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Passports to Be Required for Domestic Travel

Travelers crossing the borders of their home region will have to show a passport and will be entered into a police database under a new decree issued by the Transportation Ministry.

The new rules, published in the government’s Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday, will bar travel companies from selling tickets to interregional destinations on any form of transportation to customers who cannot present a passport or another form of valid ID. 

Russian citizens may present either an internal or foreign-travel passport, while foreign citizens should present the passport issued by their state. The decree does not mention what children without passports should do, but the list of valid documents includes birth certificates.

Carriers will be required to pass personal information on all passengers on interregional journeys to a centralized database accessible to “law enforcement and regulatory authorities,” according to the decree.

The move aims to improve security by allowing police and other agencies to trace the movements of anyone who gets on a bus, train, plane or riverboat.

Travel companies, which will be required to start passing on information to the database before the decree comes into force in July, will face fines for failure to deliver data.

“If it’s just forgetting to pass on the information, they will face a fine or possibly the seizure of vehicles on which there is no information about passengers,” Vladimir Chertok, deputy head of the Federal Transportation Agency, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta. Companies thought to be deliberately concealing information will face criminal charges.

Domestic air travel and most long-distance train routes already require presentation of passports.

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