I have a U.S. passport and spending a month in Italy. While here is its necessary to carry my passport with me or can I leave it where I am staying and carry another ID such as a drivers license.

The question is both for the city I am staying and traveling for a day trip to another city in Italy where I could not produce it easily.

My concern is some cities such as Rome which have a large pickpocket problem. Also I do have a money belt but it is clumsily and inconvenient.

  • 2
    Don't know specifically about the official rules in Italy, but in many countries, sadly, the practical answer depends on what you look like. If you look like an affluent white person, there's little chance anybody will ever ask for ID unless you get into trouble. If you are black or from northern African, middle-eastern or southern Asian origin, then all bets are off :-(
    – jcaron
    Oct 24, 2018 at 10:14
  • Would a U.S. Password Card provide sufficient authentication?
    – zaph
    Jan 8, 2019 at 19:17

1 Answer 1


Most answers to this kind of question say that, as a foreigner, you should have it with you.

The probability that you will be stopped and asked for identification is really low (not zero, but close to it) while doing simple tourist activities.

Be safe, just keep it in your belly pouch; in day to day operation, you should not have to handle it, so not a big hassle.

If you want to leave it at your place, you could have photocopies of your passport with you.

Anecdotal, I leave it at my accommodation, never had problems, never was stopped by police or asked for it (other than normal usage when check-in hotels or traveling)

  • I to leave it at my accommodation. With over 180 days in Europe over the last few years I have had no problem. Just wondering if that was really a reasonable practice.
    – zaph
    Oct 24, 2018 at 17:25
  • 1
    In some countries you might have to show a passport to buy a SIM card or use an Internet cafe, or maybe some other things you might not expect. But in normal situations, you aren't likely to need it. Oct 25, 2018 at 4:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .