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What should one do with one's passport while in France and Germany?

We've never been there and don't know the "rules".
Thanks!

Posted by
693 posts

You'll receive pro and con answers about keeping it with you at all times. I do, I keep it in a money belt. In Germany, you have to be able to identify yourself with a valid something should you get stopped for some reason. Whatever you do, keep it someplace safe.

Posted by
8299 posts

I leave mine in my hotel room safe. If you are driving a car or going across borders on a train, you of course need to have it with you. If you have other photo ID, and aren't doing illegal things, there is no reason to have your passport on you at all times. The majority of people who live here, certainly don't carry their passports with them 24/7, so why should tourists feel the need. For those who will come on here and say that hotel safes aren't safe, I have yet to hear of anyone ever having anything stolen from a safe. Imagine this happening, and it would be all over the forum here, and the reviews on Trip Advisor would destroy the business.

Posted by
43 posts

Please carry it with you at all times - inside of money belt and maybe protected in a platic baggie. You just never know when you will need it and not all hotel rooms have safes. Enjoy your trip! Patty

Posted by
3031 posts

If my hotel has a safe, I put it there. Otherwise I carry it with me when traveling such as taking trains, crossing borders, etc. (Not that I've ever once been asked for it outside an airport, other than to buy/validate a Eurail pass) But as Jo mentioned, I don't carry it with me in my day-to-day life here. I'd be too likely to lose it.

Posted by
837 posts

I always leave it in a hotel safe and carry a photocopy with me. Am often asked for id to use credit card as I do not sign them. Photocopy is always sufficient.

Posted by
1838 posts

My wife and I have our passports with us at all times. There are a few exceptions such as when in the shower, bath, and while doing other things inside the confines of a hotel room.

Posted by
11450 posts

I leave mine in the hotel safe.. and carry my DL which so far in many trips I have only had to show to leave as a damage deposit for an audio guide at a museum ( the Louvre). I had been asked to leave my passport, which I did once years ago, then saw they just stick it in a box ( like a recipe card file box) and its not watched that carefully,, plus really anyone who returns your audio guide just gets handed your passport , so it didn't seem safe to me. I have since offered my DL ( at least last 7-8 times) and have never had them refuse that.. If I lose my DL it does not impact my trip and it only cost me 25 dollars to replace. . You do need your passport if you are a major shopper and want to claim the VAT, or if you plan on using an internet cafe. Neither of those have ever applied to me .

Posted by
9363 posts

You might also be asked for it if you buy a SIM card for your mobile phone. I had to return to my hotel to get mine in order to do so on a recent trip.

Posted by
11996 posts

The book answer is it's your valid ID as well as proof you are in the country legally (yes, they have immigration issues in Europe). You should have it with you (ideally in a moneybelt) at all times. Realistically, most people on this site won't be asked for their ID because they don't look like a problem and aren't likely to get into trouble. Many here would rather keep it somewhere safe than risk carrying it around. I carry mine because I'd rather have it and not need it than the other way around. I can't recall the last time I needed it for something outside the routine times: renting a car, checking into a hotel, or renting an audio-guide at a museum.

Posted by
410 posts

I never carry it with me and have never been asked to produce it. Although I live in Europe, I do not have a passport from a European country. I rarely stay in places with a safe and then rarely use them as I am concerned about leaving things behind in them.

Posted by
3031 posts

Pat makes a good point, I've never had my American DL or Military ID not accepted as ID for things like museum audioguides.

Posted by
693 posts

Hey, Susan and Jim - if you do carry it with you in a money belt, listen to Patty from Grafenwoehr: Put it in a baggie to keep it dry, ditto the money and whatever else you carry. If it's hot, you will sweat indelicately and the stuff will get very damp. (Actually, in the South we don't sweat, of course, we glow but we glow damply, even in Europe....)

Posted by
652 posts

I live in Germany (am an American) and rarely carry it, even when traveling and out and about for the day. Never been asked for it, but also never in any kind of situation involving police...well, other than that speed trap in Czech...I would NEVER NEVER NEVER leave my passport as security when renting an audioguide...if it got "lost" you'd really be in a jam. Use and old, expired driver's license if you still have one, they won't look at the date.