A pretty rare passport of Transnistria

rare passport of Transnistria
This is an internal passport issued by the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic (or sometimes translated as Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, PMR) – the official name of the country Приднестровская Молдавская Республика (ПМР). rare passport of Transnistria

rare passport of Transnistria

Most people haven’t even heard of Transnistria (also spelled Trans-Dniester), the breakaway state of Moldova that hugs its border with Ukraine. But with no direct access to the only three states that recognize Transnistria (Abkhazia; Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as the Republic of Artsakh; and South Ossetia – all, also disputed territories), the passport is essentially useless to its 500,000-odd residents. However, most hold dual or triple nationality with Russia, Moldova, or Ukraine, so they’re not exactly trapped in this landlocked enclave characterized by sleepy villages, abandoned Soviet factories, and vineyards that supply Tiraspol’s enormous Kvint brandy distillery. rare passport of Transnistria

Since Transnistria declared independence 30 years ago, Tiraspol’s population has actually decreased by at least a third, with most residents having left to seek work in Russia due to declining economic prospects following the fall of the USSR.

Passport description rare passport of Transnistria

Its design is quite similar to the design of Soviet internal passports, as it was introduced in the 1990s years when these USSR internal passports were used widely in all former USSR countries. Furthermore, like in Soviet passports, there are three pages intended for photos of the passport holder of different ages (I don’t know the passport rules of Transnistria but I think that 16 years, 25 years, 45 years like in USSR passports) because in USSR one internal passport was given to you in 16 years old and it was a valid lifetime, and it must be renewed when you are 25 and 45 years old by gluing your current photos. rare passport of Transnistria

The same for this Transnistrian passport. These passports are printed locally in Transnistria as they have rather well-developed security printing companies that produce different documents, banknotes, and coins (incl. unusual shaped colorful ceramic coins). Almost all the pages inside have a coat of arms of Transnistria as background.

Front cover – coat of arms of Transnistria + ПАСПОРТ (Russian for passport)

rare passport of Transnistria

Inside front cover – coat of arms of Transnistria and the words “Passport of the citizen of Transnistrian Moldavian Republic” (Russian language)

rare passport of Transnistria

Page 1 (intended for your photo when you are 16 years old) – photo of the passport holder (he is older than 16, and it looks like he receives this passport in exchange for lost passport maybe), last name Sarakutsa, first name Oleg, patronymic name Nikolaevich, and a signature of the passport holder. rare passport of Transnistria


Page 2 – date of birth – 16th June 1989, place of birth – Tiraspol, nationality – Moldavian (in this field it means your origin and not your citizenship, like in USSR passports there are many nationalities (like Russian, Chuvash, Tatar, Ukrainian, Jew and Armenian and many others) and they were shown in the passports), issuing authority – passports department of Tiraspol OOPRR UpVM MVD PMR, signature and seal of this department, date of issue 03rd June 2017. All in Russian language.

rare passport of Transnistria

Page 3 –  coat of arms of Transnistria and the words “Passport of the citizen of Transnistrian Moldavian Republic” (in Moldavian language)

Page 4 – the same info as on page 2 but in Moldavian language

Page 5 –  coat of arms of Transnistria and the words “Passport of the citizen of Transnistrian Moldavian Republic” (in Ukrainian language)

Page 6 –  the same info as on pages 2 and 4 but in Ukrainian language

Page 7 –  (intended for your photo when you are 25 years old) – the same photo as on page 1 and signature of the holder

Page 8 – it must be filled in with the information when the photo from page 7 is glued and by which authority – but it is empty

Page 9 –  (intended for your photo when you are 45 years old) – as this guy is not of this age yet, this page is empty.

Page 10 –  it must be filled in with the information when the photo from page 9 is glued and by which authority

Page 11 – marital status – it’s empty as he is not married.

Page 12 – also intended for marital status.

Page 13 – children (no children)

Page 14 – children (no children)

Page 15 – military obligations (he has obligations)

Page 16 – domicile address

Pages 17-27 – also for domicile addresses (as you can change it many times during your life)

Page 28 – QR code? I don’t know, maybe a link for a file in a database.

rare passport of Transnistria

Inside back cover – some articles from their law about passports.

Back cover – empty

rare passport of Transnistria

Many thanks to my fellow collector Albert V. for providing this information and pictures of a most interesting state with a most interesting passport.


FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...