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I lost my passport and need to travel from the Netherlands to France.
I requested a new passport but it is not here yet.
I do have my valid USA visa on my expired passport, would that be ok to travel or what about a national id from a non-Schengen nation?

  • How are you planning to travel? – phoog May 30 '18 at 17:28
  • @choster NED is a common (non-ISO) abbreviation for the Netherlands. That's why I asked "how are you planning to travel": it's not necessarily a flight. The US visa is a valid government-issued document with identifying data and a photograph; I suspect that the hope is that it can be used as a form of identification. – phoog May 30 '18 at 17:38
  • I agreed with the explanation (Netherlands-France) and have edited it into the question. – Willeke May 30 '18 at 17:43
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This depends on your citizenship.

  • For non-EU citizens a national ID card does not help much, because they would need to show a passport with entry/exit stamps.
  • For EU citizens a national ID is enough, or various other documents including recently expired passports.

However, some airlines are running document checks which are not required by law.

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    It is not 100% exact: it is not EU vs. non EU. Many European outside EU can travel with national IDs. – Giacomo Catenazzi May 31 '18 at 8:13
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi, the link contains those details. – o.m. May 31 '18 at 14:36
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Normally, travel within the Schengen Area is not subject to border controls. Most (all?) states however require foreigners to have an identity document at all times. Under normal circumstances, crossing the border between two Schengen states is just as easy as travelling within one state.

However, France is special. Due to a "Persistent terrorist threat", border checks were temporarily reinstated along French borders. As long as these temporary measures are in force, you will need to show an identity document when crossing into France.

I'm not sure if an expired passport is a valid form of ID in France. This official website states that the valid forms of ID are:

  • un titre d'identité (carte nationale d'identité, passeport ou permis de conduire),
  • une autre pièce (document d'état civil avec filiation, livret militaire, carte d'électeur ou carte vitale),
  • voire un témoignage.

My understanding of that is that any ID card or driver's license is accepted.

Air travel is also a little special, because airports or airlines are allowed to carry out identity checks on passengers. This depends on the airline, a well-known example is easyJet which always requires ID to board (and sometimes also asks about visa), while many other airlines/airports only check ID from time to time. However, these are supposed to be only security checks, not border checks, so your immigrant/visa status should not be checked.

Wikipedia says:

Such security checks can be conducted through the verification of the passenger's passport or national identity card: Such a practice must only be used to verify the passenger's identity (for commercial or transport security reasons) and not his or her immigration status. For this reason, law enforcement agencies, airport authorities and air carriers cannot require air passengers flying within the Schengen Area who are third-country nationals to prove the legality of their stay by showing a valid visa or residence permit.(source)

  • I drove from France into Belgium and back on the E40 a few days ago, and there were no border checks in either direction. Even a few days after the terror attacks in Paris, the border check on the E40 simply consisted of coming off the autoroute, going round a roundabout so the police could look at you and going back onto the autoroute — I presume you would have got your papers checked if you looked suspicious, but very few people were being stopped. – Mike Scott Jun 30 '18 at 14:24

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