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I have recently supplemented my Irish passport with a passport card. This is a cute credit card sized thing that fits neatly in my wallet. According to the DFA site, it is valid in the EU, EEA, and Switzerland.

Does anyone have experience of using these cards? In the EU, EEA, elsewhere?

Irish passport card

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I've been using the passport card in many EU countries and never had a problem, no questions asked. Ironically, it raised the highest suspicion with the UK immigration authorities in Dunkirk when boarding a ferry to Dover, probably they haven't seen one before (and also since I'm a naturalized Irish citizen hence my place of birth is outside of Ireland). Still no problem, just 5 minutes delay or so. Quite a few non-EU countries, as mentioned before, also accept it. I have used it in Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia without any issues at all. The only real downside of it is you cannot use the automated passport control e-gates now found in many airports in Europe. For those, you need an actual passport book. So you have to go to a manned desk to have your card checked. It applies to other EU ID cards, not just Irish passport card.

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  • Thanks. That's very useful. Of course, I also have a full sized passport. The nice aspect of the card is that it can stay in my wallet and hence I could hop on a plane to many places without needing to go home. The back to UK aspect was especially interesting. I have noticed higher scrutiny when using even a full sized Irish passport.
    – badjohn
    Dec 27, 2017 at 14:32
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    Macedonia? Interesting, as they very recently told me they don't accept it (try asking at [email protected] - maybe there are different people replying)
    – Crazydre
    Mar 9, 2018 at 11:25
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Montenegro accepts it, as stated in Timatic, the database used by Airlines. So do French overseas territories, North Cyprus and Moldova

As for the UK, your freedom of movement there, which has nothing to do with the EU and is already more absolute than that for other EEA nationals, will not be affected. As such I'm sure you'll be able to use your passport card post-Brexit, and that Irish passport books won't be stamped.

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    Thanks. I don't have any fear that I will not be able to travel freely after Brexit, especially since I am a dual UK / Irish citizen, though I am less sure whether this little passport card will be welcome when entering the UK. Anyway, this is just speculation. My primary question is where can I use this card today.
    – badjohn
    Aug 15, 2017 at 9:32
  • @badjohn Your card will be just fine in the UK. And like I said, you can absolutely travel to the above mentioned places with it (which, other than some French overseas territories, are not in the EU/EFTA)
    – Crazydre
    Aug 15, 2017 at 9:34
  • Thanks again. Montenegro and the French overseas territories are indeed interesting, As I said in my question, I am old enough to remember a day when there were no computers at border control and we were not even in the EU (or its ancestor) yet. I would be looked up in an index of undesirables when entering the UK with my Irish passport.
    – badjohn
    Aug 15, 2017 at 9:49
  • I'm an Irish guy who's and though my passport card that I'm getting in a few weeks will definitely be useful, I can't help but worry that travelling alone with it will spark high suspicion in some EU countries. They'll probably think I'm a migrant with a fraudulent card. Do those border officers have a computerized database that they can look up to see who is an EU citizen? Aug 16, 2017 at 17:33
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    @myopicflight You're way overthinking it. I travel on a Swedish ID card to such obscure countries as Kosovo, Georgia and Dominica, where I'm sure few of them, if any, have ever been seen before mine by the Police (as most Swedes don't have them in the first place, and the police falsely claims they're only valid in the EU/Schengen). Never posed a problem except once at the Azeri-Georgian border, where the Georgians didn't know any ID cards were valid for Georgia (though the supervisor did) - didn't want to collect more stamps than necessary in my passport so denied having one.
    – Crazydre
    Aug 16, 2017 at 18:13
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In the UK and elsewhere they have scanned the code >>>>name<<< on the passport card in the same way as the code on the passport. As mentioned it will not work in the automatic gates but as most people use the gates in most airports, having it checked manually at a desk has sometimes been a bit quicker. No real problems apart from when they were still new and still a novelty for airline and passport control staff.

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I was using an Irish passport card in one hotel in Benidorm.
The receptionist insisted it was only a I.D. card and would not listen.
She actually laughed out loud at my apparent stupidity.
However I succeeded in the end without an apology.

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  • Since my question, I have used the card quite a lot within the EU with no problems yet. No hotel has queried it and car hire has not either. I have not yet used it outside the EU. My only non-EU trip since getting it was the US and I don't expect it to work there. I could try it for ID in a bar but it may cause the same problem as my driving licence: my "impossible" birthday.
    – badjohn
    May 2, 2020 at 11:40

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