I understand from various answers here, and from .gov.uk that I don't need a passport to travel to Ireland: I can just show my UK driver's license.

But what if I'm travelling with a 10 year old child who does not have a passport, and obviously no driving license either.

Is there some other form of ID which would be accepted?

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    Is it that hard to obtain a passport for child in UK? In Poland it actually looks like least problematic way to obtain travel document for a child. – Mołot Feb 1 '18 at 9:43
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    @Mołot A passport is fairly easy to obtain. But there are various reasons why you might not have one with you right now this minute. – Stewart Feb 1 '18 at 9:59
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    Hia, just to let folks know RYANAIR refused our family carriage on a flight from London to Cork. As we only had a full birth certificate for our new-born baby. I am trying to get this information out to as many people as possible as it was incredibly stressful for us to have to return home and miss his first trip back. RYANAIR do not make this clear so please learn from our lessons. Best of luck. Shane – Shane Dempsey Jun 19 '18 at 13:47

The child would not need a passport, but you must be able to prove that you are their legal guardian.

Assuming that you are flying, the best thing to do would be consult your airline's webpage, as sometimes policies can vary between airlines.

For example, from Flybe:

Republic of Ireland travel

British and Irish citizens must have a form of photographic ID which proves their nationality/citizenship for immigration purposes e.g. a valid passport or full/provisional photographic driving licence.

British and Irish citizens under the age of 18 do not need a passport when travelling with a parent or guardian but it is highly recommended that they have one. Without a passport, the parent/guardian must be able to prove the relationship with the child, showing birth certificate, marriage certificate etc.

A child of any other nationality must hold a passport which is covered for the period of intended stay.

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    Thank you. I haven't booked a flight yet, but I will research this aspect of it. – Stewart Jan 31 '18 at 12:44
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    Funny how Flybe implies a DL proves citizenship when that's not the case – Crazydre Jan 31 '18 at 20:26
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    I'm really not clear how a marriage certificate proves relationship with a child... – jpmc26 Feb 1 '18 at 10:22
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    @jpmc26 It does if you're Woody Allen. – Dmitry Grigoryev Feb 1 '18 at 11:52
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    @jpmc26 if you are the step-parent, i believe you can travel with your step child. A marriage certificate would be needed in addition to a birth certificate – Tim Feb 1 '18 at 12:43

The fact is that all British and Irish citizens have an unconditional right to enter each other's countries. Meaning anyone with documents proving or making it plausible that they're British/Irish must be let in.

As such, if the child is yours, their birth certificate stating your relationship is enough, although some check-in handling agents (if flying) may not accept it (contact them beforehand and ask)

If it's not your child, ask the parents to obtain the child's birth certificate as well as a legalised/notarised affidavit of consent containing a copy of their ID as well as their contact details.

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    But how do you prove that the child with you, is the child named on the birth certificate? – Stewart Jan 31 '18 at 12:45
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    @Stewart Well to be precise you can't without photo ID of the child, but in practice if you hold a birth certificate either proving your relationship to the child or accompanied by an affidavit of consent from the parents, Irish passport control will plainly trust it unless they get some other reason to suspect you of something. – Crazydre Jan 31 '18 at 13:58
  • @Stewart A five-year-old's passport, obtained when they were a baby, isn't exactly a good likeness either – Chris H Jun 19 '18 at 14:24

Be careful though. Ryanair won't accept anything other than a passport between Ireland and the UK. As far as I am aware, they are the only carrier with this requirement. I am not clear how this affects accompanied minors flying on this route with Ryanair, though.

Note also, based on experience travelling using only a driver's license, that you may be asked to produce your boarding card as evidence of your journey, this has happened to me several times recently, when entering Ireland, so be sure to keep this handy.

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    And if your UK DL states you're born outside the UK and/or you don't have a British accent, you should bring your own UK birth/naturalisation certificate in addition to the DL – Crazydre Jan 31 '18 at 14:04
  • @Coke what if you hold a driver's license from a jurisdiction that does not list the place of birth? Also, what should you bring if you were neither born not naturalized in the UK? – phoog Jan 31 '18 at 21:59
  • @phoog We're talking about UK driving licences and British citizens here. The main idea is that a UK DL stating a foreign country as the place of birth should, in many cases, be accompanied by separate proof of citizenship. – Crazydre Jan 31 '18 at 22:30
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    @Coke okay, but some British citizens will hold driver's licenses from other jurisdictions. Are they required to use their UK passports to travel to Ireland? Some British citizens by decent will have a UK license but no British birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Must they also use their UK passports? – phoog Feb 1 '18 at 6:50
  • @phoog By the book, no, they don't need their UK passports, although in practice it'll be a good idea for them to have it. Though I suppose a foreign DL+official proof of citizenship would suffice, it will also depend on the check-in staff, as Timatic isn't clear in this regard, – Crazydre Feb 1 '18 at 10:38


I've just done a live chat to see if I can take my 10 month old baby from the UK to dublin with a birth certificate and they have said they will only accept passports.

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    That's annoying. I've definitely flown Gatwick-Dublin and back using only my EU driver's license. Of course, a baby doesn't have that. – Stewart Apr 10 '19 at 17:22
  • Ajay's answer already explains this... – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Apr 11 '19 at 6:27

From my own experience as both a bus passenger and travelling via private car as a passenger, the experience differs . My ID was always checked before boarding at Pembroke Dock as a bus passenger and randomly as a car passenger at Rosslare. It seems to depend on the mood of the staff and how busy they are. I have not got a passport yet , but no doubt will need to get one sooner or later. Have never been asked for ID for our child of whom we have Special Guardianship.


Where in the UK are you?

If you travel by boat, you won't have your ID checked, so another option is to drive, or Rail and Sail.

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    I have had my ID checked by boat, and there is still passport control at the Ireland end. Going the other way however is a different matter. – Robin Salih Jan 31 '18 at 16:39
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    Hm, I used to do it all the time as a student (Edinburgh -> Belfast) and was never asked for ID in either direction. Maybe things are different now? – JMK Jan 31 '18 at 16:41
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    @JMK That's Northern Ireland. If taking the ferry from the UK to the Republic, you'll defintiely be checked at the Irish ferries terminal as a pedestrian, and occasionally at the Stena terminal or if taking the London-Dublin overnight coach (Footnote: when taking that bus I wasn't checked in Dublin, but was checked on exit at Holyhead by the Immigration Enforcement) – Crazydre Jan 31 '18 at 20:05
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    @JMK Belfast is not in (the Republic of) Ireland. – Calchas Jan 31 '18 at 20:20
  • @Calchas I’m well aware, you could still get the ferry to the North and drive down. – JMK Jan 31 '18 at 21:10

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