A friend of mine is planning to come to London in April but she knows that her French ID expires while she is here. As far as the French authorities is concerned an expired ID card is still valid for the next 5 years. Will she have problem at Immigration at Gatwick airport when she goes back to France?

  • The UK does not have exit checks.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:24
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    There are no exit immigration checks in UK airports. However, she may be denied boarding by the airline if they deem the ID as not valid (even though it isn't, as the real expiration date is 5 years beyond the date written on the card), which is probably airline-specific.
    – jcaron
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:24
  • @jcaron Timatic notes that passports and ID cards can be used for five years after their expiration dates, so there is a good chance that she will be able to board.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:29
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    Best is to just print out the page from an official source that says the IDs are acceptable 5 years beyond the expiration date. She could just show that just in case. Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 16:34
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    Not quite a duplicate - the ID cad will be valid on entering the UK, but not on returning. The question is if the airline will accept it (personal experience is that, especially for low costs, the airline will likley never even look at the ID as long as you checked in online)
    – CMaster
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


As you noted, a French ID card delivered between 2004 and 2015 has its validity extended by 5 years.

Currently, according to France Diplomatie (Google translation), the UK has not confirmed that the extended card is recognized as such at the UK borders:

Les autorités des pays suivants n’ont pas officiellement transmis leur position quant à leur acceptation de la carte nationale d’identité en apparence périmée mais dont la validité est prolongée de 5 ans comme document de voyage :

-(...) Royaume-Uni (...)


Returning to your country of (legal) residence is a special case of travel, in that your home country is obliged to accept your return. You may of course have issues proving what your home country is, but here that doesn't seem to be an issue as France recognized your ID.

That said, special cases are far more likely to draw attention, and it can take a while to figure out the legal situation here. The airline is in no way obliged for that, so there's nobody to blame when you miss your flight due to this.

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