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I'm traveling to Switzerland and am wondering if I can enter the country with my UK Driver's License from London only? Basically, without my Passport. Also, is a UK-issued Driver's License considered an "official identity card from an EU/EFTA state?"

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    London does not issue driver's licenses. – phoog Aug 6 at 22:14
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    How do you plan go to Switzerland exactly? Because if you fly you need passport but also if you go thru other EU state you need at least ID card - gov.uk/uk-border-control/before-you-leave-for-the-uk – JIV Aug 7 at 5:50
  • Although I agree that you should have a valid form of ID when entering Switzerland, I have never been checked when entering by train. Although I do make sure to always have my passport with me just in case. – yawnobleix Aug 7 at 6:24
  • @JIV You don't necessarily need a passport to fly between Schengen member countries. Case in point: I, a swiss national, flew from Zürich to Berlin recently and didn't need a passport – MindSwipe Aug 7 at 7:37
  • In the 1970s my Dad had to fly from London to Geneva and back in one day for a meeting. He had left his passport in his office, but with much negotiation and a couple of phone calls he managed it. The worst part was trying to leave Switzerland, when the border control officer he'd spoken to on arrival had finished his shift, and forgotten to warn his replacement that my dad would be coming back through again soon. More phone calls, and a copy of the letter that the UK officials had given him, and he made it. That couldn't happen nowadays though. – Phil M Jones Aug 7 at 9:52
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No, a driver's license is not an identity card, and cannot be used in lieu of a passport for EU/Schengen purposes.

Identity cards from EU countries that do issue them can be used instead of passports for purposes of internal travel in the EU/EEA, but the UK does not issue such cards to its citizens.

  • Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/switzerland/entry-requirements – Traveller Aug 6 at 18:04
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    A UK driver's license is accepted as ID within the UK. However, it does not indicate citizenship. Anyone who is resident in the UK, can apply for a UK driver's licence (as long as they pass the test, or trade in a foreign licence) – CSM Aug 6 at 20:49
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    @CSM indeed, someone who is not legally allowed to be in the UK might have a UK driver's license if they are a former UK resident. I don't know whether immigration enforcement records (for example, whether someone has been ordered removed) would be available to a police officer checking the related driving records. Of course, the fact that driving licenses are routinely used for identification in the UK (as they are elsewhere) leads fairly reasonably to this question. Most people will not have thought through the implications of various forms of ID. – phoog Aug 7 at 7:53
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is a Driver's License issued from London considered an "official identity card from an EU/EFTA state?"

No. Such identity cards are proof of nationality, which is why they are useful for international travel (to some countries only). A driver's license is no proof of nationality; it does not even mention nationality.

As noted in the other answer, the UK does not issue such cards. Because of that, the only document a citizen of the UK can use to enter Switzerland is a passport.

  • I wonder if there is actually any country a citizen of the UK could enter without a passport (except maybe Crown dependencies, and even those I'm not sure)? – jcaron Aug 6 at 22:26
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    @jcaron Ireland. – phoog Aug 6 at 22:34
  • @jcaron: England, Wales, Scotland? – Henning Makholm Aug 6 at 23:52
  • @jcaron Spain? theguardian.com/uk/2002/feb/19/gibraltar.world – ceejayoz Aug 7 at 2:07
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    @phoog Mmmhhh.... “British nationals travelling from the UK don’t need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK. You are therefore advised to take your British passport with you.” says gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ireland/entry-requirements — quite ambiguous, unless you cross the land border from Northern Ireland... – jcaron Aug 7 at 7:03

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