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carry passport or copy?

Nashville
Level Contributor
248 posts
4 reviews
carry passport or copy?

hello - is it the passport one should carry and leave copy at hotel or vice versa? which do stores require for identification for purchases, age for drinking..? thank you.

Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
9,242 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: carry passport or copy?

carry the original and leave a copy in the hotel just in case it gets lost. I do have copies of all my documents and list of phone numbers from credit cards, etc stored online in case I loose any of these while traveling

In Spain is routine procedure to check an ID card/passport EVERY time you want to pay by card, anywhere (shops, restaurants...). It's just a security measure, and in fact most of we locals will be upset if they don't do it! :) It's unlikely any shop will accept a photocopy

In addition, in theory you may be asked to show your ID by the police at any time, even this very rarely happens (unless you get in trouble). Please notice that police may ask for your ID, NEVER will ask to see your money (this is an old scam)

Unless you seems to be younger than 16 no one will ask your for a proof of your age for drinking

Enjoy your trip!

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
3,590 posts
66 reviews
2. Re: carry passport or copy?

I always leave a full set of copies of all my information with someone at home. If I loose everything, my theory is that copies could be faxed to me.

I always carry my passport with me and leave a copy at the hotel.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
52 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: carry passport or copy?

i did the exact opposit. i carried a copy of my passport and leave the original in the safe in the hotel. i did shop at some of the nice shops on passeige de gacia and they all ask to see my passport in order to fill out the tax refund form. they all accept my passport copy.

i would carry the original if the hotel didn't have a safe though. just be careful of pickpockets. use a money belt or something.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9,278 posts
14 reviews
4. Re: carry passport or copy?

Here are the suggestions from the USA Passport Office:

1. Make two photocopies of your passport. Leave one with someone who can fax it to you in case of emergency and carry the other one with you while traveling, but in a separate place from you passport.

2. Lock your passport in your hotel safe if this service is provided.

You are required by Spanish law to carry a photo ID with you at all times. The photocopy will work, as will your driver's license. You may be required to show you photo ID when using a credit card.

Nashville
Level Contributor
248 posts
4 reviews
5. Re: carry passport or copy?

wonderful insights and tips -- thank you. if i may ask a follow up given responses - would driver's license (w/ picture, birth date, address) then be adequate to carry for purchases instead of passport?

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9,278 posts
14 reviews
6. Re: carry passport or copy?

You'll only need the passport if you intend to get a VAT refund. Either the passport, or your passport number. A photocopy will do. If you're received a passport during the 4 or 5 years, then you should have received a card that you can print your number on and carry it in your wallet.

Barcelona, Spain
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Berlin
Level Contributor
22,418 posts
7 reviews
7. Re: carry passport or copy?

I would also say leave passport in hotel safe. Driving licence will also do as ID for shops with the exception of FNAC which specifies passport. We've never been asked for ID when using credit cards in restaurants in Barcelona or elsewhere in Spain but ALWAYS in shops (even in local supermarket).

It's extremely unnerving to us EU nationals resident in Spain that changes in Spanish legislation have meant the end of the plastic ID card "tarjeta de residencia". We are now issued with a large (A4) paper "Cerificado de residencia" which we are supposed to carry around with us along with our passport, for official purposes. That's certainly not a change for the better. Being a Brit I don't have a national ID card from my own country so losing your passport is a major drama.

As to police stopping you, if you are law-abiding, and white it is extremely in likely to happen (except for the scams from fake police Belsaita mentions). If you are from an ethnic minority, more chance of being stopped.

Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
419 posts
1 review
8. Re: carry passport or copy?

If there is a safe place to leave it, don't carry your passport with you. The driver license will do fine. I've used mine as proof of identity all around the world, Spain included, and only had problems in one bar in the US where they said "it was not in their book of acceptable IDs"... Otherwise don't risk loosing your passport or getting it stolen. Leave it in the Hotel safe or if they don't have one carry it with you in a secure place.

Nashville
Level Contributor
248 posts
4 reviews
9. Re: carry passport or copy?

thanks all - i feel i am now as fully prepared as possible!

Great Barrington...
Level Contributor
4,268 posts
65 reviews
10. Re: carry passport or copy?

NEVER carry your original passport around! Use it only for ID when you travel through passport control. Find some alternate form of ID for bars.