Legal Notices on Passport Collecting
The purpose of this site is to establish a platform for collectors to share and exchange information, knowledge and collectibles and to raise awareness of passport collecting as a leisure activity.
All passports presented on this website are obsolete and for research, educational & collection purposes only !
Passports as government property
Most countries declare by law that passports are government property, and may be withdrawn or revoked at any time, usually on specified grounds. A withdrawal or a revocation is generally subject to judicial review. The definition of “Government property” is stated in most of the passports and/or in the country specific passport law and came up (by my best knowledge) within the last 30-40 years. Really old passports (100 years old and more) do not have such a statement at all – not on the document nor in the passport laws at that time.
Therefore the statement e.g. from eBay or eGreedy as I call them is not only incorrect but also in consequent. Why? Firstly they state in their policy government ID’s remain property of the issuing country and can’t be sold but then secondly they state that US passports expired 20 years ago (from issue date) are ALLOWED to sell.
Is passport collecting legal? YES, don’t worry it is – as long the passports are obsolete!
I was in contact with several government agencies and even they are often unable to give a clear statement. Basically it is safe to say that passport collecting is “tolerated” as long you have a good reason for your collection, e.g. for historical research.
Normally you will get your old and however obsolete marked passport back when you pick up your new one. This indicates that passport offices do not really have an interest on their “property” by collecting “old paper”.
If you have additional / other information I would be very glad if you share them with me (including references) to ensure most possible legal security for our community!