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We'll be travelling from a Schengen country to another by plane, bringing our 3 month old baby with us. It's possible that we won't have time to receive a normal passport in time for our trip, thus the alternative is an emergency passport.

The thing that worries me is that if we don't need a passport for our baby, then how can authorities know it's our baby if we get stopped for some reason.

If it's of any relevance, we're travelling from Norway to Germany, and are citizens of Norway (thus not EU citizens).

What about airline policies? We're flying with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).

  • 1
    As far as freedom of movement of concerned, Norwegians are treated the same as EU citizens, since Norway is in the EEA and the Schengen area. Freedom of movement rules say you need a passport or national ID card; I am not aware of any age exemptions. – phoog Jun 21 '16 at 13:46
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To give you a short answer: As a Norwegian, you do need a passport to travel to Germany (irrelevant of age).

Even if chances are very high that noone will check either your or your child's passport, foreign citizens need a passport or approved substitute (e.g. national id card from an EEA country) to enter or stay in Germany (AufenthG § 3 Passpflicht).

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Disclaimer: The following paragraphs are not to be used as a recommendation, but describes what we experienced. Others might encounter difficulties if for instance one gets selected for a check by customs.

Well, we didn't have time to get the passport, and didn't want to spend a lot of money on an emergency passport, so we went ahead and tried.

The following is true for Norway-Germany, and Germany-Norway:

Airport security and check-in: No problems what so ever. The airline staff did not ask for passport for any travelers.

Airport security and customs upon arrival: No problems what so ever. No one even looked at us.

We did bring the birth certificate, but was never requested to show it, or any other form of identification.


Airline rules

The airline rules are a bit ambiguous, according to Customer Service at SAS. Infants need to have a passport, but you will most likely not have to show it. But if they ask for it, then you need to be able to show some form of identification, a passport, a birth certificate or something else, if there exist alternatives.

So, according to Customer Service, a birth certificate will suffice, although their rules require a passport.

They did not know what the Norwegian or German authorities rules were, they only recommended to always carry a passport.

National rules

Norway

The following is a quote from government.no.

Norwegian children must have their own passports. This is also recommended for travel within the Schengen Area (Europe's passport-free zone), since a passport is the only valid proof of identity for Norwegians abroad.

As you can see, the Norwegian authorities recommend that children have a passport within the Schengen Area. They don't say that you must have it.

Germany

The following is a badly google-translated text retrieved from konsularinfo.diplo.de:

Children entries are invalid since 26 June 2012 at the parent's passport. Since that day, all children must have (from birth) when traveling abroad its own travel document.

This is for German citizens travelling abroad from Germany, not foreigners entering Germany. However, it's likely that the same rules apply for both.

Schengen:

The following is taken from ec.europe.eu:

Documents for minors

In addition to their own valid passport or ID card, all children travelling:

  • alone; or
  • with adults who are not their legal guardian; or
  • with only one parent may need an extra (official) document signed by their parents, second parent or legal guardian(s) authorising them to travel.

There are no EU rules on this matter, each EU country decides whether or not it requires such documents.

Summary

  • The airline company will most likely let you board the plane with an infant without passport.
  • The Norwegian authorities recommend, but doesn't require that you bring a passport for an infant
  • The German authorities requires that all citizens have passports when travelling from Germany. It's therefore likely that the requirement holds for foreigners travelling to Germany.
  • The last bullet point regards the practice of listing small children in the passport of a parent. This was discontinued by Germany. – o.m. Jun 21 '16 at 17:04
  • Although what you are writing here is correct, most of it is not relevant for your actual question. Your question is if Norwegians need a passport when entering and staying in Germany and that is not up to the Norwegian authorities to decide, nor is it relevant what German authorities requires from their own citizens to leave Germany. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jun 21 '16 at 17:18
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Well, IMO it's relevant. If the Norwegian authorities had required (they only recommend) that you have a passport when leaving, that would also mean you have to have one when you get back. Therefore, relevant. If German authorities require you have a passport when entering and leaving Germany as a German citizen, then it's very improbable that you don't need one as a foreign citizen. Otherwise, how could they tell you apart? P: "Hey, you must have a passport!" M: "...but I'm a foreigner" P: "Ok then, come on in". – Stewie Griffin Jun 22 '16 at 14:10
  • @o.m. it says: "In addition to their own valid passport, all childen [...]. It requires a passport + extra documentation. I think it's valid still. =) – Stewie Griffin Jun 22 '16 at 14:12
  • I'm not a lawyer, but it seems that the annex to of the 1957 convention allows each member nation to define which documents will be used to identiify its citizens in other member nations. – o.m. Jun 23 '16 at 16:24

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