Ten mistakes regarding travel documents

The ÖAMTC summarized the most common misconceptions about passports and ID cards.

  1. "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.
  2. "The driving license is a sufficient travel document." Wrong: A national driving license is not a valid travel document.
  3. "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."
  4. "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.
  5. "Travelling with an expired ID is ok." Wrong: An ID card must always be valid.
  6. "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.
  7. "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.
  8. "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.
  9. "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.
  10. "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).

Source: ÖAMTC

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