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Passport - to carry or not?
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  1. #1
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    Passport - to carry or not?

    I know the law says you should carry your passport with you at all times in Thailand, but in practice, does everyone do this? Or is ID like a driving license OK?

    I've gone through a couple of police checkpoints while being in a Taxi in this last week, both times not had my passport with me (left in apartment), but it has occurred to me that one of these times I might be asked for ID.... any thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I have read that a photocopy of your passport-remember also to include a copy of the page with the entrance visa stamp on- is acceptable in most cases -if push comes to shove, you can always go back to your hotel with the cops to produce the real thing.

  3. #3
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    I carried it the first couple of times I went to Thailand but stopped thereafter. The reason, it was starting to look like it had been dunked in the local klong a number of times. If you do decide to carry it, put it in a waterproof envelope otherwise the sweat will wrinkle it away !

    Of course you can carry it in in your handbag

  4. #4
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    Depends,

    If you are here long term then your Thai drivers lisence has your passport number on it and will suffice, But the photocopy of the first 2 pages of the passport will also do it, and if you are here and outside during songkran then you do want to take Petes advise about the plastic bag as the festival of sprinkling water on elders to show respect has turned into a hooligan affair where everyone outside is soaked with buckets of ice water and females are molested with the powder applications.

  5. #5
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    Personally I rarely carry my passport, even thought I have special passport pockets built into most of my clothes, the reason is if it gets to badly damaged and you want to leave the country, it will not be considered a valid document. My passport was getting bend, creased and damaged just from sitting in a chair. I carry my Australian drivers license, which is hard plastic credit card size and my passport number on a piece of paper, and if the police want any more than that, they can come back to where I'm staying to see it, well that could be 250 klm away, so why would they bother, there got better things to do, all there got to do is check on a computer, your visa records from your passport number to see if your legally in the country and your drivers license has your photo ID any way, what more proof do they need.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FaranginPhetch
    If you are here long term then your Thai drivers lisence has your passport number on it
    Really? I have a five year license and mine doesn't have my passport number on it.

    The only time I carry my passport is when I go far away from home on an overnight trip. It is always a good idea to have some form of i.d. However, I find that my Thai drivers license is accepted in all cases so far. For example, entering a restricted army base, passing a checkpoint near the Burmese border and staying in a hotel. For the latter they always ask for a passport but (as an experiment for our websites) I usually say I didn't bring it to see what would happen. In every case my drivers license was fine.

  7. #7
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    I don't know if everyone that has a visa would be in a computer as Thai ain't much into them yet, I am registered as I have a house book, 5 year drivers license, and have for years had an "O" retired visa and I am in the computers, but I would not trust them to take me to my hotel to look at my passport if it was in question, The police do about as they wish and you might just find yourself down in the Immigration cells til someone brought them proof, coarse tea money might settle the issue.

    And why would anyone have passport pockets put in his cloths back by his wallet where he would set on it?? mine is inside my jacket in the left side by my shirt pocket and another on the right side inside and I carry my passport and tickets in them.

    No Richard,Not on my 5 year license, but your first couple of licenses are for one year and the PP# is on those and being a short timer that would be the license you should have.
    I also carry my hospital registery card for the govt hospital here in Phetchabun, but I don't go far from home much and if I do it is generally for a visa renewal and I have my passport, house book and what ever papers that my wife thinks we need.
    Last edited by FaranginPhetch; 25-06-06 at 08:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    I leave it in the hotel safety deposite box when I'm on the beach.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCCr6
    I know the law says you should carry your passport with you at all times in Thailand, but in practice, does everyone do this?
    My first trip to Thailand, I carried a photocopy in my wallet and left the passport in my luggage. It only became a problem at the airport when suddenly I didn't have any "real" ID. Thai Airways was very understanding, and accepted the photocopy.

    My second trip, I carried the passport in my day pack. I managed to get it completely soaked on a longtail boat trip (as well much baht), and ruined my guidebook drying everything out. After that, a sandwich sized plastic zip bag became essential equipment. I kept it all in my camera bag, inside the pack.

    Next time, I don''t know... a guy on my first trip told the story of walking half a block to pick up a newspaper in Tokyo and spending half the day in jail because he didn't have his passport. Who needs that sort of hassle??

  10. #10
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    Well personally I don't carry my passport anywhere with me, the only time it has caused consternation at a hotel was on Sukhumvit when I told them I did not have it, then I told them I remembered my PP#, which I do, they were happy with that. I've never been accosted by the police (fingers crossed). Generally I travel by public transport, having none of my own, so checkpoints haven't been a problem, although if I were going anywhere near the borders then I would probably take it.
    I am too scared of losing it or it being damaged. Anyway I've got to get a new one now mine has run out, well nearly

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