I have temporarily lost my Dutch passport. I'm on a round trip from the UK to Germany. I have confirmed my passport has been found and it's safe with Lost Property at Bruxelles-Midi station, where I will pick it up as I pass through on my way home in two days (the same lost bag contains all my other forms of ID, which are safe as well). I'm currently in Germany. I have a copy of my passport but no other form of identification. Is there any requirement on me to notify any authorities, or do I just carry my copy around hoping that the copy + the story will do should there be situations where I am asked to prove my identity? Due to work obligations it would be difficult for me to travel back and forth to Brussels before I am due to return anyway.

  • @HankyPanky I don't have other forms of ID with me, though.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 7:39
  • 1
    Are you planning on leaving the Schengen area before you pick up your passport? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 17:35
  • @DJClayworth No, I'm not. I will pick up my passport as soon as I arrive at Bruxelles-Midi station, before I return to the UK.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 23:15

2 Answers 2


Under German law (§ 8 FreizügG/EU) you are required to have identity papers and to carry them with you during the border crossing. Failure to do so would be a misdemeanor (§ 10 FreizügG/EU) if it was intentional or negligent and may be punished by a fine. I seriously doubt that a couple of days more or less would make a difference, and going to Bruxelles now would almost certainly be more expensive than the fine. (I agree with the comment by Coke that such a fine is unlikely, but the law is on the books.)

As I understand it, as an EU citizen you are not required to carry the passport with you at all times, but having no document might complicate things if it should be necessary to confirm your identity, e.g. if you get involved in a traffic accident.

You might check if there is a Dutch consulate nearby and if they can issue an emergency passport.

  • What law requires this?
    – phoog
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 22:45
  • "Failure to do so would be a misdemeanor if it was intentional or negligent and may be punished by a fine" In theory yes, in practice they hardly ever enforce it. The very worst that will happen is they ask you to pay 18 euros for a certificate of identity that can be issued to EU nationals by the federal police (a passport or ID copy is enough for this). Even that has never happened to me - I've been checked at the Swiss-German border 8 times and twice in-country without having ID for various reasons. An ID copy on my laptop plus a brief explanation (in German) has always done the trick.
    – Crazydre
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:38
  • @phoog, edited.
    – o.m.
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 6:18

You can travel freely in the EU without a passport, it is however in some countries required that you can identify yourself. In this case I would advise that you just travel back to Bruxelles and collect your passport there a copy would suffice for a random ID check on the streets.

Remember that there need to be an event or situation that would require you to identify yourself as at random it is not allowed in most countries

  • 3
    For Germany, where the OP is currently located, almost everything in this answer is incorrect. You are not allowed to cross the German border (entering or exiting) without carrying a recognized travel document (passport or EEA national id card). Chances for a random id check are in Germany slim, though present. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 16:59
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo "Chances for a random id check are in Germany slim, though present" Huh? I can't count the amount of times I've been subject to internal foreigner checks on buses in Germany. For example in Rohrdorf (Bavaria) and in the middle of the night at a petrol station between Leipzig and Munich. It's common on buses in Germany in other words, as well as on trains in France
    – Crazydre
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 0:43
  • @Coke I've very rarely travelled on inter-city buses in Germany, so I can't say anything about those. I've been living in Germany for 20+ years though and I have been through plenty of id checks, but they average probably at 2 or 3 a year. Most of them have been in connection with traffic checkpoints and all of them but two have been in Bavaria, although I have been living and working all around Germany. There are obvious regional differences in how the police works. That is slim enough for me for gerrit to expect, that he will not be stopped for an id check the next two days. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 8:21

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