I am travelling from Basel to Porto next week and discovered, after I booked the flight, that I have lost my passport. Although now I have applied for a new one, it won't arrive before my date of travel. I have a residence electronic visa for Germany, but it was also attached to the passport. So, although it's still valid, I don't have the original to show at the airport.

I confirmed with my flight (easyJet) and they say they will accept my non-EU driving licence for boarding. Now the question is whether I will absolutely need my passport for this trip?

I know Basel Europort has separate Schengen entry with no immigration control. Does Porto airport also has this? What document can I use in case one is asked for? I do have the police report and a report from the city about the loss, plus I have my non-EU driver's license.

  • The other question would be whether any hotel will be willing to check you in without a passport to prove your identity?
    – mts
    Sep 16 '16 at 14:51

While I personally haven’t been to Porto, I would be very surprised if they didn’t separate Schengen from non-Schengen.

For all flights exiting the Schengen area, a check of identity must be performed. On the other hand, for flights remaining in the Schengen area, such a systematic check may not be performed by police or immigration officials. Thus, there must be a separate area for the extra-Schengen flights otherwise intra- and extra-Schengen passengers would mix with unforseen consequences.

Note that the above paragraph refers to passport checks by immigration officers. Both the carriers and the airport management may conduct security checks to verify your identity — typically, this means showing an identification document at check-in and maybe also at the security screening. They may choose which documents they accept, but given that the airline has accepted your non-EU driving licence (and also given that the airline is probably the lowest link, i.e. the one that will have to pay the others fines), I strongly assume that your non-EU driving licence will get you all the way.

Do note that while there are no checks, you should always have a passport (or other accepted form of ID — I think only relevant for non-Schengen EU citizens, though) on you in case of random police checks etc. You could run into problems by not having a passport with you. (But then again the same thing goes for Switzerland while your passport is lost.)

  • While your passport is usually not checked during intra Schengen travel, you have to carry your passport with you while abroad (as Schengen country national) or all the time as non Schengen national. By traveling without your passport you do take a risk. If checked on at any time you will have a hard time to convince the autorities that you are legally in Portugal.
    – Willeke
    Sep 16 '16 at 14:02
  • @Wil Good point; I added a note, feel free to improve it.
    – Jan
    Sep 16 '16 at 14:11
  • Thanks for your comments guys. I am travelling with a German national who can confirm my identity and produce his documents wherever required. I understand there is the risk, but having at least some ID card (my driver's licence) + a European friend should be enough for that identity check. What do you think? Sep 17 '16 at 9:42
  • @traveller21 Dunno tbh. At the end of the day, each person is responsible for producing their own ID upon request, unless they are a child and accompagnied by their guardian. But given that you have an official ‘this person lost their passport’ note and a driving licence that may very well work, especially if the entire story checks out.
    – Jan
    Sep 17 '16 at 10:23

At BSL plenty of Schengen flights are departing/arriving to/from the non-Schengen sector, so you may well have to clear passport control there (without your passport being stamped).

If that happens, you're unlikely to get through without your passport and residence permit.

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