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I am flying from Manchester UK to Knock in the Republic of Ireland for one week in June 2017 on FlyBe.

I am British, born in Yorkshire 1946, and my passport has expired. At 71 years old, I am not likely to travel often, so feel it is an expense I could do without.

Will I need a passport and, if not, can I use an I.D. card instead?

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    The answers below both mention that FlyBe should accept any photo ID proving nationality. For the benefit of any later users looking at this question, check with your own airline before travelling — while Irish immigration are happy with photo ID, some airlines (Ryan Air) still insist on a passport to travel. – anotherdave Mar 21 '17 at 17:12
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    travel to northern ireland, and get bus to Knock – bob Mar 21 '17 at 17:51
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    Southern Ireland has not existed as an entity since 1922. I'd suggest you avoid such terminology while in the country: it can be perceived as British imperialist, and isn't much liked. – TRiG Mar 21 '17 at 19:02
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    Or you could go on a ferry. – vclaw Mar 22 '17 at 0:58
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    I was able to travel with only my photo driving license a few years back. I had my passport in my bag, just wanted to see if it was needed. At Dublin airport you have to go through "passport control" - but at the desk they accepted my driving license. – paj28 Mar 22 '17 at 9:30
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As you are a British citizen who was born in the UK, you don't need a passport to travel to the Republic of Ireland, as long as you have another form of photographic ID (for example a photo driving licence). The same applies for Irish citizens travelling to the UK, but not for any other nationality.

(Note that these are immigration requirements, and your airline may impose different requirements (eg Ryanair requires a passport, passport card or EU national ID card).)

The FlyBe website says:

British and Irish citizens must have a form of photographic ID which proves their nationality/citizenship for immigration purposes e.g. a valid passport or fulll/provisional photographic driving licence. (source: http://www.flybe.com/checkin/id-requirements.htm)

The Foreign Office also states that it's best to take a passport if you weren't born in the UK:

British nationals travelling from the UK don’t need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK. You are therefore advised to take your British passport with you. (source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ireland/entry-requirements)

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – JoErNanO Mar 22 '17 at 13:47
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As per Timatic, the database used by airlines:

Passport exemptions: Passengers with an official photo ID proving nationality issued to British nationals for travel between Ireland (Rep.) and Great Britain and Northern Ireland only.

Ironically, no British photo ID other than the passport proves nationality.

In practice, however, virtually all airlines, including FlyBe, accept UK driving licences, as stated on FlyBe's website.

At Irish immigration, simply present your boarding pass and driving licence, and you should have no problems.

British citizens of obviously non-British origin (such as those with another country of birth as stated on the UK driving licence) should present a UK birth certificate in addition to their UK driving licence, as these documents combined prove identity and nationality.

  • Would an expired passport suffice? – JonathanReez Mar 21 '17 at 16:45
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    @JonathanReez I've no official info on this, but I would've thought border control would be more wary about expired IDs, as people are less careful about them, so there's a higher risk that it's forged/stolen. Complete conjecture though! – anotherdave Mar 21 '17 at 17:04
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    @JonathanReez No timaticweb.com/cgi-bin/… – Crazydre Mar 21 '17 at 17:12
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    @anotherdave Because it isn't expired, but has been extended – Crazydre Mar 21 '17 at 17:36
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    @GayotFow No it doesn't. The whole premise of the CTA is very "weak" seeing as a passport is the only photographic proof of nationality for Brits. – Crazydre Mar 22 '17 at 8:35
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You can, if you are lucky. My nan once flew from Newcastle to Dublin with only her bus pass, but she was always lucky. There are two different questions here, 1) will you get through immigration, and 2) will you be allowed on the plane.

Immigration does not require a passport for an Irish citizen travelling to the UK or for a UK citizen travelling to Ireland, but you will have to be able to prove you are a citizen of Ireland or the UK. If you are white skinned and have a recognizable regional accent (as my nan did) then almost any official looking document with a photo on it may be enough. And while there is no active racial discriminatory policy on either side any more, the further you are from that ideal, the stronger the evidence for citizenship you may require.

Airlines usually demand proof of Id between booking the flight and issuing your boarding card. If you don't mind paying a few extra quid for peace of mind, have a chat with a travel agent before you make your final plans. They should be able to sort you out.

  • I presume you mean a recognizable British or Irish regional accent. A recognizable New York or Brisbane accent (Queens or Queensland?) might not be so helpful, after all. – phoog Mar 22 '17 at 15:59
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From the GOV.UK site about travelling to Ireland:

British nationals travelling from the UK don’t need a passport to visit Ireland. However, Irish immigration officers will check the ID of all passengers arriving by air from the UK and may ask for proof of nationality, particularly if you were born outside the UK. You are therefore advised to take your British passport with you.

So if you were born in the UK, then you should be okay, otherwise you might need to give them additional proof. Your passport, especially if it only has been recently expired might be okay.

Alternatively you can fly to Northern Ireland first, and use land transport to get to Ireland, as there is no border control, although you should still have a proper ID with you.

For domestic air travels ID requirements are much more relaxed. You can use a British Driving licence as an ID (and for domestic travels it is also acceptable if you are not actually a British Citizen, I used it multiple times for intra-UK travel - although once I had to fight the Ryanair attendant and show them their own rules). FlyBe has similar rules for domestic air travel:

Domestic travel:

  • A valid passport
  • An expired passport (domestic flights only up to two years after expiry)
  • Valid driving licence (Full or Provisional are accepted)

(...)

  • "Alternatively you can fly to Northern Ireland first, and use land transport to get to Ireland, as there is no border control". There are random controls on the motorway (at least for long-distance buses) and the Belfast-Dublin train – Crazydre Mar 22 '17 at 6:51
  • +1, do you have an authoritative reference from the ROI, or the Guarda to help fortify your answer? – Gayot Fow Mar 22 '17 at 8:13

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