In an ideal world, you would be able to travel overseas and remain there until you reach the expiry date on your passport. Prior to Brexit this was very much the case if you were travelling within the European Union. However, since the Brexit transition period ended on 31st December 2020, British citizens are treated the same as any other third-country national.
To enter the European Union, you need AT LEAST three months left on your passport on the day that you plan on leaving the EU.
The European Union’s website states that if you are a non-EU national wishing to visit or travel within the EU, you will need a passport:
- valid for at least 3 months after the date you intend to leave the EU country you are visiting;
- which was issued within the previous 10 years
‘Issued within the previous 10 years’ – the important part!!
Prior to Brexit, the UK Government would issue passports for ten years plus the extra months of validity left on your old passport. This meant that many passport holders would have a passport that was valid for more than 10 years.
Now that British passport holders are not EU citizens, these extra months are no longer valid for travel in the EU, despite what expiry date may be printed on your passport.
Can you still book a flight with an expired passport?
Yes, and this is what is catching lots of people out. Airlines don’t request your passport details at the time of booking. It is only when you come to check in for your flight, enter your passport details and the expiry date, that people are made aware that their passport has expired, earlier than they were originally expecting. If your passport has expired, you won’t even be able to check-in, let alone travel.
An expired passport won’t allow you on a domestic flight either. Once the expiry date on your passport has been reached, the passport is invalid.
How can I check if my passport is valid for travel?
You can check your passport on the Government website. You will need to select the country you are travelling to, enter your date of birth, your passport issue date and your passport expiry date. You will be given the date your passport is valid for travel to the country you selected or, if your passport is nearing its expiry date, a recommendation of when you should look to renew your passport.
To check your passport click here.
Will my travel insurance cover invalid or expired passports?
No. Travel insurance does not cover any costs associated with invalid or expired passports. Before going on your holiday, be sure to check if your passport will be valid for departure, the duration of your trip and your return journey home.
Tony Buckingham, Managing Director of Buckingham Insurance says, “It’s sad to see the number of people that have missed out on their long overdue overseas holiday due to the change in passport rules, which many people were unaware of. Travel insurance will not cover a holiday that has to be cancelled or a flight that cannot be boarded, or any other associated costs due to an expired passport of a party member. As frustrating as this may be, it is the responsibility of the person to check that passports are valid.
If you have any questions relating to travel insurance and what you are or aren’t covered for, don’t hesitate to contact us or telephone one of our friendly staff on 01246 575 625 (Clowne) or 01773 748 627 (Ripley). They will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.”