as your application and travelers' checks are passed from desk to desk and stamped by gray-suited men whose only role in life is to stamp things, and finally, after about ten minutes, the final clerk hands you a voucher.

You then go to the main bank lobby and wait for the teller with the Minnie Mouse voice to call your name. You hand over your voucher, and Minnie gives you your cash.

Thank goodness it's no longer necessary to use that system!

The first development was the introduction of Citibank ATMs, the first ATMs in Japan to accept non-Japanese debit cards. The list of Citibank ATMs and their locations was one of my most precious possessions when I traveled in Japan. There were two or three in every airport, major city, and tourist center.

Then, in 2002, when Japan co-hosted the World Cup, they put international ATMs in all the post offices. At last, freed from the Citibank ATMs! But only during business hours.

Now all the 7-11's in Japan have international ATMs. Woo-hoo! I haven't seen Minnie and the gray-suited paper stampers for years.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Thank God for 7-11!! That has made my trips so much easier and enjoyable.
My only currency exchange experience before was in Canada, where it was all of "Hi, I'd like to exchange this US money for Canadian money" and then "Ok, here you go. Thanks for coming!"

Then Japan was all the paperwork - including needing an address of where I was staying and all that bullshit.

Starting last year or the year before, 7-11 and Starbucks publish a map of Kyoto (and probably other cities) with much detail (great maps!) PLUS the locations of all the 7-11s and Starbucks.

I can do without the Starbucks, but man, knowing where the 7-11s are is AWESOME!
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
5. Yes
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
7. No. but they did want to see my Circuit City receipt.
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mnhtnbb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
8. Routine procedure for hotels to ask to see the passport and make copies
in countries I've visited.
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. it is completely at random near as i can tell but i had no trouble in japan that i recall
Edited on Tue Aug-25-09 06:54 PM by pitohui
seems like if i shove a passport at em, they're all, wtf are you giving me that for and if i don't, suddenly they're curious -- and it's pretty much that way all the world round, esp. if i'm traveling solo -- as you say, the canadians are particularly prone to scratching their heads if you offer them a passport, they just want to see the driver's license of whoever's driving the car tee hee

i had not one bit of trouble getting money in japan, just did it at the ATM like everybody else, took what? about 30 seconds??????

i use a paypal debit card often, it's good in a lot of countries, and i remember that it's what i used in japan -- no paperwork, no problem, the machine just spits out money like everywhere else in the first world?

i noticed in my perhaps not that extensive travels in africa, everyone would love to see your passport and maybe make a copy, but i got out of it pretty easily (if it was non official, like a hotel/resort) by spinning some story like, "it's already packed, i'll bring it down later," or just giving them one of my own photocopies

if you think getting money in japan is difficult, all i can say is...try madagascar...there's like one ATM in the whole city well, only one ATM in the entire capital at a time that's loaded w. money so you're competing with all the world to get money out of the ATM, there, i just bought ariary from my guide and/or from the hotel -- everything's so cheap there, who the hell needs money anyway? :-)

my rich friend who just brought a debit/credit card and a smile and planned to use the ATM vows never to step foot in madagascar again in her lifetime...i'm sure she's over it by now but it was pretty hilarious, i was offering to cash checks for her because the line at any ATM w. money was always just impossible

p.s. i just read the other stories and that's exactly what i did -- i used the post office ATM in japan, worked like a charm!

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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-25-09 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
11. I always had to in Europe, and I never knew...
exactly why, but I thought it had to do with paying in cash-- keeping may passport meant I would pay the bill.

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