Should You Carry Your Passport With You in Morocco? – Carrying a photocopy of your passport with you while in Morocco is acceptable, as long as your original passport is in your hotel in the same town. You should also carry a form of valid photo ID, like a passport card, enhanced driver’s license, military ID, etc. Traveling around the country, you should carry the original copy of your passport with you securely.
Upon your arrival to Morocco, you should have at least six months of remaining validity on your passport, with one blank page for your entry stamp.
Morocco is a northern African country, nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea (right across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain). The country has a rich history influenced primarily by the Arabian, Berber, and European cultures.
In Marrakesh, you can visit the medina, a medieval tourist area that will remind you of a vast maze–the medina features entertainment in the Djemaa el-Fna square and in its souks (markets), where you can find plentiful jewelry, artisan-crafted metal lanterns, and beautiful ceramics.
In Morocco’s capital city, Rabat, you’ll find the Kasbah of the Udayas, a royal fort dating back to the 12th century.
Do You Need a Tourist Visa to Enter Morocco?
Visitors staying for less than 90 days are not required to obtain tourist visas in Morocco. You can contact a Moroccan embassy or consulate for up-to-date information regarding longer-term visas, customs, etc., or you visit the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco’s website.
If you should happen to overstay your time in Morocco for more than 90 days without having requested an official extension, note that you will need to appear before a Moroccan judge before you leave the country, and you may need to pay a fine. You’ll need to set up an appointment with the immigration office at the local police station for all pertinent information and to set up an appointment.
Should I Carry My Passport When I Travel Throughout Morocco?
You can carry a photocopy of your passport with you, along with a valid photo ID, as long as your original passport is in your hotel in the same town. If you’re traveling around the country from city to city, you should carry the original of your passport securely with you. If you are stopped in Morocco and don’t have your passport, you can be detained for questioning.
Transporting Your Passport Securely in Morocco
Be sure to carry your passport safely inside a security pocket of your pants, or in a money/security belt around your waist if you’re traveling from city to city in Morocco. Otherwise, keep a photocopy of your passport locked up at your hotel (in the same town), and carry a photocopy with you in another pocket along with a valid photo identification.
As an additional layer of security, scan your passport, and any travel insurance documentation, then email these scans to yourself so you can easily access them electronically if you should be required to.
The U.S. State Department highly recommends that you treat your passport like a valuable by keeping it secured under lock and key at your hotel while touring around.
What Should I Do If I Lose My Passport In Morocco?
If you should happen to lose your passport or have it stolen while in Morocco, file a police report in the city/town where you lost it or had it stolen. For U.S. citizens, police may request evidence of your citizenship before giving you a report. If this happens, U.S. citizens may visit the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca to obtain a temporary emergency passport to show the police.
What If I Want to Extend My Stay in Morocco?
Travelers to Morocco who choose to establish residence in the country need to obtain an official residence permit (Certificat d’Immatriculation). Applications for such need to be submitted to the Bureau des Etrangers of the Prefecture de Police or Commissariat Central in larger cities, and to the Gendarmerie in smaller, rural towns.
Can the Children and Spouses of Moroccan Citizens Leave Morocco Without Permission?
Children of Moroccan fathers traveling with their U.S. passports may have some difficulty leaving Morocco without their father’s permission, even if their parents are divorced and their mothers have legal custody. As far as Morocco is concerned, such children are considered Moroccan citizens. Female U.S. citizens married to Moroccan men do not need their spouse’s permission to leave the country.
Tips for Entry, Exit, and Traveling Through Morocco
1 – All countries in the North African region are vulnerable to unexpected terrorist attacks at any given moment. Moroccan security forces take consistent action against terrorist attacks, in conjunction with U.S. agencies, often successful in disrupting terrorist activities, though terrorist violence against U.S. citizens, in particular, is an ongoing concern. Isolated attacks are difficult to predict and prevent, and can occur without any warning. U.S. citizens in Morocco are frequently advised to be alert and extra cautious during their travels. U.S. citizens who are camping should do so in secured campgrounds rather than in isolated areas.
2 – Clubs, schools, hotels, restaurants, places of worship, movie theaters, U.S. brand facilities (e.g., McDonald’s), and other tourist areas are frequently targeted.
3 – Tourists and foreigners are advised to stay current with the political/social climate and with events in Morocco. Demonstrations and strikes are common and frequent in the country, surrounding various political and social issues–they rarely become violent or hostile. During times of political/social tension, large demonstrations are common in larger cities. All demonstrations are legally required to obtain a government permit ahead of time, but spontaneous, unofficial demonstrations have an increased potential for violence, are always possible, though less common. If possible, avoid areas where demonstrations or strikes are going on.
4 – Be extra vigilant in places that can attract large crowds, like concerts or sporting events. If you should be caught in the middle of a demonstration or strike, stay calm and exit the area as quickly as you can when you have a safe opportunity.
5 – Because of past conflict and ongoing low-intensity conflict along the border between Morocco and the POLISARIO Front, there are thousands of unexploded mines in the Western Sahara area as well as in areas of Mauritania near the Western Saharan border. Active mines frequently explode, causing injury and even death. Travelers are strongly advised to avoid the area.
6 – Crime in Morocco is also an ongoing serious concern, especially in major cities and popular tourist areas, so exercise caution and common sense. Pickpockets are prevalent. Never leave luggage, possessions, or valuables unattended in any public place, especially crowded ones. Crimes are common any time of day or night. Criminals in Morocco are known to employ weapons (mainly knives), while committing robberies and burglaries. Stealthy crimes are more common than confrontational ones, though break-ins can turn hostile and dangerous.
7 – Panhandlers and purse-snatchers, as well as thefts from unattended vehicles and the harassment of women are the most common offenses.
8 – Tourists should avoid soccer stadiums and the areas surrounding them on days of scheduled matches, as rioting and harassment of passersby are frequent.
9 – Whenever possible, travel, shop, jog, etc., with a companion or in a group. Taxis are considered safe, though city buses are not. Travel using petit taxis whenever possible (In Casablanca, they are red, in Rabat, they are blue, and in Marrakech, they are tan).
10 – Trains are also considered safe, though thefts at any time of day can happen.
11 – Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and be especially alert whenever using an ATM machine.
12 – If you’re the victim of a crime, report it as soon as possible to local authorities and to the U.S. Consulate in Casablanca.
Bonus Tip: Some popular app-based ride-share services exist in Morocco; but only the French-based company Heetch is currently legally authorized by the Moroccan government to operate legally.
13 – It is recommended that all U.S. citizens enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) for important alerts, security messages, alerts, and to make it easier to be located during an emergency.
14 – Visitors to Morocco are subject to all local laws. Violation of these laws can get you arrested, imprisoned, and even deported. The U.S. Embassy cannot do much for you if you’ve been caught violating Moroccan laws. Some crimes, including those against minors and elders, are also punishable in the United States, regardless of where these violations occurred or of what the local laws will allow. U.S. citizens arrested or detained should ask the Moroccan police or other officials to alert the U.S. Consulate immediately.
15 – Females traveling or walking around alone in certain areas of urban and rural areas are especially vulnerable to being assaulted. Females should always remain vigilant and be careful when in public places, especially nightclubs and restaurants. Women are advised to travel with companions or in groups, and to ignore any harassment.
So, Should You Carry Your Passport With You in Morocco?
Once you’ve arrived in Morocco, you’re not required to carry your passport with you–a photocopy will do, as long as your original passport is in your hotel in the same city. You should carry a valid form of photo identification with you wherever you go, however (enhanced driver’s license, passport card, military ID, etc.).
And when traveling and touring around the country, you should always carry your original passport with you. Your passport should have at least six months of validity remaining at the time of your arrival. As far as obtaining a tourist visa, you do not need to do so if you’re staying for 90 days or less.