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Topic: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Bernard Shakey
Posted 2002-04-27 03:33:01 and read 1826 times.

It am always amused when I cross paths with people from outside the US at their amazement about the fact that I don't and have never had a passport. I'm 33, anybody older than me out there who has never gotten a passport? I've been to Canada and Mexico, just never overseas. I'd love to go someday, but not right now.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: KROC
Posted 2002-04-27 03:35:44 and read 1769 times.

At 25 (26 next week) I have never had a passport either, despite having been to Korea, Japan and Thailand. Good old military orders allowed me that luxury. I suppose some day I will have a passport, but I don't plan on going overseas anytime soon. Besides, with Canada a couple of hours away, and the States offering a wide variety of locals......the need really doesn't exsist for me right now.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Pacificjourney
Posted 2002-04-27 14:51:30 and read 1734 times.

KROC where were you stationed in Japan and why didn't you travel to any other countries, it's so cheap and easy from Japan/Korea/Thailand ?

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Arsenal@LHR
Posted 2002-04-27 15:20:08 and read 1723 times.

Is it true that 1/4 of americans don't have a passport? If so, why? A passport is a important form of indentity isn't it?

Arsenal@LHR

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: B747forlife
Posted 2002-04-27 15:33:03 and read 1714 times.

I don't know if I'm right about this, but a lot of Americans have never, and most likely will never, leave the continent. To get into to Canada, you do not need a passport. I don't think you need one to get to Mexico either. Now I am only 15, but I have a passport, just because we took a family trip to Europe.

So basically what I'm saying is that if you're American, the only thing you need a passport for is leaving the continent, because around the US and Canada, a driver's liscense(sp?) is good enough ID for everyone.

-Nick

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: KROC
Posted 2002-04-27 17:40:20 and read 1699 times.

Arsenal: A Passport is not an important form of I.D. American's prominently use their Drivers Licenses for I.D. If not, Birth certificates, non driver I.D. cards, Social Security Cards and such all do the same thing. Why pay for a passport, if you are not going to use it?

PacificJourney. I was stationed at Camp Page in Chun Chon South Korea. I participated in military exersices in Japan (Okinawa) and Thailand. I took leave to the states and back as well, but had direct flights. When I left for good, I had a 7 hour layover in Japan. I didn't travel...because military commitment while serving in Korea is great, and free time is at a minimum. I only had 2 weeks when I came back on leave for mid-tour.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Arsenal@LHR
Posted 2002-04-27 18:37:00 and read 1688 times.

kroc,

I was comparing the UK to US. In the UK, a passport is the best form of indentity, same for a driver's license. So i thought it might be the same in america.

Rdgs
Arsenal@LHR

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: KROC
Posted 2002-04-27 18:38:42 and read 1685 times.

Arsenal: My bad. My first line should have read that "In America" a passport is not a prominent form if I.D.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Zeus01
Posted 2002-04-27 21:19:47 and read 1661 times.

For ID in the US, your Drivers License is the most important. When writing checks, some places require a drivers license. Before I could drive, I would use my passport as ID, and some places wouldn't accept them. Ive seen places you don't even accept them as ID. My brother got turned down at a liquor store in CA until he pointed out that his passport was federal ID and she had to take it. He had lost his drivers license.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Airplanetire
Posted 2002-04-27 21:38:59 and read 1652 times.

I know lots of people that don't have passports. I don't know if you can fly into Mexico and not need a passport though. I have driven in and didn't need anything. I do have a passport though and have used it in Europe. I think I got it when I was 12. Now, this is off topic, but is it possible to have a good passport picture? I have never seen one in anyone's passport.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Mcringring
Posted 2002-04-27 22:28:10 and read 1647 times.

If you fly into Mexico, you need at least an official birth certificate and photo id. I flew into MEX a few weeks ago and was fine with a driver's license and birth certificate.

I let my passport expire about 10 years ago, but I reapplied and got a new one last week.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Airsicknessbag
Posted 2002-04-28 00:19:59 and read 1631 times.

Funny enough, when I visited the US some years ago, the following thing happened: I cashed in some travellers´ cheques, and in order to do so I had to produce TWO IDs. One of them was my passport - OK, alll fine with that. The other one was my driving licence, however there was one problem: the clerk had to note the date the ID expired, but German driving licences do not expire, they´re issued for life. So this poor guy had to leave blank that field - he was sure he´d get into trouble for this  Laugh out loud ...

Daniel Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: NwAirLines
Posted 2002-04-28 00:25:26 and read 1629 times.

I got my first passport when I was 6. Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: JonPaulGeoRngo
Posted 2002-04-28 18:48:15 and read 1593 times.

A semi-funny story regarding U.S. passports...

...a buddy of mine (an American) was trying to write a check at a store in Kansas City...he had misplaced his drivers' license but had his passport with him clearly indicating he was a local resident.

When he presented the passport instead of the license as verification for the check the clerk was dumbfounded and refused it as a valid i.d. He complained to the manager who sided with his employee. My friend left without making a purchase.

Needless to say, many Americans are unaware of passports and their validity.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Avion
Posted 2002-04-28 19:48:17 and read 1580 times.

Does the same apply to learners permits? Could i enter Canada with a learners permit?

Thanks

Tom

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: SAS23
Posted 2002-04-28 21:44:24 and read 1571 times.

Interestingly, I understand that US passports (and citizenship) is a privilege and not a right unlike many other countries (such as the UK). In other words, if Uncle Sam gets upset with you, it can take away your passport and deprive you of citizenship, effectively making you a stateless person.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: KROC
Posted 2002-04-28 23:31:05 and read 1557 times.

SAS23. Who in the world told you that mess?

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Mls515
Posted 2002-04-29 00:52:29 and read 1551 times.


I think they can confiscate it if you are facing criminal charges and they consider you a flight risk. At least that's the way it works in the movies.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: PROSA
Posted 2002-04-29 01:38:19 and read 1543 times.

Now, this is off topic, but is it possible to have a good passport picture?

No.
Mine looks like a serial killer's mug shot.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: PROSA
Posted 2002-04-29 01:41:06 and read 1541 times.

I think they can confiscate it if you are facing criminal charges and they consider you a flight risk. At least that's the way it works in the movies.

From my experience some years back working in the criminal-courts system, I can say that it is true, at least in the United States. Surrendering one's passport is generally made a condition of bail. As one might imagine, the issue seldom arises, as very few criminal defendants (with the exception of recent immigrants) have passports.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hurricane
Posted 2002-04-29 01:48:45 and read 1539 times.

I look stoned in my passport pic...

Supposedly, (In US) drivers licences/permits and passports are the only legal forms of Picture IDs in the US, thus making them legal for all intensive purpouses, which I'm sure includes cashing checks, etc...It must be any state issued picture ID, because I have friends (without drivers licences/permits) that have a North Carolina issued picture ID card. I don't see any reason why these wouldn't work.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Zeus01
Posted 2002-04-29 03:23:14 and read 1530 times.

SAS:

The US can take away a passport, but not citizenship normally. The only way the can do that is if you swear allegiance to another foriegn state. Even then there not taking it away. Your forfitting it.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Lt-AWACS
Posted 2002-04-29 03:53:40 and read 1527 times.

SAS23 that is incorrect, though a US passport can be taken away by courts as stated above. You have to swear away your citizenship (theoretically) to lose your's-and people do, do this. There is a process for it at any US Embassy. eg. A few Tax cheats in the Carib. have.

The last person I can think of who was stripped of US Citizenship by congress was General Robert E. Lee after the US Civil War (congress many years later re-granted it) Anyone know of a later case??????

In Texas the TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Comm.) only accepts a Texas Drivers Lic. (or TX ID) as valid for liquor. They can deny an out-of-state DL, Military ID, Passport, Green Card, etc. Some do some don't


Ciao and Hook 'em Horns,
Lt-AWACS

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: LH423
Posted 2002-04-29 04:59:57 and read 1518 times.

One main reason that the driver's licence is more popular to use for ID than a passport is that unlike in Europe, the licences here are like credit cards that incorporate many high-tech advantages for police, and also some to try and prevent underage drinking. They fit in almost any wallet, and are completely durable to the elements. Meanwhile, passports are pretty bulky, and while resistant to things like moistness, you accidentally get that thing soaked, it's wasted. I used to use my passport for ID until I got my licence last year.

LH423

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: RogueTrader
Posted 2002-04-29 05:38:38 and read 1517 times.

only 12 per cent of Americans own a passport

The Evening Standard (London)
October 16, 2001

Americans simply don't leave the country very much, and the vast majority of them probably never will in their whole lives.

I think a lot of other people in the world don't realize this. Most Americans don't see any need to ever leave the country and in fact, most Americans don't put much thought into other countries at all.

This has another big effect: foreign policy is left in the hands of a few government elite with little thought by Americans most of the time - unless there is war or other major event. This of course leads to foreign policies out of sync with American opinion and subject to influence by special interest groups.

I think especially Europeans and those in the Middle East should consider this when evaluating US opinions.

kind regards,

RogueTrader

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Swissgabe
Posted 2002-04-29 11:50:59 and read 1506 times.

Only 12 percent of US citizen own a passport? kidding?
This also means that not more than 12 perent of them have visited other countries than Canada and Mexico (except this Military cases) and thats the way they deal with other nations around the globe and others than Canada or Mexico where most of your citizen has no idea where those countries could be and what these countries are like...?

Don't you think this could be a problem, if not yet in the future?

btw: Over here in Switzerland a Passport is needed to travel overseas and in a few Eastern Europe countries. An ID is enough to travel within the most European and EU countries. As legal ID on Banks, Post Offices or buying alcoholic drinks a Driver Licence is also valid within the country...

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Staffan
Posted 2002-04-29 11:59:45 and read 1505 times.

LH423, the European drivers license is the same size as a credit card, and it's covered in hard plastic so it can withstand anyting a credit card can. It hasn't got a magnetic strip or a chip on it, only a barcode, but that seems to be no problem. In Sweden the drivers license is the most common form of ID, and passports are only used when going on abroad or by people who haven't got a drivers license or a normal ID card.

Don't think I know anyone who hasn't got a passport.

Staffan

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hartsfieldboy
Posted 2002-04-29 15:51:03 and read 1488 times.

Slightly off topic. I have both a US and Brazilian passport because I'm a dual citizen. When I went to London last year (pre 9/11), my mom told me to take my Brazilian passport also. I said "what for," and she said in case a terrorist takes over the flight, they would leave me alone because I could show them I wasn't an American! She saw too many 70's terrorist movies, I think.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Lindy field
Posted 2002-04-29 16:11:57 and read 1489 times.

Sounds like a few of my fellow Americans should do a bit more traveling, get out a bit, and see the world. For those of you believe that the US has it all, I can only suggest that it's fun to go to exotic places and to try to see the world from a different perspective.

Just got a new passport--My fourth or fifth. The photo is pretty decent this time; I don't look like the Hillside Killer.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Bernard Shakey
Posted 2002-04-29 16:28:44 and read 1483 times.

I'd like to think that my lack of a passport doesn't mean that I'm not aware of the existence of other continents. I've just never needed one (a passport).

The view that "most Americans don't put much thought into other countries" is really a blanket statement that is not necessarily true. Think about it though, the United States has something like 400 million people (I don't know the exact number, I stopped counting last week). The vast majority of those people are just ordinary working class people, most of whom might not have the resources to put together a trip requiring a passport.

Also, a country the size of the United States has created an implied security blanket comprised of distance from any other culture. A certain illusion of safety is created by America's size. This "security blanket" being violated last September was a horrible shock to many who considered the United States to be completely isolated from world affairs. The last time a foreign (or undefined) enemy struck the United States on our own turf was 1941, and the mainland hadn't been touched since before our grandparents were born.

If the average American were asked where they would like to visit in their lifetime, I'll bet the responses would be mainly overseas destinations. I know that I personally would love to visit Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong, and on and on and on. It's just that I currently couldn't afford the trip (even as an airline employee, I could get there and then sleep in a park).

So sure, Joe Blow from Kokomo probably doesn't have a passport. But if he could drive his Hemi on water, he'd be comin' on over to cruise the Champs Elysse (sp) next week.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Toady
Posted 2002-04-29 21:33:41 and read 1459 times.

I respect and understand the reasoning of "The vast majority of those people are just ordinary working class people, most of whom might not have the resources to put together a trip requiring a passport." but isn't that statement at odds with the widely-held belief that the US has the world's highest standard of living?
The majority of "ordinary working class" folk in Britain have the means for foreign travel (and not just 'local' foreign travel, either!) and they frequently do visit other countries.

This discussion is not the first time I've heard the "I don't need to leave the US" argument and, I must say, I find it rather puzzling.
I don't "need" to leave Britain but how am I going to see Paris, the Norwegian fjords, the Taj Mahal, The Grand Canyon, Ayre's Rock, The Colosseum etc etc if I don't leave these shores?
Come on Americans, don't deny yourselves the world's glories.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Bernard Shakey
Posted 2002-04-29 21:50:44 and read 1457 times.

Toady, that's an interesting point and it brings to mind how the US is portrayed overseas. It also leads me to the widely held US belief that "holiday" is much more important to Europeans/Asians than to Americans. A good vacation for my circle of friends is a week off of work to catch up on projects around the house and not pay any day care for the kids. In the US, our standard of living is excellent and anything is possible. I just don't think that most working class people would choose dropping several thousand dollars on a vacation that could be used for the house, the kid's college, etc.

If MTV decided to do a "Cribs" episode on a house in my working class neighborhood, the show would be 3 minutes long including commercials.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: LH423
Posted 2002-04-29 22:24:36 and read 1444 times.

Staffan: Is that true? An Austrian friend of mine showed me hers and it was a piece of paper about 15cm wide and maybe 10cm high and it folds in half. It seemed very primitive by North American standards.

LH423

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Nik
Posted 2002-04-29 22:32:58 and read 1439 times.

LH423,
that was probably an old driver's license. The new ones are just like credit cards.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Staffan
Posted 2002-04-29 22:38:37 and read 1433 times.

The swedish ones have been like this since -96 I think, before that they were the same type, just a little bigger, and they were like that for as long as I remeber. Now I think all of EU has the same small credit card shaped ones.
But it might be that some countries didn't give up the paper ones until just a few years ago, not sure about that.

Staffan

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: RogueTrader
Posted 2002-04-29 22:54:39 and read 1428 times.

Bernard Shakey says:
A good vacation for my circle of friends is a week off of work to catch up on projects around the house

I think this shows another difference with Americans as versus especially Europeans. Americans are brought up to put an extremely high regard on one's home. A lot of people spend their whole lives constantly going after bigger and better homes, or saving for their ultimate retirement home.

Americans often prefer to constantly improve their current home over and over again as opposed to spending the money on travel. One of the most successful retail stores in the USA is the Home Depot: a mega store filled with home improvement stuff. Many people now start their weekends or time off from work at Home Depot, then begin their home related projects. A European might take a trip instead.

For Americans, their home is their castle. Its where many people want to be most of the time.

I think in Europe, in large part because of the more limited space, homes are seen as more of a functional place to sleep as opposed to something of a haven/vacation place in itself. Most people WANT to spend time away from their home, while many Americans really wish they could spend more time at home.

....just a few differences I've noticed.

kind regards,

RogueTrader

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Toady
Posted 2002-04-29 23:08:18 and read 1420 times.

RogueTrader: "Most people WANT to spend time away from their home" And if you could see my home, you'd realise how true your observation is!! Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: LH423
Posted 2002-04-29 23:28:02 and read 1413 times.

This is a Massachusetts Driver's Licence


LH423

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hepkat
Posted 2002-04-29 23:48:41 and read 1407 times.

Being an American living in Europe, I think I can understand both sides of the question.

1) Yep, it's true, only about 10-12% of Americans have passports, but this is a for a very good reason. The U.S. is sooo big, that we never need to leave the country. Our European friends should consider that the U.S. comprises of 50 different, semi-sovereign states, each with their own economy, culture, attractions and ways of life. An American going on vacation is more likely to visit another American state rather than a European one. It's cheaper, no language differences, and best of all, it's like travelling to another foreign country without any of the hassles. I remember when I moved to San Francisco a few years ago from NYC, I was shocked at the differences. We should also not forget the many, many attractions we have in the U.S. that make an overseas trip completely unncessary. We have dozens of theme parks (the likes of which I've yet to see in Europe), magnificent national parks, both tropical and winter weather locations, plus several major cities within the same country. As if our 50 states were not enough, we also don't need passports to visit Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Think about it, we have the entire north American continent at our disposal, why should we get a passport?
2) Whereas a passport is necessary for identification in Europe, we simply use a drivers license. A few days ago I was in NY applying for a Sears (a popular department store) credit card, but all I had was my passport. I gave it to the store clerk, she looked at it, examined it, scratched her head and then asked if I didn't have a drivers license instead. The store computers were not set up to accept information from passports. We should also not forget that the an American drivers license is bar coded and laminated with anti-forgery devices, so that a police need only swipe the card through their computer to access your entire criminal/driving history. I've seen the licenses from Europe, and most people have that pink piece of paper. I got my Austrian drivers license last year, and that's what I got, so clearly not every country in Europe's using the new licenses. A friend of mine from Britain's lincense doesn't even have his picture in it! It's just the pink piece of paper with a few stamps and writing in it. Now I find that VERY bizarre!
3) The reason we don't use passports in the U.S. is because it is prohibited by federal law to discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, color, physical abilities, creed and nationality. Because of this very important law, no one's allowed to ask your nationality, so there exists no need to carry a passport. This is not the case in Europe where every form I fill out asks for my citizenship, even when I decided to get insurance for my cat a few weeks ago I had to produce evidence of citizenship. I also find this EXTREMELY bizarre!
4) It is a fact that most Americans know very little about foreign countries, much less foreign policy. You have to understand that when you live in a country as large as the U.S., with as influential a culture as the U.S., the plights and problems of other countries are the last things on your mind. It's sad, but the burden is on other countries to keep up with OUR culture and not the other way around.

So, there you have it, the main reasons why we don't use passports. Hope this clarifies a few things.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Bernard Shakey
Posted 2002-04-30 03:11:24 and read 1388 times.

How refreshing, some intelligent give and take without a flame war erupting, thanks guys. Rogue Trader is absolutely right, I had never looked at it that way. "Keeping up with the Jones' " is the law in many a US neighborhood. It's almost to the point where, if I went outside and rubbed my naked ass all over my lawn and told the neighbors that I heard it kills crabgrass, the next day there would be 25 nekkid old men pressing ham on their Kentucky Bluegrass monoculture! With that kind of competition, who's got time to take a 7 hour flight?!

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Blink182
Posted 2002-04-30 04:06:29 and read 1380 times.

I have a US passport.

I agree with Hepkat on a lot of things. When you go to the grocery store to buy food, for ID, you show them your drivers liscence, not your passport. A drivers liscence can buy you just about anything in the United States.

Also, when it comes to visiting states, you have such a wide variety of places to go. You can go freeze yourself and backpack in Alaska while you can go hang on the beach and see volcanoes in Hawaii. True, you can go to a lot of places in the United States, I cannot think of any other country where 8 hour flights can be domestic.

I for one have been outside of the United States a few times. I think that traveling international is 10x better than flying in the USA. There are things that the USA tries to duplicate(food etc.) but when it compares to Europe or Asia, Europe and Asia are a whole lot better I think(for visiting, i have never lived there, perhaps Hepkat can comment).

blink

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: LH423
Posted 2002-04-30 05:26:52 and read 1370 times.

The one reason why I don't like carrying my passport, and why I think many people don't, which results in the driver's licence being preferred, is that one of the scariest moments of my life was being in Frankfurt, Germany and realizing I lost my passport. Of course I left it at the Herpa store at FRA ( Smile), but just for a while not knowing what had happened to it was really scary. So for that, I'd much prefer to just carry a licence. For one thing, it's much more convenient to carry, with or without a wallet. Second, if I lose it, all I have to do it pay a small replacement fee and the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will send me a new licence.

LH423

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Airsicknessbag
Posted 2002-04-30 11:39:06 and read 1360 times.

Well, we don´t really use passports for everyday use as ID in Europe either. It would be too heavy and cumbersome to carry around all the time. We have the national ID card which nicely fits into the wallet. I am actually astonished at the total lack of such a thing in the Anglo-American culture. And don´t say the driving licence is the perfect substitute for that - there are people who don´t have one or can´t have one.

BTW, in Europe we don´t need passports for most travels either. Within the European Union (plus Norway/Iceland, minus UK/Ireland) borders don´t exist anymore anyway. And for most Eastern European/North African countries and Turkey the national ID is sufficient. So the argument of the North American subcontinent being accessible without passport can be easily used for Europe too.

>>>The reason we don't use passports in the U.S. is because it is prohibited by federal law to
discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, color, physical abilities, creed and nationality. Because
of this very important law, no one's allowed to ask your nationality, so there exists no need to carry a
passport. This is not the case in Europe where every form I fill out asks for my citizenship, even when
I decided to get insurance for my cat a few weeks ago I had to produce evidence of citizenship. I also
find this EXTREMELY bizarre!

Hepkat, why are you assuming everyone asking for your nationality wants to discriminate against you? There are very good (non-discriminatory) reasons for wanting to know about someone´s nationality.

Daniel Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Docpepz
Posted 2002-04-30 12:43:04 and read 1351 times.

My mum didn't stop at a stop sign at Detroit airport. A huge police truck came from behind and "PULL YOUR CAR OVER TO THE ROAD SHOULDER!!!" came blasting out of the loudspeakers.

A (I shall not include the race here since it might be viewed as discrimination) policeman came out and screamed at her for not stopping at the stop sign. He asked for her driving licence.

She gave him her Singapore licence. Singapore driving licences do not have photos on them for the simple reason our identity cards are used for verifying our identities, and not driving licences.

Anyway, he just went "There's no photo here!".... and asked for her passport. Well he asked for her passport. So Hepkat, I beg to differ with your post, respectfully!
(To cut the long story short, he let us off, since we had a flight to catch etc etc etc)

Whenever I changed travellers cheques for money, they'd never accept my identity card. FYI, Singapore identity cards contain records of your:
1)photo
2)date of birth
3)BLOOD GROUP
4)RACE
5)address
6)THUMBPRINT
7)An engraving of the identity card number to guard against forgery
8)A barcode

Now, even with all that info at the disposal of the people behind the counters, they would NEVER accept it as a valid form of identification and ask for my passport instead.

Is that discrimination?

Oh well......


Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: PROSA
Posted 2002-04-30 15:22:40 and read 1342 times.

Well, we don´t really use passports for everyday use as ID in Europe either. It would be too heavy and cumbersome to carry around all the time. We have the national ID card which nicely fits into the wallet. I am actually astonished at the total lack of such a thing in the Anglo-American culture. And don´t say the driving licence is the perfect substitute for that - there are people who don´t have one or can´t have one.

National ID cards are a very touchy subject in the United States. Many people are totally opposed to the idea because the cards supposedly would lead to a 1984-style police state. Of course, driver's licenses are practically universal, and no one seems to complain about them. I suppose that's because licenses are issued by states, rather than on a national basis, and the paranoid sorts are mainly scared of the federal government.
By the way, all states will issue non-driver ID cards, that resember driver's licenses, to people who for whatever reason do not drive.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hepkat
Posted 2002-04-30 18:44:48 and read 1324 times.

Airsicknessbag: I don't know anyone in Europe with the credit sized drivers licenses, all of my friends still have the pink cards, including me who got my Austrian license just last year. The U.S. also has something resembling a national ID card; it's called a non-drivers license. It's a form of ID for people who don't or cannot drive. It has the same features and looks the same as a license but it doesn't allow you to drive. So as you can see, everyone does NOT have to be able to drive to own acceptable ID in the U.S. About the nationality thing, I guess I think the way every other American does - we are immediately suspicious of any person, company or entity wanting to know your citizenship simply because regardless of intent, this information can VERY easily be used against you. If nationality is indeed irrelevant (which in my opinion it should be), why even ask the question? Wait, I know the answer to that one! It's simply because the terms of negotiation depends on your nationality. Case in point, last year I went to a company called Xxxderösterreichische Versicherung to get private health insurance and was told quite blatently "we do not insure foreigners". After doing some checking up I found out this was completely legal, so you see, I do have every reason to be very suspicious of anyone asking about my nationality.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: EWRvirgin
Posted 2002-04-30 19:03:01 and read 1319 times.

Here in Jersey you don't necessarily need a photo on your driver's license. I think once you reach 21 years of age you can renew your license through the mail (which is what I do). Problem is if I go out of state and present it as an ID, I'm often asked why there isn't a photo on my license. I was carded once in a bar in Hawaii and my license was not an acceptable form of ID for this reason.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Airsicknessbag
Posted 2002-04-30 19:13:05 and read 1317 times.


OK, I didn´t know about those driving licence subsitutes - thanks PROSA and Hepkat for letting me know. Learn something new every day.

PROSA: those 1984-concerns were aired in Germany as well when the computer-readable plastic national ID was introduced. But I guess, despite the concerns, the world as we know it has NOT come to an end ever since  Laugh out loud ...

Hepkat, about those new credit card sized EU driving licences: I´m pretty sure they´re the same in all of Europe. They were introduced very recently (last year?), so they´re not very much circulated. Most people I know (including myself) still have the pink ones as well - mainly because a new one would cost them 24 EUR. So maybe you don´t know enough people who either lose their pink carnets or are newbie drivers?

Concerning nationality, could it be we have different definitions of "discrimination"? One point is that private persons can "discriminate" much more easily than the government. There are some limitations, but generally speaking a private person or company can choose whoever they do business with.
And the other point is, I don´t really see how a civilised country (i.e. the US, Austria, Germany...) would possibly even try to discriminate against non-nationals. And not every form of different treatment is discriminatory: imagine I wanted to run for US president - I couldn´t, for being a) under 35 and b) not US citizen by birth - does that mean the US discriminates against both foreigners and even naturalised citizens?

Daniel Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Airsicknessbag
Posted 2002-04-30 19:16:06 and read 1310 times.

btw, if anyone wonders what that "national ID card" stuff is about, check out this
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/217283/
thread for the German version (Matt86´s posting).
Daniel Smile

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Klaus
Posted 2002-04-30 19:26:29 and read 1304 times.

Doing long-term business with foreigners can be tricky; You need to keep track of all the legal implications with the foreign country´s legal system. I´m not surprised that the issue pops up once in a while. It shouldn´t become a major problem, though.

I´d have a lot more problems with not having any protection of my private data ("Find out everything about anyone!").

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hepkat
Posted 2002-04-30 19:29:53 and read 1305 times.

And the other point is, I don´t really see how a civilised country (i.e. the US, Austria, Germany...) would possibly even try to discriminate against non-nationals.

Ok, I'll give you another example. Last month I tried to get a "Gewerbeschein" (trade license) and was told that as a foreigner, it was a lot harder to get one. I had to prove to the state why they should grant me a license to do business, and how that would be of interest to the country. That means I would need some big company to sponsor my application, saying that my business would help their business. Of course citizens don't have this barrier. Another example; by law I'm required to carry my passport at all times simply because I'm a foreigner, but Austrians are only required to have a foto ID (makes me wonder what would happen if I became a naturalized Austrian). The reason these things upset me is because I wasn't used to such discrimination. In the U.S. the same rules (except for voting and some federal employment) apply to EVERYONE without regard to nationality, religion, creed, etc. This means if a foreigner needs to prove why he needs a trade license, then so does an American as well. Or if foreigners had to carry a passport at all times, then so would Americans as well.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Hartsfieldboy
Posted 2002-04-30 20:04:16 and read 1298 times.

Anyway, he just went "There's no photo here!".... and asked for her passport. Well he asked for her passport. So Hepkat, I beg to differ with your post, respectfully!

It's obvious that she would have to have a passport if she came into the US, and the cop knew that she couldn't have had an American license. So it makes sense that the cop would ask for the passport. If it were an American that the cop was yelling at, he wouldn't have asked for the passport.

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Toady
Posted 2002-04-30 20:28:48 and read 1290 times.

Are we getting slightly 'off topic' here? I interpreted the original posting's question to pertain to foreign travel, not identification.
Bernard?

Topic: RE: US Citizens And Passports
Username: Bernard Shakey
Posted 2002-04-30 22:53:02 and read 1269 times.

Don't care where it goes really, kind of interesting posts on this one, don't you think? I almost went to London last year for work, but then Sept. 11 ruined that plan.


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