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Author: jjb65

Joined: 3/10/2011
Posts: 28
GCT Trips Taken: 2
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Traveler Since: 2008

April 04, 2013

Doesn't the use of rubber stamps on passport pages seem more than a little out of date?  I feel like I am in a 1930's black and white movie when I go through passport control.  Modern electronics should be able to replace this anachronism in most parts of the world.  I suppose those who like collecting the stamps would prefer they stay but I would like my passport to be reduced to the size of a credit card with the necessary information stored digitally.  Is there a second to this motion?

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 544
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

April 05, 2013

I don't consider it a big deal, but I believe I prefer ink on paper to having the immigration control of each country I enter messing with the digital information embedded in my passport. In all countries to some extent and in some countries to a great extent they look at your passport stamps to see where and when you have been before. So the stamps are more than a "collector's item" for the passport holder. As a for instance, if you enter the nation of Israel and you plan to enter later into one or more of the Moslem Middle-eastern nations, it is probably best that you do not have the Israeli stamps in your passport. It has been over 15 years since I was in Israel, but at that time they would provide you with a separate visa page that you needed to keep with your passport while in Israel but could then remove from your passport when going to a Moslem country.

I don't find the size or shape of the current passport objectionable, but I would be just as satisfied with a "credit card" size and shape. I traveled for many years using my military ID card as my passport.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 724
GCT Trips Taken: 14
OAT Trips Taken: 4
Countries Visited:

Antarctica, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

April 05, 2013

 There are also many border crossings in the world where the infrastructure, i.e. dependable power and computer networks, is not available. For many small 3rd world countries, upgrading to a totally electronic passport system for all border crossings would be a significant financial burden. 

Author: captainlarry

Joined: 4/24/2010
Posts: 544
GCT Trips Taken: 10
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2002

April 05, 2013

I recalled the "formality" of the passport control when crossing from Skagway, Alaska into the Yukon Territory of Canada. Here's an excerpt from my journal:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Breakfast on the ship was early so that we could be ready for an early getaway. We disembarked at Skagway at 7:00 AM. We stored our luggage at the Skagway Westmark and then had about two and one-half hours to tour the town. That was more than adequate. It is a very small town and most of the buildings contained tourist-trap jewelry stores.

We boarded the White Pass & Yukon Route Railway at 12:10 PM for a 12:30 PM departure. After crossing the 3,000 foot pass we arrived in Fraser about 3:30 PM. For a large part of the ride it was so foggy that we could see very little. But what we could see convinced us that the building of the railroad about 1900 was a prodigious engineering feat. It was a fun ride.

We crossed back into Canada and bussed on to Whitehorse, arriving about 6:30 PM. We checked into the Westmark Whitehorse. Our first stop in the Yukon Territory was at Carcross where we got our passports stamped. Actually, the stamp and inkpad were on a table in front of a store and the stamping was “do it yourself”. Well, that was one option. I chose to go into the post office and have the stamping done by the clerk there.

Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 164
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The azores, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

April 06, 2013

As was said above, some countries would have the ability to do this but others would not or could not which would then requiring two separate systems, one for those who have the system and another for those who don't!   A great idea but one I don't think we will see in our lifetime (starting with those who have mandatory chips implanted at birth in about 2050!!)

Author: singsling

Joined: 6/23/2010
Posts: 250
GCT Trips Taken: 11
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 1995

April 06, 2013

Another reason for stamps, although the main is passage control, is the stamps in the passport can be sort of a souvenir. much like the stamps in the National Parks golden book we seniors can get and get stamped when we visit national parks.

Unlike we in this forum who have traveled many times, some people get to Europe only once in a lifetime, like my Mom and an aunt and no one else in my extended families.  That stamp is with the passport in a place where it can be seen by descsendants--in the picture box or albums (if someone was energetic).  I know--old fashioned to some, but people keep postcards, and I have all my passports from 1961, and there are a lot of them,since we were military family for 18 years as well.  All  of my passporsts are full with stamps.  Another thing to pass down so my "finally" grandkids can see all we did with our life, along with the lengthy journals we wrote of our travesl..

The other posts also bring up excellent points--infrastructure not supporting digitized entry permits.  In Laos in 2000 while on a business trip for the US Navy every thing was manual, including baggage. 



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