If I will be going from Switzerland to Austria by car, will I need a passport?

  • 7
    For completeness, what is your citizenship and what travel document(s) would you have if not a passport?
    – Traveller
    Jul 17, 2019 at 8:14

3 Answers 3


A passport, not necessarily. Your national ID card also work and beyond that, the European Union maintains spreadsheets of recognised travel documents and one of those you are very strongly recommended to keep with you. There are three spreadsheets:

  1. Part I: Travel documents issued by third countries and territorial entities xlsx
  2. Part II: Travel documents issued by Member States and Schengen Associated States xlsx
  3. Part III: Travel documents issued by international organisations and other entities subject to international law xlsx
  • I get the same spreadsheet for all 3 links on my mobile...
    – jcaron
    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:17
  • that's because i fubar'd copypaste. it has been fixed.
    – user4188
    Jul 17, 2019 at 18:47

The short answer is: yes.

The long answer: Switzerland and Austria are both part of the Schengen area, where border controls are generally reduced or non-existent. Nevertheless, while it's very possible that you might cross the border without any official inspection taking place, you should always carry a passport (or equivalent identity document) when travelling internationally. Spot-checks are possible even at borders within the Schengen area, and even ignoring that possibility there are many countries (including Austria) which require you to have ID available at all times.

Depending on your citizenship, a national ID card might be a valid substitute for your passport. But you should carry some form of government-issued document which can be used to confirm both your identity and your legal presence in the country.

  • 1
    Reminds me of skiing in Portes du Soleil. Above Chatel there's a marked piste where on one run you're in France and the next turn you're in Switzerland. There were signs that you were expected to carry passport or similar. Jul 17, 2019 at 8:31
  • 2
    short answer is no. because if you're a swiss citizen the national ID card is enough.
    – Val
    Jul 17, 2019 at 9:08
  • 3
    @Val that's the deliberately unhelpful short answer, because a Swiss citizen almost certainly wouldn't be asking this question in the first place (or at least wouldn't be phrasing it this way).
    – Chris H
    Jul 17, 2019 at 9:12
  • 2
    this is your assumption. Since it's not written, also your answer could be wrong. Consider that a lot of people are not informed at all regarding documents to be used when travelling.
    – Val
    Jul 17, 2019 at 9:15
  • 2
    @val sure the short answer may be "wrong" (but not in a way that leads to any harm). That's why it's "the short answer" and is also why it's followed by a long answer. The whole point of a short answer is to be helpful without getting bogged down in details, and saying "yes" ensures the person carries appropriate documents for their trip. The fact that "appropriate documents" isn't necessarily limited to passports is already addressed in the long answer. Your short answer would be liable to mislead people into thinking they can travel without documentation.
    – Chris H
    Jul 17, 2019 at 9:23

If you're a citizen from a country in the Schengen area you need to have your national ID in case you get stopped and your identity needs to be confirmed. If you're not you do need your passport.

Most of the time you will not be checked as there are no regular border controls within the Schengen area. If you get checked as a citizen of an EU/Schengen country you will need to somehow prove your citizenship. This doesn't necessarily mean a valid travel document but in the end, it's just asking for trouble not carrying your national ID.

  • 3
    Some EU countries do not supply ID cards, if you are a citizen of one of them you need your passport.
    – Willeke
    Jul 17, 2019 at 8:57
  • 1
    Nitpick: if you're from a non-Schengen EEA country that issues ID cards (e.g. Romania), you can use one of those and don't need a passport.
    – Joe Malt
    Jul 17, 2019 at 10:12
  • @Willeke *Cough* UK *Cough*
    – kiradotee
    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:44
  • @Willeke also, if you're a Schengen/EU citizen you don't need to get a national ID card, if you already have a passport.
    – JakeDot
    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:59
  • @JoeMalt In fact EU (including Gibraltar), Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland :)
    – Crazydre
    Jul 17, 2019 at 19:44

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