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Documents you need

Updated : 23/07/2014

travel

EU nationals

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.

The border-free Schengen area includes:

Austria

Hungary

Norway

Belgium

Iceland

Poland

Czech Republic

Italy

Portugal

Denmark

Latvia

Slovakia

Estonia

Liechtenstein

Slovenia

Finland

Lithuania

Spain

France

Luxembourg

Sweden

Germany

Malta

Switzerland.

Greece

Netherlands

 

You must still show a valid ID card or passport when travelling to or from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom. Though part of the EU, these countries do not belong to the border-free Schengen area. Before travelling, check what documents you must have to travel outside your home country and to enter the non Schengen EU country you plan to visit.

Have you:

 

  • lost your passport or had it stolen?
  • realised that your passport has expired during your trip?

In either situation, under EU rules you may travel only with a valid ID card or passport. But help is at hand, as the EU countries have systems in place to deal with such cases.

The conditions and procedures do vary widely from country to country. So if you're in the EU, your first port of call should be your country's consulate or embassy. (If you have a similar problem outside the EU, where your country does not have a consulate or embassy, you have the right to seek consular protection from any other EU country.)

Documents for minors

In addition to their own valid passport or ID card, all children travelling:

  • alone; or
  • with adults who are not their legal guardian; or
  • with only one parent

may need an extra (official) document signed by their parents, second parent or legal guardian(s) authorising them to travel.

You should first consult the local embassy of the country the children are travelling to for information on which, if any, other documents they need to make the trip.

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.

Still need help?

Still need help?

Haven't found the information you need? Do you have a problem to solve?

Get advice on your EU rights

Solve problems with a public body

Footnote

or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway

Retour au texte en cours.

Obligatory for Swedish citizens

Retour au texte en cours.