Where can I travel without a passport?

The rules on travelling without a passport have changed since the UK left the EU – here’s what you need to know

Travelling without a passport isn’t generally the done thing, but it is possible; to some destinations, at least.

Anyone in the UK can enter another country within the Common Travel Area, which consists of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, plus the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland, without the requirement to carry a passport.

There are no passport checks when travelling between a land border between England, Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland and Ireland, but when you enter via airport or port, you will go through security. In this case, if you’re planning to leave your passport at home, you’ll need to show another form of ID. Accepted other travel documents generally include:

  • Photographic driving license
  • International student card
  • Government issued photographic ID cards
  • Health insurance/social security photographic ID cards
  • Photographic bus/train pass
  • Place of work photographic ID
  • Birth certificates (for under 18s with no photo ID)

Digital copies of your ID will not be accepted. We also recommend checking the rules on the transport company you’re travelling with, as they often provide a list of accepted forms of ID, and these can vary.

Can I travel to the EU without a passport?

No. Since the UK left the EU on 31 January 2021, anyone travelling from England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland to a country in the European Union or Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or Vatican City will only be able to travel with a valid passport.

It’s also important to know that the rules have become stricter post-Brexit, and all travellers from the UK must now ensure that their passport is less than 10 years old on the day of entry to an EU country, and is valid for three months after the planned end date of the trip. So for example, if you will be returning to the UK on 1 August 2022, your passport cannot expire before 1 November 2022.

If in doubt, it’s always helpful to travel with your passport and ensure that it will not be expiring soon.

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