I am a German citizen working and living in the UK.
I will be going on a trip to visit my family in Germany in December and will return to the UK in January.
The flight is one day before the expiration of my German National ID card.
My ID card still says I live in Germany even though I officially deregistered from my last residence in Germany.

I read online that to travel my ID just needs to be valid on the day of entering the country but I also read other information that I might run into problems.
gov.uk Says my document needs to be valid for the whole stay, I have no idea how that relates to me.

I have an appointment booked at the German embassy for a new ID but I couldn't get an appointment before February (thanks Brexit).
I will also try to get a new ID in Germany instead but it will most likely not be ready before my departure.

I am concerned I might run into problems which would delay my return to the UK by a lot so I'd rather cancel my tickets instead of having to deal with that.

I'd be grateful if someone could please shed some light on what the rules are in this case?

  • If you are worried, you can get a preliminary passport or ID card, but only if the time to your travel date is too short to make a regular one [domap.de/wps/portal/dortmund/start.home.domap.de/Stadtportal/… ].
    – toni
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:37
  • 1
    Also a non-preliminary passport can be made as an express in three days for 91€. [persofoto.de/lexikon/reisepass/express-reisepass ] A friend lost her German passport shortly before traveling to Japan and was able to get a regular one that way.
    – toni
    Nov 18, 2016 at 9:37
  • Thanks, I might just have to bite that bullet when I am in Germany Nov 18, 2016 at 9:40
  • Actually if you also have a passport and that is valid that would be enough.
    – simbabque
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


Relax, you'll be fine. Timatic, the database used by airlines checking passenger, states:

Passports and other documents accepted for entry issued to residents of the United Kingdom must be valid on arrival.

For obvious reasons, this is the practice in most countries.

Since the UK Home Office has you in their database, at the border they'll know you are a resident.

Off-topic: with Brexit approaching and all, you may want to apply for an optional residence permit, which costs 65 pounds. This would also make it easier for airlines in situations like this. It's a visa sticker, and may be pasted into a passport or onto a blue foldable paper document.

In addition, you should definitely update the address on your ID card.

  • Wonderful that's the resource I was hoping for. Thanks Nov 18, 2016 at 10:58
  • The Auswertiges Amt says that as a German going to the UK your travel documents need to be valid until the end of your journey: auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/00-SiHi/… (search for Ausweis, the sentence above the 2nd hit).
    – simbabque
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:38
  • @simbabque This applies for non-citizens or people entering on a return ticket.
    – Summer
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:51
  • However, when your ID says that you still live in Germany, the airline may not let you on the plane based on that rule. They have no way of checking that you are a UK resident. I think it's very unlikely they would check the ID that closely, but it is possible. Do you have a chance to get your moving to the UK documented on the old ID card? I think it's just a sticker over the address field that says "no residence in Germany".
    – toni
    Nov 18, 2016 at 16:18
  • @offbyoni I'll definitely bring some proofs of address that I live in the UK and will try to get a new ID or at least updated address while there. Nov 18, 2016 at 17:02

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