Imagine If You Will a World Without Passports

No, we aren’t talking a one-world government here. Obama hasn’t handed over control of the U.S. government to the UN.

Don’t panic … DON’T PANIC!!

Over on the City-Data forum kyle242 wonders why not all countries stamp your passport when you enter and exit. It’s an interesting question that has generated much discussion.

And the question prompts a host of other passport related questions, such as:

  • How closely has anyone ever reviewed your passport? Half the time it seems the stamp is placed on in a rather haphazard fashion, such that it isn’t entirely legible. Are the customs officials even paying attention to the stamps?
  • What information about you and/or your travel patterns is stored electronically, either via the magnetic strip or RFID chip?
  • How would you feel if passport stamps became a relic of of the past?

When you think about it, it does seem weird doesn’t it that in 2015 you still carry around a little book of blank pages and when you cross a border someone physically picks up a stamp, dips it in ink, and stamps your little book. The whole process just seems so antiquated.

And let’s not even get into the historical implications of being required to show papers whenever asked to by authorities.

Yet many of us love our passports, and our passport stamps. They are souvenirs. Reminders of our travel adventures. Their antiquation is part of their charm. As RooCeleste puts it:

I will ALWAYS want my passport stamped, at least once, from every country I visit. In September, I entered the UAE and got stamped, then flew to Oman and got stamped there, then re-entered the UAE and got stamped there again. I consider my passports a documentary of my life and travels, so I will always ask for a stamp if it isn’t offered.

What about you? Do you get irritated when you don’t receive a passport stamp, or when it is illegible? How would you feel if passport books and stamps went away entirely and were replaced with something a bit more in keeping with the technological times?

Read the thread in its entirety: Why some countries don’t put stamp on passport?

Passport p. 3 and p. 11” by Ken Mayer. CC BY 2.0.


  1. I would definitely prefer no stamps because I travel a lot and run out of pages…getting extra pages is possible when you run out but not easy. (I live overseas so getting passport ‘fixes’ is harder than in the US.)

    On the other hand, if it weren’t for that problem, I’d like to keep the stamps as I also consider it a fun record of my travels.

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