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Are passport copies accepted at albergues?

rainswift

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Jun 2024 - Portuguese Litoral + VE + Finisterre
After reading recent and old discussions on securing your valuables and splitting cash into multiple locations, I decided to get a money belt.

Originally the plan was to carry phone, passport, and credencial in my waist pack, with the passport and credencial together in one of Ivar's lovely passport sleeves - all the easier for presenting at the albergue.

Should I try presenting a photocopy of my passport instead to albergues, and keep the real passport in the money belt? Will that be generally accepted? The scenario I don't want is to be digging into my money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster.
 
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As @henrythedog already said, Spanish law requires you to present your passport and not a copy.

As a reminder:
  • Spanish nationals: DNI, passport or driving licence
  • Foreign nationals who are residents in Spain can present their Spanish residence permit.
  • Foreign nationals: Passport
  • Foreign nationals who are EU or EEA nationals can present their national ID card.
Can forum members who have had proper training as hospitaleros in a Camino albergue inform what their instructions are? A number of forum members reported in the past that they presented copies of their passports and that it was accepted at check-in in a Camino albergue.

BTW, I've never read that forum members fabricated copies of their national ID cards to present them instead of their proper document.

FWIW.
 
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Should I try presenting a photocopy of my passport instead to albergues, and keep the real passport in the money belt? Will that be generally accepted? The
You can if you wish, although it may not be accepted everywhere as above.

Should you do so, ensure that your passport is in a sealed plastic bag. Heat and moisture (sweat) can cause a passport to delaminate. I know!
Can forum members who have had proper training as hospitaleros in a Camino albergue inform what their instructions are? A number of forum members reported in the past that they presented copies of their passports and that it was accepted at check-in in a Camino albergue.
Whilst I have completed my training I have yet to serve. It wasn’t covered during the initial training, I suspect that is an element that would be covered in the Albergue itself (system specific). And remember, here you’re talking about less than 50 Albergues in a network of thousands, most of them privately owned.
BTW, I've never read that forum members fabricated copies of their national ID cards to present them instead of their proper document.
Why would you bother? They’re not bulky like a passport, plus they’re plastic (waterproof) so much easier to secure elsewhere. My passport stays in my moneybelt, my ID in a zipped pocket, my day’s cash in two separate easy to access locations.

Spanish law requires you to present your passport and not a copy.
Yes, but against that you have to factor in human nature. A copy is flat and hence easier to read. You’d have to look fairly dodgy, or come up against someone who is a stickler for the letter of the law for it to be refused.
The law say’s that we are not allowed to Speed. Individual respect for this varies wildly!

Please note: I’m not encouraging the practice, just simply pointing out that like most things, it’s an individual choice. The law says you have to produce the original, so long as you are prepared to do so if challenged, then there is no real issue.

@rainswift , the primary advantage of a moneybelt is keeping your valuables with you at all times - taken into the shower with you, worn to bed at night. Whilst I NEVER access mine in public( robbery prevention) accessing it within the Albergue walls does not carry the same level of risk. Practice a few times with your gear on and you’ll very quickly get the hang of it.
 
Might be lucky , might not. Much the same as walking poles in carry on...it often depends on the person who is dealing with it. FWIW my passport , money and phone will all fit into my waist belt attachment. Once per day my passport comes out ( when arriving at the albergue) small amount of daily cash for coffee, grub etc is in another pocket.

When I go off to the shower, all those valuables will fit into the pocket of my shorts and are never far away from me. My trouser and shorts have enough pockets for me to split valuables about and I won't lose them all at once

tldr ... ? be prepared to have to furnish your original passport or id card

scofflaw™ :p
 
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In Roncesvalles you need to hand us your passport or ID-card (and indeed: for Spanish people a driving license is also accepted). Not a copy, neither on paper nor on your telephone. We have to scan the NFC chip in your passport, in this chip all your personal data are stored.
Quite often we have French pilgrims without a passport; we have to send them back to the Guardia Civil in Valcarlos, where they can obtain a 'laissez-passer', a temporary travel document.
 
@Peterexpatkiwi, thank you for sharing your thoughts about how to protect a passport from rain and to prevent other mishap.

The question, though, is about digging into a money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster. I simply wonder what the disaster could be and whether the risk of a disaster is greater for a passport than an ID card. The only risk that I can imagine for myself is that I forget to put the document back into my backpack / waist belt / bag. I sometimes travel with both passport and ID card btw. And I do make a copy of my passport - just in case I lose it and need the copy for a police declaration and an emergency paper to continue travelling and returning home but for no other purpose.

PS: @Ianinam makes a good point: The personal data are read from data stored invisibly on the original document.
 
Many albergues, including the one I most recently volunteered at, use hand held scanners now, to speed up the registration process. If a document wouldn't scan for whatever reason, we could enter the information manually, but our instructions when checking in pilgrims, was to ensure they always provided their original passport/dni.

You might get away with a copy in some albergues, but better to save yourself any grief and just present your original.
 
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Many albergues, including the one I most recently volunteered at, use hand held scanners now, to speed up the registration process. If a document wouldn't scan for whatever reason, we could enter the information manually, but our instructions when checking in pilgrims, was to ensure they always provided their original passport/dni.

You might get away with a copy in some albergues, but better to save yourself any grief and just present your original.

We do the same. And the old-fashioned Italian ID's are just paper, without NFC-chip, so we have to enter them manually anyway and unfortunately this takes a lot of time.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
This question raises a concern I have generally about the security of recording of passport information.

I asked at Roncesvalles about their security measures for recording the data and they didn't know... but were very cordial.

So many times we hand over our passports and who ever is on the desk at any albergue takes a photo... on their phone. Which I'm confident has no security.

This isn't so much a camino issue but a general issue as it seems common practice in so many places.

We're french residents and 90% of the time our French ID and driver's license is accepted (even by border officials).

I carry all and of course comply with the requests but the issue of identity security should be more regulated? Or am I over thinking this?
 
Yes; they often think that a copy on their telephone is sufficient. And sometimes they do not even realise they are in another country.
I have to confess that before I walked on the Camino I was believing "Roncevaux" were in France.
Perhaps some pilgrims stopping there are not aware that they are in Spain yet...
 
And sometimes they do not even realise they are in another country.
Yes, I do love the lack of physical borders within Europe.
I have to confess I once walked from Canada into the States without realising. The borders were not as strictly controlled then as they are now, and because I was not following a main trail I saw zero signage. It wasn't until I bumped into a US border patrol unit that I realized that the cleared area I had crossed was not actually just another fire break but the border.
Apparently nowadays I would be arrested. Back then after a little initial suspicion we all had a good laugh, shared a quick break and they sent me 'home' again.

In keeping with the theme of this thread: yes I had my passport in my money belt!
 
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So many times we hand over our passports and who ever is on the desk at any albergue takes a photo... on their phone. Which I'm confident has no security.
This is bad practice and afaik it is not allowed in Spain and other EU countries to do so for the purposes of registering guests - due to the GDPR and other private data protections laws. Here is one article of many of this kind that explain it: https://protecciondatos.conversia.es/fotocopia-dni/

However, I read that it is frequently done by reception staff and tolerated by their guests. It never happened to me in Spain or France and I would challenge this practice of having a photo of my passport or ID card taken, especially on a private individual's phone.

PS - @Pafayac and others: I, too, used to think that Roncevaux was in France ☺️. I knew it only under its literary (French) name and I was not even aware of the placename Roncesvalles let alone Orreaga.
 
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Quite often we have French pilgrims without a passport; we have to send them back to the Guardia Civil in Valcarlos, where they can obtain a 'laissez-passer', a temporary travel document.
This is useful to know for other pilgrims who forgot their (European) ID card at home: for staying in Spain or for travelling back home from Spain it is sufficient to have a temporary travel document issued by the police. You don't need to go home to pick it up or have it sent to you as some forum members erroneously believed and who went to great trouble and travelled from SJPP to their national consulate in Bordeaux to obtain a replacement ID card or emergency passport because they did not know about this option.

Just for info: As a foreigner in Spain you are obliged to carry your valid national ID card or passport with you even when you are (usually) not controlled at the border between France and Spain or when you fly to Spain from your Schengen home country where you will not be subject to border control.
 
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When I recently renewed my American passport I also requested (and paid for) an additional passport card. These have two different identification numbers. The card is not valid except for land and sea travel between some adjoining and nearby countries. I'm hoping that it might be accepted as a national ID card like a EU one might. If plan A works I have something easier to use and less valuable in case of loss. If it doesn't work, I still need to carry the passport book (in a safer place) so I'll bring plan B into action.
 
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The photo copy may seem like a good idea, but can have negative consequences:

I did something similar, carrying a photocopy of my passport in case I lost it (emailing it to myself or saving a scan online wasn't a possibility back then). What happened was that the photocopy was stolen and used by someone else to attempt to request a passport in my name. Since then, it's always taken me a lot longer to get a renewed passport than anyone else in my family.

BTW, that was in Spain.
 
The question, though, is about digging into a money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster. I simply wonder what the disaster could be and whether the risk of a disaster is greater for a passport than an ID card. The only risk that I can imagine for myself is that I forget to put the document back into my backpack / waist belt / bag. I sometimes travel with both passport and ID card btw. And I do make a copy of my passport - just in case I lose it and need the copy for a police declaration and an emergency paper to continue travelling and returning home but for no other purpose.
Valid point, and your response to the question is correct, as said I too see no 'potential for disaster'.
If you are out in public, yes, the potential for a mugger to see you and therefore target you is much higher. Hence why I never, ever, access my money belt in public view. (There's always a shelf to briefly hide behind, a toilet to utilize etc).

In this instance (wearing and accessing a money belt within the Albergue environment) we're trying to avoid theft, not robbery, two very different things.

The experience of @David Tallan highlights a very good reason not to carry a physical copy. Which incidentally I no longer do nowadays.

I email both myself and my son a photograph of my passport, my credit cards, and any travel documents. That way should I lose everything all I have to do is access a phone/ computer and either log in to my email account or worst case get hold of my son.
 
... the photocopy [of my passport] was stolen and used by someone else to attempt to request a passport in my name. Since then, it's always taken me a lot longer to get a renewed passport than anyone else in my family.
But yet (impersonal) you leave your passport overnight at lodgings. Or probably worse, photos of your passport to be picked up by hackers.
 
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I email both myself and my son a photograph of my passport, my credit cards, and any travel documents. That way should I lose everything all I have to do is access a phone/ computer and either log in to my email account or worst case get hold of my son.
Good idea, but it takes time to have a son, and more time to raise him in order he can receive email !
Another possibility is to use a digital safe, like this one:
Digiposte
It is in french, but very easy to use and I am sure you can find american or english safes.
 
But yet (impersonal) you leave your passport overnight at lodgings. Or probably worse, photos of your passport to be picked up by hackers.
I didn't then and even less now. My passport is always with me and the photos are behind two-factor authentication. There is only so much one can do.
 
I didn't then and even less now. My passport is always with me and the photos are behind two-factor authentication. There is only so much one can do.
The paper photocopy can also be kept with you. Yeah, I know it was stolen but your passport could have been also. The photocopy can also be kept in a secure place but in a more easily accessible spot. I'm thinking of a money belt with an extra zippered pocket inside for the passport book but the main pouch for the copy.

What I mean about the digital photocopies are not the ones you might take but the ones that lodgings might take of your passport when you check-in.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
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I didn't expect so much debate! ^_^;;
Yep, I was the same when I first joined the forum - I couldn't believe how long some threads were over what to me was often a very minor issue. Plus, all too often people read the first post and comment on it without reading further. It's often already been answered far better/ more accurately by somebody else... .

Let alone the various directions (often completely unrelated) that they go off in! At least this one is pretty much staying on track - well, so far .....

The good thing is is that occasionally you pick up some real gems of information from the discussions.
 
A copy is not

As @henrythedog already said, Spanish law requires you to present your passport and not a copy.

As a reminder:
  • Spanish nationals: DNI, passport or driving licence
  • Foreign nationals who are residents in Spain can present their Spanish residence permit.
  • Foreign nationals: Passport
  • Foreign nationals who are EU or EEA nationals can present their national ID card.
Can forum members who have had proper training as hospitaleros in a Camino albergue inform what their instructions are? A number of forum members reported in the past that they presented copies of their passports and that it was accepted at check-in in a Camino albergue.

BTW, I've never read that forum members fabricated copies of their national ID cards to present them instead of their proper document.

FWIW.
I’ve been on 5 Caminos and always carried a laminated copy of the info page of my passport. It has never been refused. I carry the real one in a waist belt and the only pull it out at the airport. Only at one place was it a problem because they were scanning into their computer and the reflection was a problem but she got it to work. I’m so afraid of losing it. At several places when it was very busy they took everyone’s passport and retuned them later after they did their paperwork. Never a problem.
 
Not true. I’ve used a copy (laminated) on 4 Caminos. Never an issue.
I am on my 4th Camino and have a laminated copy of my passport id page in the front page of my pilgrims
Credential .
It makes it simple and easy to access.
I try never to give anyone my original passport as there is alway a chance of it getting misplaced.
 
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After reading recent and old discussions on securing your valuables and splitting cash into multiple locations, I decided to get a money belt.

Originally the plan was to carry phone, passport, and credencial in my waist pack, with the passport and credencial together in one of Ivar's lovely passport sleeves - all the easier for presenting at the albergue.

Should I try presenting a photocopy of my passport instead to albergues, and keep the real passport in the money belt? Will that be generally accepted? The scenario I don't want is to be digging into my money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster.
Yes. I have laminated copy of the first 2 pages of my passport and stapled it into my credential for last 2 CFs, del Norte and CI. Always accepted in albergues, hotels, pharmacies for prescription, clinic, SIM card store and train station. Saves lots of time instead of digging out the real thing. It has never been questioned; rather, they all say what a great idea it is.
 
Digging into a money belt is awkward, but no one will care when you are alone at a hotel checkin desk.

Just don't dig into a money belt in a public place. Imagine a thief watching you dig 100 Euro note out of a money belt and storing it into an outside pocket. Bingo! Now you are a target!


-Paul
 
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€149,-
After reading recent and old discussions on securing your valuables and splitting cash into multiple locations, I decided to get a money belt.

Originally the plan was to carry phone, passport, and credencial in my waist pack, with the passport and credencial together in one of Ivar's lovely passport sleeves - all the easier for presenting at the albergue.

Should I try presenting a photocopy of my passport instead to albergues, and keep the real passport in the money belt? Will that be generally accepted? The scenario I don't want is to be digging into my money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster.
we have done 7 caminos and we always copy our passport page with photo and tape it to the first page of our camino passport. We keep the original passport safely tucked away. We have never encountered a problem with this and have actually been complimented on the idea from the reception at the albergues.
 
As @henrythedog already said, Spanish law requires you to present your passport and not a copy.
I was never told this in many months as hospitalero. On the other hand, no one ever offered me a copy. But if they had, I would have just typed the number and date into the hospederías database and the Guardía Civil wouldn’t know the difference. Not encouraging anyone to break the law—if I had known about such a law, I would have followed it.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
On my CF and CP Caminos I always presented a laminated copy of my passport. I was never asked for my original.
 
You can if you wish, although it may not be accepted everywhere as above.

Should you do so, ensure that your passport is in a sealed plastic bag. Heat and moisture (sweat) can cause a passport to delaminate. I know!

Whilst I have completed my training I have yet to serve. It wasn’t covered during the initial training, I suspect that is an element that would be covered in the Albergue itself (system specific). And remember, here you’re talking about less than 50 Albergues in a network of thousands, most of them privately owned.

Why would you bother? They’re not bulky like a passport, plus they’re plastic (waterproof) so much easier to secure elsewhere. My passport stays in my moneybelt, my ID in a zipped pocket, my day’s cash in two separate easy to access locations.


Yes, but against that you have to factor in human nature. A copy is flat and hence easier to read. You’d have to look fairly dodgy, or come up against someone who is a stickler for the letter of the law for it to be refused.
The law say’s that we are not allowed to Speed. Individual respect for this varies wildly!

Please note: I’m not encouraging the practice, just simply pointing out that like most things, it’s an individual choice. The law says you have to produce the original, so long as you are prepared to do so if challenged, then there is no real issue.

@rainswift , the primary advantage of a moneybelt is keeping your valuables with you at all times - taken into the shower with you, worn to bed at night. Whilst I NEVER access mine in public( robbery prevention) accessing it within the Albergue walls does not carry the same level of risk. Practice a few times with your gear on and you’ll very quickly get the hang of it.
What kind of money belt do you use?
 
What kind of money belt do you use?
A 35+ year old Macpac
17168466756053909111700923378584.jpg
Edited to add: considering that I was traveling for nine years and would have worn it for months at a time during each of those years, Plus on numerous trips since, I'm personally astonished it's still in such good condition!
 
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The Short Answer is Yes.
Most Albergues will be just fine with a copy of your main page of your passport. I carried it in a document pouch underneath my shirt. My main passport I kept safe deep inside my backpack. I had the main page of my passport copied and my sister laminated it. The only times I needed
my real passport was just at two Albergues, at the Airports, and at the border when I went to visit my niece in Montpelier, France. And one of the albergues that needed my real passport would have accepted my laminated one except the lamination reflected when they made a copy of
it. If it wasn't laminated, they would have accepted it. I figure the less people handling my real passport, the better. Even tho, I almost lost my real passport as it was. I had accidentally left a smaller bag of my stuff in the bathroom at an albergue. The Albergue where I stayed the next night had someone drive me back to that other albergue. Boy was I relieved when they produced my smaller bag. Note to self, don't put your passport in with your bathroom stuff.
 
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Honestly, I can't support the copy thing. Is it easier for you? Maybe, but at almost everyplace I have worked except Grañón, we have been told to look at the original documents. The Guardia Civil do come by and check the handwritten register that we use so I need to see the original. At Grañón, when we were there, you signed yourself into the register and we had no stamp (only the stamp in your heart). You had to a stamp somewhere else in town for your credential.

It is a requirement and I never let pilgrims slide by. Other places have the luxury of a scan method which may or may not work on a copy. I do not. Either passport or DNI card. Call me crabby, but that is what you'll get from me as a volunteer hospitalera.
 
I carry my passport in my small crossbody bag that is always on me, or in the case of showering or sleeping, right next to me. I don't think that it would be safer buried in my backpack.
 
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At several places when it was very busy they took everyone’s passport and retuned them later after they did their paperwork. Never a problem.
In my view, that is never acceptable, and I won't let that happen. Even at some hotels. where the reception staff have the photocopier in a back room, I am not comfortable letting my passport out of my sight.

That said, using accredited copies of travel documents and not exposing the originals to theft has to be a good thing just as a basic security practice. If a copy of a passport isn't acceptable at some place, and the original has to be produced, that doesn't seem too much of an issue to me. Where a copy is okay, that will have been one less time where the original passport was exposed to the risk of theft or some damage to the machine readable components that are important to its integrity as an identification document.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
A copy of your passport does not have the (invisible) NFC chip in your passport/ID-card which contains all your personal data. Hospitaleros at Roncesvalles need your real passport (or ID-card), otherwise you cannot sleep there. No discussion possible!
I am curious.
Not arguing.
I accept your information as policy in Roncesvalles.
I had understood that the details required by "authorities" was sufficient with recording a passport number. My experience is out of date. So now, is all the digital information contained in a qr code essential? My experience is limited to a parochial before Pamplona.
 
In my view, that is never acceptable, and I won't let that happen. Even at some hotels. where the reception staff have the photocopier in a back room, I am not comfortable letting my passport out of my sight.

That said, using accredited copies of travel documents and not exposing the originals to theft has to be a good thing just as a basic security practice. If a copy of a passport isn't acceptable at some place, and the original has to be produced, that doesn't seem too much of an issue to me. Where a copy is okay, that will have been one less time where the original passport was exposed to the risk of theft or some damage to the machine readable components that are important to its integrity as an identification document.
100% agree with first para. Not always avoidable sadly. Often done in land border crossings even a recent EU to EU crossing. I hate it as you stand there as the agent comes back with loads of passport and calls the names out!

Moped hirers and hotels in some parts of the world sometimes want to hold for the duration but I hold my position there!
 
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At several places when it was very busy they took everyone’s passport and retuned them later after they did their paperwork
In my view, that is never acceptable, and I won't let that happen. Even at some hotels. where the reception staff have the photocopier in a back room, I am not comfortable letting my passport out of my sight.
100% agree with first para. Not always avoidable sadly. Often done in land border crossings even a recent EU to EU crossing. I hate it as you stand there as the agent comes back with loads of passport and calls the names out!
@gloria lowe and @dougfitz refer to hotel staff and albergue volunteers - private individuals - taking your passport and keeping it for some time. @TravellingMan22 refers to border police - officials acting on behalf and in the service of the government.

Two totally different things! Totally different tasks!

As far as I know - I am not checking it - private individuals such as reception staff in hotels or albergues have no business with taking and keeping your passport for any length of time, and this is regulated by law in EU countries (by the GDPR for one thing but it was already the case in earlier years). Their only business is taking those personal data that they are legally obliged to take, and then either store or transmit these data as legally required, and not keeping your passport or ID card let alone photocopying your personal details including your photo. I would question such behaviour and I would object to it in EU countries such as Spain and France.
 
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Well, as the saying goes, your Camiño your way…

I am curious.
Not arguing.
I accept your information as policy in Roncesvalles.
I had understood that the details required by "authorities" was sufficient with recording a passport number. My experience is out of date. So now, is all the digital information contained in a qr code essential? My experience is limited to a parochial before Pamplona.
The information from the passports/Id-cards are sent directly to the Guardia Civil. We - in the albergue - do not save those data.
 
I carry my passport in my small crossbody bag that is always on me, or in the case of showering or sleeping, right next to me. I don't think that it would be safer buried in my backpack.
I kept the copy in a small crossbody bag that is always on me. Whether my real passport is safer deep inside my backpack is debatable. But my point was that the color copy and laminated version of my passport was accepted at almost every albergue. I also kept a photo of my passport on my password locked phone. So, I had a backup in case something happened to my real passport.
 
I kept the copy in a small crossbody bag that is always on me. Whether my real passport is safer deep inside my backpack is debatable.

Set your backpack down and it can be stollen. Crossbody bag strap can be cut and stollen.

The only safe place for a passport is in a money belt under your clothes.

Stolen passports are worth a lot of money on the black market.


-Paul
 
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3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
Set your backpack down and it can be stollen. Crossbody bag strap can be cut and stollen.
Cut and run thefts are really not an issue on the Camino. I use different strategies when I'm in more pickpocket dense areas.

But I might like some stollen, it looks delicious.😄
 
I haven't read through this whole thread, so am sorry if I am repeating information already said. I am noticing that more and more places I stay at take their own photo of my passport. I wonder how it is much different than showing a laminated copy in person or for the photo taken?🤔
Also, two places I stayed on the Sanabres a few weeks ago chose to NOT want my passport even after I offered it to them.😳
A few other places chose to have me register my passport information on a form online ahead of time earlier in the day of arrival...a nuisance for me when tired and walking.
 
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For what it's worth: if you apply for a NIE, the law says you get it within five days—but mine took two months even though I showed them that law!! It's merely an identification number, but you can use it instead of passport for the hospederías registry. (And for some other purposes.)

 
When I recently renewed my American passport I also requested (and paid for) an additional passport card. These have two different identification numbers. The card is not valid except for land and sea travel between some adjoining and nearby countries. I'm hoping that it might be accepted as a national ID card like a EU one might. If plan A works I have something easier to use and less valuable in case of loss. If it doesn't work, I still need to carry the passport book (in a safer place) so I'll bring plan B into action.
Please let us know if the card works for you. They are so much easier to access than our passport books.
 
Please let us know if the card works for you. They are so much easier to access than our passport books.
It's going to be awhile. I don't have any overseas trips planned. I did bring the card with me to Ireland last year but I never needed to show my passport except to enter (and maybe leave).
 
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It's going to be awhile. I don't have any overseas trips planned. I did bring the card with me to Ireland last year but I never needed to show my passport except to enter (and maybe leave).
Not at an albergue, but an apartment in Sevilla a few years ago- the host accepted a photo of our passports. We had just left the apartment and would have returned to get the originals, but he accepted and took a photo of our copies. It would be interesting if we could use our passport cards instead.

Now that I've had time to think about it- the host took a photo of our passport copies because we had left our passports in the safe in our apartment. :) 🥾
 
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As far as I know, US passport cards are not accepted for this purpose.
US passport cards are officially valid only for some countries under some conditions. For Europe you will be required to carry to carry a passport book. It is an experiment to see if bringing the card too and using it when checking into lodging will work.
 
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The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
US passport cards are officially valid only for some countries under some conditions. For Europe you will be required to carry to carry a passport book. It is an experiment to see if bringing the card too and using it when checking into lodging will work.
I thought of doing the same, then I thought that it would be more trouble than it's worth if even half of the places accept it.
 
Not at an albergue, but an apartment in Sevilla a few years ago- the host accepted a photo of our passports. We had just left the apartment and would have returned to get the originals, but he accepted and took a photo of our copies. It would be interesting if we could use our passport cards instead.
The past few years, some hotel/pension owners have taken a photo of our passports themselves.
I would never leave my passport in the room while I go out and have no interest in a passport card. I see it as another worry of its own if lost or stolen; a secondary way potentially have my identity information stolen.
It only takes a few extra moments to retrieve your passport if its kept on your person at all times.
 
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Regarding the US passport card, this is from the US Dept. of State. Pretty clear that it is not for travel to Europe.

The U.S. passport card is a wallet-sized, plastic passport that has no visa pages. The card is proof of U.S. citizenship and identity, and has the same length of validity as the passport book.
The card is for U.S. citizens who travel by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Caribbean countries.
The card is not valid for international travel by air and is cheaper than the passport book.
You can apply for either the book or card, or both documents.
 
Regarding the US passport card, this is from the US Dept. of State. Pretty clear that it is not for travel to Europe.

The U.S. passport card is a wallet-sized, plastic passport that has no visa pages. The card is proof of U.S. citizenship and identity, and has the same length of validity as the passport book.
The card is for U.S. citizens who travel by land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and Caribbean countries.
The card is not valid for international travel by air and is cheaper than the passport book.
You can apply for either the book or card, or both documents.
Even though the passport card is not for European travel we carry it in addition to our passport books. We keep them separate in the event of loss/stolen book. We do not travel with our drivers licenses so the card is another original form of identification to present to the US Embassy that would help facilitate the issue of a new passport rather than just having copies (or photos) of our book.
 
This is bad practice and afaik it is not allowed in Spain and other EU countries to do so for the purposes of registering guests - due to the GDPR and other private data protections laws. Here is one article of many of this kind that explain it: https://protecciondatos.conversia.es/fotocopia-dni/

However, I read that it is frequently done by reception staff and tolerated by their guests. It never happened to me in Spain or France and I would challenge this practice of having a photo of my passport or ID card taken, especially on a private individual's phone.

PS - @Pafayac and others: I, too, used to think that Roncevaux was in France ☺️. I knew it only under its literary (French) name and I was not even aware of the placename Roncesvalles let alone Orreaga.

The article is clear, but what about the practice? If you refuse to have your passport photocopied or photographed with a phone, can they refuse to check you in and you have to find another accommodation?
I am specifically interested for France this year.

Pereonally, I am more worried about my passport being photographed by a phone then a physical photocopy by a photocopy machine. Or is this a wrong impression and machines store copied information?
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
The article is clear, but what about the practice? If you refuse to have your passport photocopied or photographed with a phone, can they refuse to check you in and you have to find another accommodation?
I am specifically interested for France this year.

Pereonally, I am more worried about my passport being photographed by a phone then a physical photocopy by a photocopy machine. Or is this a wrong impression and machines store copied information?
In my experience, they are not necessarily photographing your ID. Sometimes they are using an app that reads the text from your passport and automatically enters the data into the system. This saves them typing your full name, passport no. etc.
 
I am specifically interested for France this year
I've stayed in France numerous times over the years and do not recall that I had to hand over my ID card for any length of time. I had to show it at reception but I've paid so little attention that I can't even say how regularly this happens. I stay at small hotels, gîtes (rarely), chambres d'hôte / chez l'habitant (rarely). I do think that these owners and their staff are educated and know the law. No idea about any temporary volunteer hospitaleros though. I am not even certain whether you must show ID. I think that you often simply fill in a form and sign it, and not even that when your name, address etc were already transmitted during earlier booking.

Unlike in Spain, your personal data are not transmitted to the police in France but the police can request them or have access to them under specific clearly defined circumstances. Only foreign tourists have to provide their data / fill in a form. The data have to be kept for 6 months only.

https://www.cnil.fr/fr/cnil-direct/...peut-il-faire-une-copie-de-ma-piece-didentite
 
The article is clear, but what about the practice? If you refuse to have your passport photocopied or photographed with a phone, can they refuse to check you in and you have to find another accommodation?
I am specifically interested for France this year.

Pereonally, I am more worried about my passport being photographed by a phone then a physical photocopy by a photocopy machine. Or is this a wrong impression and machines store copied information?
Yes, any business can refuse you service. If you fail to provide them identification, they definitely will not allow you to stay. You can argue that it’s unfair, that what they are doing is against EU regulations, file a complaint, and so on, but as a foreigner in a foreign land, good luck getting a resolution in your favor. Most likely you will be out looking for another accommodation and then fighting for a refund of your paid accommodation. And if you find another place to stay? It will likely require the same identification.

In short, move on from this. There are a million ways to steal your information digitally online that trying to do it from a photocopy or photo of your passport is not how they’ll do it.
 
...and ship it to Santiago for storage. You pick it up once in Santiago. Service offered by Casa Ivar (we use DHL for transportation).
If you refuse to have your passport photocopied or photographed with a phone, can they refuse to check you in and you have to find another accommodation?
Honestly, I cannot image that this will ever happen in France. You may have to fill in the fiche de police or let them copy your personal data from your ID card or electronically scan those data from the card that are required by law but no photocopy or photo which would include your image and other details that are not needed to be registered and kept by French law. If it ever happened to me I would politely say that I prefer to fill in the fiche myself or wait until they have more time to process my data correctly comme il faut ... 😘

Some of us take their rights of the protection of their personal data more seriously than others. That's why we have the GDPR for example. :cool:

Here's the text of a hospitality association in France - CNIL is the French data protection agency: De nombreux hôteliers ont pris l’habitude de copier ou de scanner la pièce d’identité de leurs clients pour se prémunir de fraudes lors du paiement ou en guise de fiche de police (Lire ici notre article sur la fiche de police). Pourtant si la consultation peut s’avérer nécessaire lors du check-in notamment pour vérifier la nationalité du client ou en cas de paiement par chèque, il est strictement interdit d’en faire une copie papier ou numérique (Lire ici la réponse de la CNIL sur le sujet).
 
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The one circumstance where I've seen someone carrying no passport but only a photocopy and being accepted -- and caveat this was YEARS ago, when the rules were somewhat less strict -- was that the pilgrim had been a victim of theft and the actual passport was lost ; and the pilgrim was carrying a declaration of the theft as well. It wasn't simple, there was a small argument/debate and so on, but the hospitaleros eventually allowed it by exception due to the circumstance, and because all of the pilgrim's other papers all showed the same name and so on.
 
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My experience in France was that I was rarely asked to show any ID. In most cases the only reason I provided my passport was to assist with the spelling of my name.

In Italy I have had my passport held by the reception staff and have had to specifically ask for my passport back.
 
Where I volunteered most recently (in Spain), we scanned the passports/d.n.i. cards with a dedicated mobile phone which was set up with an app that logged and stored the relevant details and which could be accessed and inspected if necessary. I dont know how long this information was stored for, but in addition, the pilgrims wrote their details into the registration book and later in the day, it would all be checked to make sure it tallied, perhaps the stuff was deleted from the app at this point, but I can't say for sure. Had this thread been going then, I'd have paid more attention!
 
Yes, any business can refuse you service. If you fail to provide them identification, they definitely will not allow you to stay. You can argue that it’s unfair, that what they are doing is against EU regulations, file a complaint, and so on, but as a foreigner in a foreign land, good luck getting a resolution in your favor. Most likely you will be out looking for another accommodation and then fighting for a refund of your paid accommodation. And if you find another place to stay? It will likely require the same identification.

In short, move on from this. There are a million ways to steal your information digitally online that trying to do it from a photocopy or photo of your passport is not how they’ll do it.
That was my guess.

It annoys me more than anything. We are being constantly bombarded with safety measures for our personal information, and then a hostel copies your most important personal info and stores it where? (rhetorical question)
 
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Honestly, I cannot image that this will ever happen in France. You may have to fill in the fiche de police or let them copy your personal data from your ID card or electronically scan those data from the card that are required by law but no photocopy or photo which would include your image and other details that are not needed to be registered and kept by French law. If it ever happened to me I would politely say that I prefer to fill in the fiche myself or wait until they have more time to process my data correctly comme il faut ... 😘

Some of us take their rights of the protection of their personal data more seriously than others. That's why we have the GDPR for example. :cool:

Here's the text of a hospitality association in France - CNIL is the French data protection agency: De nombreux hôteliers ont pris l’habitude de copier ou de scanner la pièce d’identité de leurs clients pour se prémunir de fraudes lors du paiement ou en guise de fiche de police (Lire ici notre article sur la fiche de police). Pourtant si la consultation peut s’avérer nécessaire lors du check-in notamment pour vérifier la nationalité du client ou en cas de paiement par chèque, il est strictement interdit d’en faire une copie papier ou numérique (Lire ici la réponse de la CNIL sur le sujet).
Thank you for this!
 
Where I volunteered most recently (in Spain), we scanned the passports/d.n.i. cards with a dedicated mobile phone which was set up with an app that logged and stored the relevant details and which could be accessed and inspected if necessary.
Just to clarify (probably not necessary but one never knows ... ☺️): Scanning with a dedicated mobile phone and app is fundamentally different from scanning with a photocopy machine/scanner or taking a photo with a mobile phone. The first method registers only the data that are needed by law, the second method registers everything including photo and passport/ID card number which is not required in France for example.

For what it is worth, a Spanish hospitalero initiated a thread some time ago about an imminent change to Spanish law that will require even more personal data to be collected and stored and that is deemed to be excessive. I would agree. I seem to remember that he asked for help to lobby against the new legal obligations of hospitaleros and albergue owners. The response on the forum was low. 😎
 
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After reading recent and old discussions on securing your valuables and splitting cash into multiple locations, I decided to get a money belt.

Originally the plan was to carry phone, passport, and credencial in my waist pack, with the passport and credencial together in one of Ivar's lovely passport sleeves - all the easier for presenting at the albergue.

Should I try presenting a photocopy of my passport instead to albergues, and keep the real passport in the money belt? Will that be generally accepted? The scenario I don't want is to be digging into my money belt for the real passport while checking in, seems like a recipe for disaster.
Don’t overthink this. There is no need to keep your passport in a money belt. Non EU passports have limited value in the black market nowadays. What thieves are after are your phone and credit cards, and you don’t want to go groping around in your underpants every time you pay for a drink or answer a text message. Registering in a hotel or albergue takes seconds and they will not want to retain your passport. The only use for a photocopy is if you lose your passport. It will make life easier for your consulate.
 
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Scanning with a dedicated mobile phone and app is fundamentally different from scanning with a photocopy machine/scanner or taking a photo with a mobile phone.
Sure, but neither method will reproduce the electronically stored contents of your ID.
 
That was my guess.

It annoys me more than anything. We are being constantly bombarded with safety measures for our personal information, and then a hostel copies your most important personal info and stores it where? (rhetorical question)
I believe it is transmitted to the Guardia Civil.
 
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Regarding the US passport card, this is from the US Dept. of State. Pretty clear that it is not for travel to Europe.
Not for travel. But for checking into an albergue, it’s up to the hospitalero whether to enter its number into the Guardía Civil database. La Guardía won’t know the difference.
 
It annoys me more than anything. We are being constantly bombarded with safety measures for our personal information, and then a hostel copies your most important personal info and stores it where? (rhetorical question)
Things may have changed, but GDPR went into effect when I was a hospitalero. In my opinion, the practice (which did not change) was a violation of GDPR. That practice was to enter the date of birth and ID number into an online database. Making a copy of the actual ID was not required.
 
A copy is not accepted.
I make a color photocopy of my passport ( first and second open page with my photo & ID info ) and laminate it...it has been the only thing I have presented in albergues and hotels on all of my Camino's. I keep my original on my person at all times but never take it out , and certainly would never leave it or let someone walk away with it. I've never been told I needed to present the original.
I guess the previous question and response might depend on what albergue one is referring to?
 
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