Ten mistakes regarding travel documents
The ÖAMTC summarized the most common misconceptions about passports and ID cards.
- "Travellers in the European Union do not need a travel document anymore." Wrong: if someone is traveling within the EU you always need to be able to identify yourself with a valid passport or identity card. Schengen Member State or not does not matter.
- "The driving license is a sufficient travel document." Wrong: A national driving license is not a valid travel document.
- "You may travel to any country with a valid identity card." Wrong: Currently 36 European countries accept the ID as a travel document. "Travelers outside Europe generally need a passport," said the ÖAMTC expert. "In addition, the respective entry requirements must be taken into account such as visas or the remaining validity period of the passport."
- "You can enter any country with a passport that expired up to 5 years ago." Wrong: As for now, Austria only has such agreements with Belgium, Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain and Hungary. Attention: "Some Airlines do not let passengers on board with expired passport," said the ÖAMTC.
- "Travelling with an expired ID is ok." Wrong: An ID card must always be valid.
- "You can easily travel with an emergency passport." Wrong: The emergency passport is only valid on certain occasions (eg loss, theft) and for a limited period of time. In some countries, such as Turkey or the United States special rules apply.
- "Because the United Kingdom and Ireland belong to the EU travel documents are not controlled when crossing the border." Wrong: Both countries are in the EU, but not in the Schengen area, so there are border controls.
- "On a trip to the neighbouring country, I do not need a passport." Wrong: Although all the neighboring countries of Austria belong to the Schengen area, a passport or ID card may be required anywhere and everywhere.
- "There are no special requirements if taking a pet with me on holiday." Wrong: Dogs and cats need the EU pet passport available at the vet.
- "When kids travel with grandparents, other relatives or friends the child's passport is enough." Often wrong: "Minors traveling with grandma, aunt, other accompanying persons or alone, it is often necessary or advisable always to carry a consent of the guardian." A template for a power of attorney in English and German can be downloaded from: ÖAMTC Travel Advisor (German).