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Old 05-04-2015, 09:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Dueling Grounds
Posts: 10,087
Photocopy passport illegal?

While making copies at work today, I noticed a little sticker on the photocopier warning me that it is illegal to make copies of US currency, passports, and postage stamps. However, the State Department's own website recommends you make copies of your passport and store them separately from your actual passport when traveling.

So why the warning on the copier?
Old 05-04-2015, 09:10 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Newcastle NSW
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Making a copy of a passport would involve more than copying a few pages from it: it would include making a copy of the cover, and binding the pages together so that it looked like a passport. So, you can't use a photocopier as part of the process of forging a passport, but you can photocopy the page(s) with your photo, your name, and the passport number, in case you lose the passport and need to get another in a hurry.
Old 05-04-2015, 09:23 PM
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18 USC 1543 only penalizes making copies or reproductions of a passport if you intend to use it as a passport.
Old 05-04-2015, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 146
We are going through the process of replacing copiers at work, and I discussed this with the Ricoh tech. He claims only money is still illegal to copy, although it is illegal to *use* a copied passport or copied stamps.
Old 05-04-2015, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinmin View Post
We are going through the process of replacing copiers at work, and I discussed this with the Ricoh tech. He claims only money is still illegal to copy
No, it isn't.
Old 05-05-2015, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 146
Originally Posted by pkbites View Post
I was speaking about a normal 100% size copy. He did mention the enlarge or reduce. He also said law enforcement will overlap bills at the serial numbers to copy for evidence purposes (keeping track of seized money, etc).
Old 05-05-2015, 05:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 5,465
I have seen similar debates on UK websites. AFAIK, it is OK to have a B&W copy but colour copies are on doubtful ground. That said; my wife and I have reduced size, laminated colour copies of ours as a handy photo-ID when we may not wish to be carrying our actual passports.

While it may well be technically illegal, I suspect that law enforcement would only be interested if the copies were being used for some nefarious enterprise.

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