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Flying inside China while passport is with the PSB?


zhouhaochen

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zhouhaochen

Until not very long ago one could take domestic flights inside China while your passport was with the PSB for visa extensions by simply showing the yellow piece of paper the PSB gave you as a receipt when you handed in your passport. This seems to not be the case anymore. We asked the PSB, called the airport and checked online, however so far we got conflicting stories, with some people saying that 1) it is possibble 2) it is not possible 3) it is possible when your picture is attached to the yellow receipt (never heard about this or how this can be done) 4) it might be possible.

Same goes for trains - though there we heard from everyone this is not possible, but of course the people who pick up the phones in these places not always know what actually goes on at the counters.

 

So, my question, has anyone tried to take a plane or train inside China without their passport, but only the yellow receipt from the PSB? Does this still work?

 

Urgent replies appreciated, we have a student who wants to fly to Shanghai next weekend and I would like to be able to help her with some useful information. My experience from last year is clearly outdated.

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http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/41396-travelling-in-china-while-renewing-the-residence-permit/

In terms of flying, the conclusion of this similar thread was.... It depends. As you say, you've had conflicting stories about if it's possible, suggesting that "it depends" is still your best answer. Still, there are so many factors here and if one of them doesn't work out then that "maybe" can quickly become "no chance". I definitely wouldn't recommend or tell someone they could do it.

As for trains, from the post above it looks like you can do it! Try buying a ticket without the passport and see if they will let you/the student buy it.

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Regarding train, as others have noted, it is "possible" however I would not bet your money on it. The size of the train station, both starting and ending cities, and even the guards all play a part in its feasibility. I have been completely disallowed from traveling Mianyang to Chengdu without a passport before but they have also allows me into the station and purchase without ID at other times.

I honestly wouldn't risk it, especially because you may be able to leave your place of origin okay, but what if the return trip is the time they decide you need ID and more than just a yellow piece of paper.

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I took a flight two weeks ago (Dalian to Beijing, and back) without my passport - I took a photocopy of my passport and visa page, and the receipt, and that was all fine

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zhouhaochen

thanks for all the replies. There seem to be two different kinds of receipts, one with picture attached and one without. Did you guys have your picture attached to your receipt? In the past that was never the case, but it has been mentioned on another thread.

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I'm interested to know who has been asked for their passport when buying train tickets... I used to use the train all the time (2007-2010), and I never needed any kind of ID. I was based in Xi'an, but used trains to get to and from at least 10 different places around China.

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Ruben von Zwack

re. #10, and some of the people in the other topic who say that you don't always have to show your passport, or that you can use your sister's, because they won't actually look at it and just type in some random numbers -

 

I'm certain that in the past weeks I had to show my passport between (as in: days after) buying a train ticket and setting foot into the actual train.

At queuing to be allowed into the train station for example.

Maybe more times, but I wouldn't bet my life on it. It felt like I was constantly asked for my ID, so it just got a habit to have it at hand.

And I took some pretty slow trains. I don't have the ticket at hand to check the type, but getting to Xi'An took me 15 hours (plus a bonus 3 hours being late) so I guess you wouldn't exactly call it a bullet. I know for certain that when I bought that ticket I gave my ID.

I was also asked for my passport when buying a bus ticket at the bus station, and it was a pretty beaten vehicle that must have been in service since World War 1, it wasn't fast, and it didn't even go to any remotely spectacular destination.

 

For the "random numbers" - I don't have all of my train tickets at hand right now, but the ones I'm looking at all have my correct passport number printed on. Even the 18 Yuan ticket on a K train.

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zhouhaochen

she will try the plane and we will let everyone know next week how it went.

Two things:

1) When you get the visa receipt for an extenstion from the PSB in Beijing, they do not automatically attache a picture to it and it is not possible to add it later. So if you might want to travel, remember to ask for it when applying.

2) When you buy a train ticket online, you need to show your passport when picking it up. The lady at the counter in Shanghai last month actually did check if the name matched the one that the ticket was bought for. However as it was me who bought it, I could have written anything. I do not think they ever look at the pictures, but I never tried. Would be fun to try out to travel with a woman's passport and see how far you get :mrgreen:

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zhouhaochen

She went and was turned back at the airport. No pleading and asking for help was of any use. She then took the train to Shanghai and that was no problem (bought the ticket at the station). So for the record:

 

If you want to fly inside China while your passport is with the PSB, you need the yellow receipt with your stamped (!) picture attached to it. It seems they do not put or stamp it there unless you ask, so make sure you do.

 

Train seems to be ok though.

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Living in China is like one of those adventure/RPG games....

Read this, read this again, wanted to upvote this, and then realised I already had. I love this.

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