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Do Foreign Tourists Still Need Registration Slips in Uzbekistan? (2022)
One important thing foreign tourists need to be aware of while traveling in Uzbekistan is the registration of their stay in the country. Currently, the law is confusing and frustrating as enforcement feels lacking, but if you’re unlucky to get caught without proper registration, you’d have to pay a fine in thousands of dollars, or even experience something disturbing. Out of all Central Asian countries, only Uzbekistan have this rule in place. This rule applies to all foreign tourists who are staying for more than 3 days, regardless of their visa policies.
My Experience with Uzbekistan’s Registration Slips
I hopped between 4 cities during my time in Uzbekistan, and also changed my accommodations very frequently. I stayed in hotels 100% of the time, and I was given the registration slips most of the time during checkout. My trip was in late August of 2022.
Shockingly, the first incident might’ve been at Hilton Tashkent City, a 5-star hotel under the Hilton brand. I enjoyed my stay there a lot, but there could’ve been a chance where I’d not been given the registration slip if I didn’t inquire about it. The next and final incident was my hotel at Nukus where I situated myself for a few days to see the Aral Sea. During checkout, they just forgot to give me the registration slip, and I also forgot to inquire them about it. I happened to realize it during my flight back to Tashkent.
All other hotels proactively gave me the slips during checkout in Bukhara, Samarkand, and Tashkent (Courtyard & Hampton). Now, is it my fault that I forgot the slips for one of the hotels I stayed at? As a foreign tourist, I do have the responsibility to know how to get in & out of the country, and conduct myself in manners where I’d be respectful towards the people and law of the country I’m visiting. But at the same time, it’d feel terrible if I’d get punished for this one slip up (pun intended) just for a moment. There’s already so many things going on in my head just being in a foreign country! Even hotel front desks may forget them as well…
Luckily, when I was about to leave Uzbekistan, I wasn’t asked at the passport check for my registration slips. It turns out, you are automatically registered electronically by the hotel, so the paper slips may not have been necessary. The airport can check your status to confirm if they want/need to. Nonetheless, it’s good to have the slips just in case! With all that said, other tourists experience similar things with border controls like:
- not being checked
- being checked but not thoroughly, or barely looked at the slips, and being let go after
I do recommend tourists to stay at reputable hotels for now, whether from multinational chains or highly reviewed ones by tourists, as the process is done automatically. Staying at AirBnB’s or any other short rentals would mean that you need to register online yourself. According to Caravanistan, a great source for Central Asia travel, the process for registering yourself appear to be complicated. Honestly, I didn’t feel like going through that, and would happily pay extra for hotels just to avoid it. There’s a bunch of options for hotels in Uzbekistan that cater to different kinds of budget. Keep in mind that not all of them accept credit cards though.
Even though tourists reported that they were not checked for registration slips, I recommend that you still keep them for all of your stays! Staying at reputable hotels is the easiest method to register as they’ll do them automatically. Try your best to inquire the front desk during checkout as they may forget too!
Keeping Uzbekistan’s registration policy may unfortunately turn tourists away from visiting this beautiful country, which is the opposite on what they should do to increase the amount of tourists they aim for! I do hope that the government will eradicate it once and for all to get rid of all the confusion and tension while exploring this history-rich country.