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When it comes to international business travel, your passport is the most valuable document you will carry abroad. It confirms your U.S. citizenship. Guard it carefully. Do not use it as collateral for a

loan or lend it to anyone. It is your best form of identification. You will need

it when you pick up mail or check into hotels, embassies or consulates.

When entering some countries or registering at hotels, you may be asked to fill

out a police card listing your name, passport number, destination, local

address, and reason for traveling. You may be required to leave your passport at

the hotel reception desk overnight so it may be checked by local police

officials. These are normal procedures required by local laws. If your passport

is not returned the following morning, immediately report the impoundment to

local police authorities and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


Law enforcement records show that U.S. passports are sometimes used for illegal

entry into the United States or by criminals abroad seeking to establish another

identity. This can cause embarrassment to innocent citizens whose names become

associated with illegal activities. To protect the integrity of the U.S.

passport and the security of the person bearing it, consular officers overseas

have found it necessary to take precautions in processing lost passport cases.

These precautions may involve some delay before a new passport is issued.


Carelessness is the main cause for losing a passport or having it stolen. You

may find that you have to carry your passport with you because either you need

to show it when you cash travelers checks or the country you are in requires you

to carry it as an identity document. When you must carry your passport, hide it

securely on your person. Do not leave it in a handbag or an exposed pocket.

Whenever possible, leave your passport in the hotel safe, not in an empty hotel

room or packed in your luggage. One family member should not carry all the

passports for the entire family.

Information provided by the U. S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

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