Can I Send Someone my Passport or ID?
Sometimes a production will ask you to send them a scan of your passport or id card so they can arrange your contract or travel details. The question is this: is it safe to do so?
NB enCAST also asks for a scan of your photo ID (passport, ID card, driving licence, etc) when we verify your account; for this you are free to remove any sensitive information as we only need to see your name, country & photo clearly.
Who are you sending to?
This is the first question you should ask yourself. Do you know the production and have you spoken to them before about other issues? Do you already have the script and shooting schedule? Do you trust them?
Why do they want it?
In most cases, it isn’t necessary to send a scan of your passport or id over. Just the number will suffice.
For example, if they need to book you a flight then just your passport number, expiry date and issuing office will be enough for them. Or if they need your identity on a contract, then the id number alone will usually be fine.
If they ask for an actual scan (including picture, etc) then ask them why. It may be required for a visa, or because they need to verify the photo, but often this kind of detail isn’t necessary. A legitimate production will tell you why they need it and if you can check if it’s really necessary when they do.
If they really need it…
If you really need to send a scan over, then you can always redact it if you’re not 100% sure. For example, you can remove your address or signature, or pixelate the barcode or scan code.
And if they need the original?
The only time you should ever send your original passport or ID by post is:
- if you are sending it to your embassy or government issuing authority to renew it
- if you are sending it a foreign embassy for a visa
- if you are sending it to a registered agent who is organising your visa to a foreign country (for example, if you go to India then the visas can be quite complicated and time consuming so you can employ a registered agent who will arrange the visas for you)
In cases like this you should always send by signed and registered courier delivery. If a production asks for the original, refuse to send it to them.
Always feel free to question why it’s necessary to send your passport or ID. Any legitimate production will be happy to help and explain.
To read more about identity theft, how to prevent it, and what you can do about it, please click on this link which leads to a PDF on Preventing Identify Theft presented by ENISA (European Network and Information Security Agency),