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Can I Travel To France On Drivers Licence?

Can I Travel To France On Drivers Licence?

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sa_20v

Original Poster:

4,058 posts

136 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
quotequote all
Mislaid the passport (somehow) and would like to try and meet up with friends in Germany this weekend - am I able to travel on EU Drivers Licence or similar?

hornetrider

58,030 posts

110 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
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Nope.

mrmr96

13,736 posts

109 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
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No.

Without wishing to patronise (too much):
- A driving license is a license which allows you to drive.
- A passport is a pass which gets you through ports.

Although they both function as 'ID' for various domestic purposes you can no more travel to france on a driving license than you can drive a car with a passport.

Alex

8,077 posts

189 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
quotequote all
It's not such a daft question. To travel to France, an EU citizen needs a passport OR valid ID card. Unfortunately, the only valid ID in the UK currently is a passport.

JCW

899 posts

112 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
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Yes you can. I've done it a few times when I've forgotten my passport; the Gendarmes aren't fussed at all and I simply had to complete a form when returning to the UK which was filled out by HMRC. This was via the Eurotunnel so the ferries may operate a different policy.

Edited by JCW on Wednesday 21st April 16:56

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shakotan

8,132 posts

101 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
quotequote all
JCW said:
Yes you can. I've done it a few times when I've forgotten my passport; the Gendarmes aren't fussed at all and I simply had to complete a form when returning to the UK which was filled out by HMRC. This was via the Eurotunnel so the ferries may operate a different policy.

Edited by JCW on Wednesday 21st April 16:56
You shouldn't be able to.

The UK is not signed up to the Schengen Treaty.

wiki said:
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed in 1985, on the river-boat "Princess Marie-Astrid" anchored in Schengen, Luxembourg[1], between five of the ten member states of the European Community: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. The Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement supplemented it 5 years later, providing for the removal of systematic border controls between the participating countries.

The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 incorporated the Schengen Agreements into the mainstream of European Union law. The borderless zone created by the Schengen Agreements, the Schengen Area, currently consists of 25 European countries, covering a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (1,664,911 sq mi).[2]. Ireland and the United Kingdom opted out of Schengen's border control arrangements, while participating in certain provisions relating to judicial and police cooperation.

Taita

5,635 posts

108 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
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One of my parents has. She did have her expired passport as well though.

Jonny671

27,886 posts

94 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
quotequote all
shakotan said:
JCW said:
Yes you can. I've done it a few times when I've forgotten my passport; the Gendarmes aren't fussed at all and I simply had to complete a form when returning to the UK which was filled out by HMRC. This was via the Eurotunnel so the ferries may operate a different policy.

Edited by JCW on Wednesday 21st April 16:56
You shouldn't be able to.

The UK is not signed up to the Schengen Treaty.

wiki said:
The Schengen Agreement is a treaty signed in 1985, on the river-boat "Princess Marie-Astrid" anchored in Schengen, Luxembourg[1], between five of the ten member states of the European Community: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany. The Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement supplemented it 5 years later, providing for the removal of systematic border controls between the participating countries.

The Amsterdam Treaty of 1997 incorporated the Schengen Agreements into the mainstream of European Union law. The borderless zone created by the Schengen Agreements, the Schengen Area, currently consists of 25 European countries, covering a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (1,664,911 sq mi).[2]. Ireland and the United Kingdom opted out of Schengen's border control arrangements, while participating in certain provisions relating to judicial and police cooperation.
Suprised at that.. Any one else can just walk into our country, may aswell let them all in.

I did think a EU Driving Licence was fine in Europe.. Guess not.

ewenm

28,401 posts

150 months

Wednesday 21st April 2010
quotequote all
I thought it was that you could leave the UK and be fine with just your driving licence around Europe until you try to get back into the UK. Of course, you could just claim you lost your passport somewhere on the journey back to the border crossing...

Opulent

7,537 posts

85 months

Friday 23rd April 2010
quotequote all
I used to work for an airline (pre 2001, I must admit). If someone didn't have the correct documentation at check-in, then the airline (who is liable for checking against the destination country's entry requirements) may request a dispensation from the destination country's immigration department, on a case-by-case basis. Probably somewhere around a 50% success rate, depending on other circumstances (party size, was the passport lost en route, etc).

Recommend you check with the airline - they have a TIM (Travel Information Manual) which gives exact legal entry requirements for every country/nationality of traveller in the world - for example outlining when Forces ID's can be used, or which countries can travel on ID cards without passports (i.e. the French).

However, there is nothing obligatory about it. There is nothing stopping the destination country from flatly refusing if you don't comply.

Disclaimer: The above may have changed, quite drastically, since 9/11.

Planet Claire

2,325 posts

114 months

Friday 23rd April 2010
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I drove to France a few years ago via the EuroTunnel. Getting out of the country was a piece of pi$$ but getting back in with just a drivers licence was only a little bit more difficult. I'm not sure why I thought I didn't need my passport. The guy at the checkpoint was taking his time, probably debating on what to do, then he got a phone call - I think bosses were wondering why he had a long queue, and then he let me through; no paperwork to fill in.

fadeaway

1,456 posts

131 months

Friday 23rd April 2010
quotequote all
Alex said:
It's not such a daft question. To travel to France, an EU citizen needs a passport OR valid ID card. Unfortunately, the only valid ID in the UK currently is a passport.
That's not true. The passport is not the only valid ID in the UK. We do not participate in the EU open-boarders programme, so enter or leave the UK you must have a valid passport.

The checking on the way out is lax, esp on eurostar and ferries, and there are processes to deal with people returning who have lost their passorts/had them stolen. But the answer to the OPs question is that you need your passport.

ADDLED

131 posts

107 months

Friday 22nd April
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fadeaway said:
The checking on the way out is lax, esp on eurostar and ferries.
As opposed to swimming across...
sorry, old post but I couldnt resist.) Tks for the info though.

HoHoHo

11,791 posts

155 months

Saturday 23rd April
quotequote all
Security on the way out using eurotunnel is now tight, much tighter than I can ever remember.

Not only do you have documents checked, you need to complete API prior to leaving the UK and last week for the first time our van was remotely driven through a new x-ray machine (on the way out). They are not necessarily looking for people trying to smuggle their way out of the country but other nasties.

Apparently however I was told the tunnel is considered a low risk due to the fact if it's attacked the papers won't get any pictures of the aftermath.

I'm told however getting back into the country if you've lost your passport isn't too difficult providing you can identify yourself.

indigostr

32 posts

31 months

Saturday 23rd April
quotequote all
I've used ferries and tunnel 8 times in the last year, stopped and checked for passport ID on all journeys whether a queue or not. Also had to fill out an online pre boarding so I doubt if you'd get to use just a driving licence.

blueg33

16,342 posts

129 months

Saturday 23rd April
quotequote all
This made me remember one Le Mans trip a few years ago.

At the ferry port I drove up to one booth and handed over my passport and a mate drove up to the adjacent one.

I heard the girl say to my mate. "Well Mr Rhodes, either you have had a sex change or this is your wife's passport"


He argued about open borders sand bring able to use his other photo ID, before driving home and catching a later ferry.

PositronicRay

6,721 posts

88 months

Saturday 23rd April
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HoHoHo said:
Security on the way out using eurotunnel is now tight, much tighter than I can ever remember.

Not only do you have documents checked, you need to complete API prior to leaving the UK and last week for the first time our van was remotely driven through a new x-ray machine (on the way out). They are not necessarily looking for people trying to smuggle their way out of the country but other nasties.
How does that work then? Do you get out and some sort of scanner goes over your van. Is it just a random thing or are all commercials put through it?

HoHoHo

11,791 posts

155 months

Saturday 23rd April
quotequote all
PositronicRay said:
HoHoHo said:
Security on the way out using eurotunnel is now tight, much tighter than I can ever remember.

Not only do you have documents checked, you need to complete API prior to leaving the UK and last week for the first time our van was remotely driven through a new x-ray machine (on the way out). They are not necessarily looking for people trying to smuggle their way out of the country but other nasties.
How does that work then? Do you get out and some sort of scanner goes over your van. Is it just a random thing or are all commercials put through it?
Vans are picked at random and you drive onto a moving rail very similar to a car wash affair.

You get out of the van and walk around the unit in an enclosure and you're only allowed out when your van is cleared.

We had two suspect packages which were stage weights. Because they were blocks of solid something I suppose they wanted to see they weren't lead boxes hiding something.

Takes about 15 minutes.

timmartin

78 posts

67 months

Sunday 24th April
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many years ago I went to Lille for the weekend to see Bowie with three of my mates. We took a car (volvo estate) to allow for a stack of booze on the way back. On the return journey, (which according to the driver felt a bit light at the front...) we stopped at Calais passport control, handed over our passports to the driver to pass over but he couldnt find his! The officer just said "are you english?" yes, 'ok mate, carry on"
I turned out he'd dropped the passport in one of the booze wharehouses and got it back a few weeks later.

marcosgt

8,645 posts

81 months

Monday 25th April
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timmartin said:
The officer just said "are you english?" yes, 'ok mate, carry on"
Which kind of reminds me of the odd "Were you active in the Nazi party 1933-1945?" question on US immigration forms.

I mean, even I'd been alive then, would I actually TELL them that now? Same with the terrorism question... "Oh yes, I should inform you I'm here to carry out acts of Terror - Is that a problem?".

M