I'm going to visit Switzerland soon. I will be travelling with my national ID card (I'm EU citizen).

Last time I visited Switzerland my ID was scanned / copied at the hotel during check-in. Unfortunately it seems like a common practice there.

I have no problem presenting my ID card for verification of my identity etc, I just don't like the perspective of my personal data being stored on some piece of paper in a non-secure way.

How can this be easily prevented? I mean once I'm there on site, it's late night and I really need to check in... Is there any regulation or local law that I could call upon to refuse scanning/copying my ID card?

  • Does this answer your question? What harm can be done with a copy of one's passport? Feb 8, 2023 at 17:34
  • Usually if it's done, it's not possible to prevent it, France has outlawed it outright, but I can't find about Switzerland Feb 8, 2023 at 17:40
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    They need to register your name and your passport number, making a copy is probably the easiest way to do this. You could ask for a form to fill out instead (in the past, it was always the form). But if you are unlucky, the person at the front desk needs to follow internal rules and doesn't have the authority to override them. In that case, not even citing a law would help.
    – nohillside
    Feb 8, 2023 at 18:35
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    TBH I feel much better if they copy it on paper than scan it and store on whatever network-connected non-secure computer or cloud they may have. But yeah, even if the law technically requires them to collect data in a proportional way, citing the law is often useless.
    – xngtng
    Feb 8, 2023 at 21:40
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    FWIW, Germany recently removed their legal prohibition against copying of passports and id cards, with the simplification of hotel guest registrations being an explicite argument in favour of the change. The fear of what can be done with a passport or id card copy are IMHO usually exaggerated and if someone copies the information from the id card by hand into a separate form (and collecting the information is often required by law), it is by a forger easy enough to copy that data back into a copy of another passport or id card. Feb 9, 2023 at 8:27

1 Answer 1


I would ask. Explain that you are uncomfortable with their keeping an image of your card and you would prefer them to record the information by hand. They might agree to do so.

If they don't, then it would probably be correct to infer that there is no regulation or law preventing them from taking an image: their lawyer knows Swiss law better than you ever will. And, of course, any legal challenge will take too long to resolve.

For what it's worth, when I checked in to my hotel last night, they typed the information from my ID into the computer without making a copy of it.

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