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Passport for rental?


virtua

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Hey guys,

do rental companies accept international passport (for verification or whatever) upon arrival when you move in?

Because, I sent my passport scan for rental application and they said it works for now but they will need me to present my US ID(which obviously I dont have) when I arrive. But I suspect this is because I hid almost everything(concealed with white rectangles) on my passport scan except my name, date of birth, date of expiry. So would they accept my passport if I dont hide anything on it?

Edited by virtua
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I'm in my fourth year of undergrad in the US (am international too) and have never had to submit my passport or anything for any rental applications. All I had to do was have someone as a co-signer (I had my mum co-sign my lease) as a guarantee in case I couldn't make payment) but that's pretty much it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Your passport is a legal ID. You don't need to have another ID for doing anything else. Actually, your passport is the most legal of your IDs, sort to speak. You can have a US ID, but for getting it you'll need your passport. Once I had a renting company requesting both my ID and passport. 

Correct me if I'm wrong but there is no weird information in a passport scan for you to cover it. Clearly, a partially covered ID is not useful so you'll have to show them your passport and they will keep a copy of it. They, your bank, and even your university upon your arrival. Your VISA is not part of your ID, and actually it has more sensitive information than the passport front page because it contains what school you attend. 

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8 hours ago, AP said:

Your passport is a legal ID. You don't need to have another ID for doing anything else. Actually, your passport is the most legal of your IDs, sort to speak. You can have a US ID, but for getting it you'll need your passport. Once I had a renting company requesting both my ID and passport. 

Correct me if I'm wrong but there is no weird information in a passport scan for you to cover it. Clearly, a partially covered ID is not useful so you'll have to show them your passport and they will keep a copy of it. They, your bank, and even your university upon your arrival. Your VISA is not part of your ID, and actually it has more sensitive information than the passport front page because it contains what school you attend. 

The passport may indeed be the "most legal" ID, however, in practice, I find that some American organizations would prefer a state ID (e.g. driver's license) over a foreign passport. This makes a little bit of sense, because non-experts in passport technology won't really know if that non-US passport you're holding is an actual passport or not. Also, the foreign country isn't responsible to this US organization (or person) so there is little incentive to trust the non-US passport.

This is almost never a problem when dealing with American organizations like the DMV, a bank, etc. My friends and I only have this problem when we are dealing with individuals that may not know what to do with non-US issued IDs. For example, a waiter at a restaurant may not accept foreign passports as ID for proof of age. Landlords might not accept passports for proof of identity. These cases are rare, but they have happened to me and my friends at least once each.

I can also understand why one would be hesitant to provide a scan of the passport ID page. As you said, the passport is used to obtain other forms of ID. Having your passport number and the whole passport page could allow someone to pretend to be you. For some companies, e.g. the electric company in my city, they use the last 4 digits of your passport number as the security code instead of the last four of your SSN for non-citizens.

So, I think there's good reason to be cautious of scanning and transmitting your passport ID page over email. I'm happy to show the office my passport and they can photocopy it if they want. Yes, there is still a risk but you usually can't get around them wanting a copy and I feel a little safer if they copy it in their office and store it physically in that office instead of having a PDF that can go to the wrong places.

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What rising_star said...

I worked in student housing and different functions within the property management industry throughout my undergrad...

Trust me, every company is different, every property within that company does things a little differently and every manager at every property has their own unique definition of what satisfies ID requirements.

On the one hand you have some companies who don't want a copy anywhere to reduce liability concerns for potential IDentity theft on the other extreme you might need to provide copies of your passport, visa, j-1/I-20, plus all of that for a guarantor/cosigner  etc...

 

Ive never heard of any identity theft actually happening especially in student housing, and especially with international students... I wouldn't sweat providing them with copies of what they request. 

 

 

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