Passport proxy

Keep your passport safe by making a copy

A seasoned traveler who ventured further into third world slums than I ever would told me about this nifty trick-of-the-trade. Make a good color copy of your passport, including the covers. Align the inside sheet of your passport data with the outside passport cover sheet. Glue together. Laminate. Score and fold. You now have a fairly official looking travel document.

I have found that for most purposes — changing money at a bank, rentals, hotel front desks, and even police — this passport clone is sufficient. You hide or store your real one and use this one for everything else except crossing borders. I don’t know why, but most people seem happy to accept it. It may be because it seems like some new futuristic version 2.0 passport and who are they to question it?

(According to the US Passport Agency, it is perfectly legal for you to make a color copy of your passport — although Kinko’s can’t — and in fact they recommend you do so.)

-- KK 07/22/06

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