View Full Version : Have you been stopped and asked for a passport?

14-05-2004, 04:06
I have a friend who lived in Russia for a few months... While he was there, he kept experiencing problems with police and the FSB. One time, the FSB representaves actually got keys from his hotel room from the concierge, used it to open his door, told him to get on the ground with his hands behind his head and asked for identification. When he showed them his American passport, they apologized and left... :confused:
Another time he was stopped on the street and asked for his passport and when he showed a color copy of his American passport (which he was keeping in a safe at the hotel) they took him to the OTDELENIE (police station) and questioned him for several hours. Granted, he sort of looks like a criminal BUT STILL... is this normal???
The poll question is... Have you ever been stopped or has your privacy been violated for identity check? What was the reaction when the official saw you're a foreigner?

14-05-2004, 06:14
the reactions to my being a foreigner were different each time. I can't fill in any of your circles. I have been stopped probably about ten times over a period of five years, not including the times the cab i was in was pulled over.
it's quite common.

you haven't come to moscow yet, have you?
you'll leave your civil rights at the door.

14-05-2004, 09:15
I can't fill in your circles either. I've been here for so long that it's over 3 times. But I get stopped very rarely and only once had a problem. I'd say that the reaction I have gotten the last few times I was stopped (probably a year ago) is less surprised than it is "oh, American, registered and all; on your way, then...." I only once had a problem when I was leaving a club late at night without my passport and had to pay $10 for them to leave us alone (after lecturing me to "stay at home, don't even go out to get groceries" while my passport was being registered....)

14-05-2004, 09:21
Do people typically carry colour photocopies instead of the original? How pissy do the police get in response to this?

14-05-2004, 10:06
Don't even think about leaving your passport at home. I have never been stopped, myself (it helps to look like a soccer mom), but some Indian co-workers were stopped repeatedly. One was without his passport (in registration) and it took several very tense hours for him to resolve the situation. I hate carrying the original, but what can you do? One tip, though - if you have an old, cancelled passport, keep it - if your current one is lost it serves as proof of citizenship and reportedly simplifies getting a replacement.

14-05-2004, 10:24
a notarized xerox copy works fine.

14-05-2004, 10:27
From any public notary? Are these widely available in banks, similarly to the US?


14-05-2004, 11:08
Originally posted by earl
From any public notary? Are these widely available in banks, similarly to the US?



I don't carry mine anymore, I fortunatley have an accreditation now so it is easier :)

14-05-2004, 11:16
In seven months, never.

14-05-2004, 11:56
last three weeks three times - one involved a trip 'down town'

the other two times were on the same night 10 mins apart cops stopped the taxi I was in :(

14-05-2004, 12:02
I was stopped once by two *cops*. Ironically, it was the only time when i didn't have my passport with me. I wonder if they are trained to sense that like sleuthes?

After I flashed my badge, they let me go.

By the way, there was a thread devoted to this subject some time ago.
Should we ramble on?

14-05-2004, 12:39
In 8 years, never when walking, about 10 times when driving, never any problem, they checked the documents and that's it.

14-05-2004, 14:12
numerous times, some more problematic than others, generally dependant on the level of my inebration.

15-05-2004, 12:12
I got stopped a couple of years ago late at night when i got off the metro at Prospect Mira.
The cop was a very short guy who was drunker than me.
When i showed him my photo copied passport he was not impressed and took me to the small police office in the station.
To cut a long story short, he wanted money which i was not going to give so he put me in the lock up. He then made a phone call, sounded like plenty of shouting from both ends of the line. He then let me out and said we should go to my hotel and drink vodka.
I pretended like i didn't understand and eventualy he agreed that i could go across the street and buy some vodka for him. On condition i didn't beat him up outside the station!!
Needless to say, i crossed the road and jumped in a taxi quick................."to the boar house, i need a drink!!"

That's the only incident i have ever had.

15-05-2004, 19:58
I have been lucky. I have never been stopped in Russia in all the 11 years lived worked and visited. However I was once stopped on a train in Kazakhstan going to Almaty and even though I had a 1 year visa the drunk policeman asked "why you don't have a visa for Almaty?!! After a few heated words on both sides (I lost my cool a bit), I demanded him to take me to a phone where I could make a call to the head of the region where I worked, and he backed down. But I would'nt advise it unless you really know such people!!!:p