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When travelling overland in Russia (i.e. not on the Trans-Siberian) I hear you must register with the police in each new place, but does this cost money?

I know there are some gotchas with registering with the police when travelling in Russia but is there a fee or are bribes common when registering? And what about getting caught without registering? Also is there a minimum time I must spend in a place before registering must be done?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can stay without registration for up to 3 months after you arrive. But you need to have a document that confirms that you are leaving (airplane or train ticket will work).

If you want to stay longer, you'll need to get a temporary registration in the police. That may be painful, because this registration is bound to a place where you live and should be made for you by your host or a hotel. I don't know whether they will do this for you or not.

But you can "hack" the system by buying a new train ticket to the town of your stay (you can do this at the railway station). After that, you've got another 3 months. Sounds idiotic, but it works (for me it did).

Summary: If staying less than 3 months it's not a problem if you have a ticket. Over 3 months it is a problem, that you'll need to solve with your host or a hotel (or perform the above "hack").

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In big cities you can use firms, what provides the places in wich you can be @registered@. It is not veruy expensive, but sometimes useful. Also, I don't think you will be checked for ID as you are not from "danger region" (Caucasus or something) – VMAtm Jun 25 '11 at 11:17
I would be very catious having a deal with such firms, 'cause they don't have any legal right to provide you with registration (it's a prerogative of police only). So, most likely such "registration" won't be valid. – weekens Jun 25 '11 at 11:23
This firms have some houses in their own, so, according to the laws, they can officially "register" (there is no word in English to the "Propiska" in russian) in police all visitors. I don't mean the fake registration at all. – VMAtm Jun 25 '11 at 11:32
+1 Great answer. nice summary and love the use of the work "hack" too. Thanks! – therobyouknow Jan 3 '12 at 12:33

I've been told to register if you're in a place for 7 days or more. Simply put, hostels should be able to do this for you, it takes a day, and is very simple. Just ask them when you get there. Nobody checked mine, however upon exit, but when I return to Russia I'll continue to register - it's one thing you don't want to get caught short on.

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And it doesn't cost anything? – hippietrail Jun 27 '11 at 0:36
@hippietrail As I know, this is hotel-dependant parameter. In Moscow it cost from 10 to 25 EURO if you are using some firm for helping you, in other towns it can be cheaper. Can't find any info about official due for this. May be it is for free. – VMAtm Sep 2 '11 at 5:36
Sorry, missed that question. It cost me but it wasn't much - in St Petersburg for example it was 400 rubels (about 10 Euros). – Mark Mayo Sep 2 '11 at 12:33
10 euros each time I move??? Ouch! I guess the trick is to move every six days then? (-: – hippietrail Sep 2 '11 at 13:34
Or get the hostel to write that you're staying with them for a week, even if it's only two days ;) – Mark Mayo Sep 3 '11 at 1:08

Technically you are supposed to be registered within 3 days and hotels do it for you automatically. If you stay not in a hotel, have to do it by yourself, but it takes time and is very unpleasant procedure, as no one really speaks English at the registration place with the exception of some very central places in Moscow.

In fact, if you are a mere tourist being unregistered is not a big deal. Most times no one ever asks for it. However this depends on the length of your stay.

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protected by Ankur Banerjee Jan 29 '13 at 2:08

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