If you are going abroad, you will often be asked to give your passport to the hotel when you check in. The reason for this is that hotels, camping sites and other holiday resorts are often required by law to keep records of the personal details of their guests. However, when you hand over your passport, even a copy, you may risk identity theft.
What to do when checking in
Your passport always remains property of the government that issued it. Most governments say it is forbidden to give it to anybody else unless there is a legal obligation to do so.
There is a way to solve this problem: make sure you carry a few copies of your passport with you. In case of a Dutch passport, make sure others can’t read your Burger Service Nummer (BSN) as criminals only need your BSN for identity fraud. It is even better to give a copy on which you have written the date and the purpose of the copy. The hotel can check if the original passport and the copy are the same in front of you, and you won’t have to hand over your original passport.