I've searched on the net, and I'm getting mixed answers. Some sites saying "You don't need a passport, a form of identification (ie: driving license) is fine", and others saying "You need a passport".

I'm living in England (south west) and I wish to travel to Dublin (Ireland) in 2 weeks time. I've realised my passport is out of date and most likely I won't get an updated/renewed one before November 11th - which is when I am to travel to Dublin.

  • To travel by air, would I need a valid passport or would another form of identification be fine?
  • To travel by sea, would that be the same answer as to travel by air?

My confusion comes from Brexit (the UK coming out of Europe).

  • 1
    @pnuts I'm unable to find the links I found (the ones that are coming up now are old, and pre-brexit). Nationality is British. Going to travel on November 11th 2016
    – ʰᵈˑ
    Nov 4 '16 at 15:20
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    Ahh okay - would you be able to consolidate your comments into an answer that I can accept?
    – ʰᵈˑ
    Nov 4 '16 at 15:37
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    you said "An official photo ID proving nationality issued to British nationals, arriving from Great Britain and Northern Ireland should be sufficient,". I'm struggling to think what such an ID could be (other than a passport), the ID card plan was scrapped and driving license don't prove nationality. Nov 4 '16 at 16:00
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    The UK is part of the EU and will likely remain that way for at least the next 2 years or so. While it's certainly useful to follow its progress, there is no need at this stage to worry about post-Brexit complications. Nov 4 '16 at 18:09
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    Not ‘half of Ireland’ is part of the United Kingdom, but one-sixth of the island of Ireland is part of the UK. The remaining five sixths of the island form the Republic of Ireland. In your case, Dublin is the capital of the Republic of Ireland and hasn’t been part of the UK since 1922.
    – Jan
    Nov 5 '16 at 21:40

Yes, you can enter Ireland without a passport

Due to the common travel area, both the British government and the Irish government affirm that you do not need a passport to travel between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

No, you cannot travel without a passport

However, almost all travel companies, by sea or by air, require photo identification. Travel by sea is usually a little more relaxed, and a driver's license (or other photo ID) should suffice. For flying, however, many airlines insist on seeing a passport. For example, Ryanair (see Article 19) insists that you have a passport for international flights. (Other acceptable documents are national ID cards (which don't exist in the UK, unfortunately for you), UN Refugee Convention Travel Documents, and other standard exceptions.)

The solution

Contact your airline. If they insist on a passport, then you can either 1) rebook your travel with a different carrier who do not insist on a passport (such as Aer Lingus), or 2) renew your passport using the premium 1-day service.

  • 1
    It's possible that an expired passport might be considered valid ID (not a travel document). I would ask before chancing it though. Nov 4 '16 at 18:27
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    Technically, only citizens of the UK and Ireland can travel between each other's countries without a passport, which might place you in the Catch-22 situation of having to produce your passport to prove that you don't need it. In practice this is unlikely to be a problem as long as you look and sound British or Irish.
    – Mike Scott
    Nov 4 '16 at 20:38
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    @MikeScott Upvote for the correct use of Catch-22.
    – user253751
    Nov 5 '16 at 0:31
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    Why do you say "No, you cannot travel without a passport", when there are plenty of options for travelling without a passport?
    – vclaw
    Nov 5 '16 at 22:59
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    The idea that "transport companies ... require photo identification" isn't true in my experience. I think I may have provided identity document details through online forms, but I've flown back and forth between mainland GB and Belfast a few times recently, and at no point have I had to show any photo ID.
    – CMaster
    Nov 8 '16 at 17:11

You may be lucky and not need it, depending on your route and travel mode. But the safest is to travel with a passport, even if you are an Irish or UK citizen. A better-than-nothing option is to at least have a national ID card if you are an EU citizen as it's accepted in EU countries, including The Republic of Ireland, but the UK is no longer required or expected to accept it.

Note that the Common Travel Area is intended for Irish and UK citizens:

Common Travel Area rights can only be exercised by citizens of Ireland and the UK. If you are not a citizen of Ireland or the UK, you cannot exercise Common Travel Area rights.

For example, having a valid visa for the UK, technically does not mean that one can travel freely to Ireland. They also say:

There are no routine passport controls in operation for Irish and UK citizens travelling between the 2 countries.

However, you must show identification to board a ferry or an airplane, and some airlines and sea carriers only accept a passport as valid identification. You may also be asked by an immigration officer to prove that you are a citizen of Ireland or the UK, so you should carry a passport with you. You can also use an Irish passport card, or other proof that you are an Irish citizen.

In practice this means that if your form of identification is accepted for you to get on a plane from the UK to Ireland, and the plane takes you to a disembarking point where only travelers from the UK are expected, there may not be a border control at all. The reality of some airports is that sometimes travelers may be all lumped together from different flights, which means they all have go through passport control to enter the country.

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