This question is somewhat related to this one, but not quite the same.

I'm an Italian citizen currently living in the UK, and I'll be traveling to Spain in about a week (from Heathrow). My passport (which I always fly with, no matter where I go) is in the process of getting a visa, so I won't have access to it for this trip. My only option is to use my Italian ID card (which looks like this, and I have already used to enter the UK from Italy); will I have any problem going to Spain and / or back to the UK?


Yes you can use your italian ID.

In Spain you can enter with Italian ID, as written in this Spain travel website

If you are a citizen of a EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein, you will need a valid passport or ID card.

and regarding going back to UK, as written in UK gov website

You’re from an EEA country or Switzerland You can enter the UK with either a valid passport or a national identity card issued by a EEA country.


Today I had a bad episode. I am Italian citizen with an Italian ID and I was travelling from the Edinburgh, UK (where I live) to Alicante, Spain, and the police (at the spot where passports are checked) would not let me in! They asked to see another document, so I showed my driving license, the only other thing I had, but it still was not enough. The policeman went on shouting that I needed a passport to get in and finally exclaimed "I am doing you a favour for this time, go get a passport!".

I was speechless but glad I could get in. I have travelled all over Europe with my Italian ID card.

When asking the airport info point later, the guy first said that I should not have had problems with it, then he checked something and said that since the UK is not part of the Schengen I needed a passport. However, when I checked online later, it said that to enter Spain you need either a passport or a ID card as a EU national. I believe it is the police that does not even know facts, but I will do more research.

  • 3
    Where were you entering from? – phoog May 8 at 20:39
  • 4
    And where were you entering? – badjohn May 8 at 20:40
  • I updated the answer to make it explicit but I had the same circumstances as OP, from Edinburgh, UK to Alicante, Spain. – belvederef May 9 at 10:50
  • 1
    This is pretty shocking. You might want to complain via SOLVIT to make sure that the border officers in Alicante are reminded of the law. – MJeffryes May 9 at 12:00
  • @MJeffryes thank you for the advise, I will do it. – belvederef May 9 at 23:57

I've had friends with the old style carta d'identità get into the UK and I constantly see it when coming back into Schengen, although I only used the new CIE, I have had no problem using mine. I don't think you'll have a problem either.

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