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Updated : 07/07/2017

Travel documents for EU nationals

UK decision to invoke Article 50 of the TEU: For the time being, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in and to the UK:

If you are an EU national , you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another.

Even if you don't need a passport for border checks within the Schengen area , it is still always highly recommended to take a passport or ID card with you, so you can prove your identity if needed (if stopped by police, boarding a plane, etc.). Schengen EU countries have the possibility of adopting national rules obliging you to hold or carry papers and documents when you are present on their territory.

Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.

Under Schengen rules, in extenuating circumstances, where a threat to public policy or national security has been identified Member States are permitted to reintroduce temporary border controls.

More detailed information and the list of countries which have temporarily reintroduced border controls.  Ensure that you have either your ID or passport in your possession when travelling to these countries.  Also bear in mind that even under normal circumstances you may be required to produce one of these documents.

The border-free Schengen area includes:

Non-Schengen area includes:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, United Kingdom.

When travelling to or from a non-Schengen country you must show a valid ID or passport. Before travelling, check what documents you must have to travel outside your home country and to enter the non-Schengen country you plan to visit.

Sample story

Lars is Swedish and holidaying in Spain. He took his ID card issued by a bank with him - in Sweden, it's accepted as proof of identity.

But Lars could get into trouble if the Spanish authorities want to check his identity, because the only valid ID documents they recognise are national ID cards and passports issued by the Swedish authorities.

What is a valid ID card/passport in your country?

Entry refusal

In very rare cases, an EU country can refuse entry to you or your family members for reasons of " public policy, public security or public health".

This means the authorities must prove you or your family members pose a " genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat".

You are entitled to receive this decision in writing, stating all the grounds, and specifying how you can appeal and by when.

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