PDA

View Full Version : Moscow-St. Petersburg Train Without Passport



lfk
05-08-2008, 05:53
Is it possible to travel on a Russian train without a passport?

I'm coming to Moscow in early Sept. on a stazhirovka visa. The sponsoring university told me they would need to hold my passport for approximately 30 days to do the registration and convert it into a multi-entry visa (I have heard from other people who've gone through this university that in fact it might take longer). I should have a spravka and xerox of my passport in its place. The problem is that I have a friend coming to visit from the U.S. the second week of October, and I wanted to take her to Petersburg for a weekend. Assuming we can find a friend to stay with (thus avoiding a hotel), and that I buy the tickets before I give up my passport, will I be able to take the train? I can't remember whether they check passports on board or not.

Any advice on whether taking the trip bez pasporta would be feasible/wise would be greatly appreciated.

LFK

Judge
05-08-2008, 09:33
Your passports along with your ticket gets checked before you board the train.

Transparent Theatre
05-08-2008, 10:01
Your passports along with your ticket gets checked before you board the train.

My experience has been that in around 60% of cases they don't bother to check. However, they have the full right to check, and I wouldn't put myself in a situation of such vulnerability, personally.

But any organisation in Russia which takes your passport from you is supposed to supply you with a spravka detailing the reason why, and for how long the passport is held. (For example I got a Belarus visa recently, and even though they only held my passport for 7 hours, they gave me a Certificate confirming my passport was in the Visa Section of the Belarus Consulate). In theory such a spravka, along with a photocopy of the passport, is supposed to satisfy the authorities. But I wouldn't take any bets on that.

DDT
05-08-2008, 11:42
Usually a photocopy of passport is all ever carry with me but I can't remember what I showed them when I bought/boarded train/tickets.

BeachBum
05-08-2008, 12:42
Usually a photocopy of passport is all ever carry with me but I can't remember what I showed them when I bought/boarded train/tickets.
All you need is a spravka.. Which is a stamped letter stating the agency holding your passport and passport details with an attached (stamped) photocopy of your passort. This is enough. Dont let all these people scare you. The conductor and ticket booths rarely give you a problem with a spravka. Anyways, whats the worst case scenario, you get to the train and they dont let you board. So what!... Here's what..... the conductor hands back the spravka and says no!,,,,Quietly take back your document. Turn around, slip 300 or 500 rubles into the folded document. Then "kindly" ask the conductor to look one more time at your spravka!!... Congradulations! You just made your first bribe in Russia.....) enjoy Peter,,,, Go to Money Honey bar and get drunk with your girl.. or better yet. leave her in Moscow and go to Peter alone...Hmmmmm lets see, there are about 50,000 smokingh hot single girls in Peter! )))))

xSnoofovich
05-08-2008, 13:27
One time I bought a train ticket from a guy standing in the shadows, because there weren't any other tickets and I had to be on that train.

He showed his passport to the woman, and I got on.

So, I guess it's possible.

MaltSokol
07-08-2008, 15:11
lfk,
My student visa was also converted into a multi-entry last November. Indeed it took about 4 weeks since the first entry.
However I only had to give my passport for the last 3 days of the processing period (I remember it was from a Friday to a Monday). They returned it to me with the sticker visa cancelled ("погащено") and the new green visa.
Anyway, whenever I didn't have my passport and/or migration card, they would do a spravka in case the police stopped me.

WittyName32
10-06-2009, 09:18
I had a cultural visa to Ukraine, not Russia, and had my passport held while it was registered. I was told the process was very quick for Arabs, Middle Easterners, Chinese, but longer for Americans. Lines are viewed as linear things in England and the U.S., but they are less stable in the FSU.

Carbo
15-06-2009, 15:13
I'm pretty sure you have to give your passport and passport number at the Kassa when you buy the ticket.

That's always happened to me.

They then check the ticket and match it with the passport before they'll let you enter the train.

trebor
15-06-2009, 18:05
All you need is a spravka.. Which is a stamped letter stating the agency holding your passport and passport details with an attached (stamped) photocopy of your passort. This is enough. Dont let all these people scare you. The conductor and ticket booths rarely give you a problem with a spravka. Anyways, whats the worst case scenario, you get to the train and they dont let you board. So what!... Here's what..... the conductor hands back the spravka and says no!,,,,Quietly take back your document. Turn around, slip 300 or 500 rubles into the folded document. Then "kindly" ask the conductor to look one more time at your spravka!!... Congradulations! You just made your first bribe in Russia.....) enjoy Peter,,,, Go to Money Honey bar and get drunk with your girl.. or better yet. leave her in Moscow and go to Peter alone...Hmmmmm lets see, there are about 50,000 smokingh hot single girls in Peter! )))))

Also, remember that if you present the unused ticket to the place you bought it not later than 12 hours after the train has left (either travel agent or railway ticket office) you will get a refund. I don't think it's 100% but a sizeable portion of the price.

FatAndy
24-06-2009, 18:55
RZD has opened e-ticketing system for its trains:
ОАО Российские Железные Дороги - пассажирские перевозки (http://www.ticket.rzd.ru/wps/portal/pp)