It might not have happened to you or anyone you know but many people find themselves without an ID or passport a few days before taking a trip. We’ve collected some tips if that shall ever happen to you (fingers crossed it never does).
Under EU rules, all travelers need a valid ID card or passport to travel. If you have recently lost your passport or realized that your passport has expired EU countries have systems in place to deal with such cases.
It is up to each EU country to decide whether and/or when it allows EU citizens to enter or exit their territory without a valid travel document. Conditions and procedures vary widely from country to country, and may change without notice.
If you have already set off on your trip and:
- You’re in the EU, your first port of call should be your country’s consulate or embassy.
- You find yourself 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.
Bear in mind that, even where some countries allow you to leave or enter their territory without a valid travel document, you may still need to show one in countries you are transiting through. You can look at the regulations for each of the EU countries here
For domestic travel in the US, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be able to confirm a passenger’s identity using publicly available databases. Individuals will need to complete an identity verification process with a TSA officer which will including current address, place of birth, and other personal details.
If the TSA is able to confirm the passenger’s identity against a database, the traveler be allowed through to the security screening. The boarding pass will have a note explaining why the passenger does not carry an ID. If the identity can’t be verified, however, boarding will be denied.
Note on expired IDs: Due to service disruptions caused by the pandemic, TSA is making temporary exemptions for those with an expired ID up to a year after the expiration date.
International travel will not be possible without an official form of ID.