I have a booked flight (cannot cancel it), my passport is expired and I cannot renew it in time. Also I have a double nationality, in fact I am a Greek, born in Russia and living/working/studying in France since 14 years. I am planning to go to Russia to see a close family member which has some medical issues.

So the flights are:

  • first France (where I work and live) =>Russia
  • then Russia => France (where I work and live)

Documents that I have:

  • Valid Greek Id card
  • Valid Russian passport
  • Expired Greek passport of more than 3 months

So I have no doubt about entering/leaving Russia with the valid russian passport, but I'm not sure about entering/leaving France with just an Id card.

It is said that there is no problem for traveling between European countries with an Id card, but what about leaving/entering European borders?

  • I think you can travel within the EU (and enter) with a valid national card (issued from any other EU country). But have that expired Greek passport as well to show. What I'm not sure if which passport should be registered for the flights and if it's possible to register the Russian one. Jul 2, 2017 at 13:28
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ "But have that expired Greek passport as well to Show" Absolutely no need
    – Crazydre
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:29
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    @Crazydre I know it is not needed. But it is asked by some customs agents. I entered Heathrow for example and they didn't particularly like my 10-year old Greek ID card (admitting, not in perfect condition). They would have let me even if I hadn't shown the recently expired passport but who knows how much delay a grumpy agent might have given to me. Jul 2, 2017 at 13:31
  • @ypercubeᵀᴹ Like I said, it's mainly because they have to tap stuff in on the Computer by hand
    – Crazydre
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:53
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    – choster
    Jul 2, 2017 at 14:50

4 Answers 4


Your Greek ID card alone is valid for entering/exiting any EU/EFTA country, regardless of where you're flying to/from.

Present your documents as follows:

  • At French exit control, your boarding pass, Greek ID card and Russian passport (the French usually require to see the papers for your destination before letting you out).

  • At Russian entry control, the Russian passport.

  • At Russian Exit control, the Russian passport (and Boarding pass+Greek ID Card if asked)

  • At French entry control, your Greek ID Card

You can leave your expired Greek passport at home

Proof: As stated in Timatic, the database used by airlines:

France: Passport Exemptions: - Nationals of Greece with a national ID card.

  • Is this true if the ID card is issued by a member state different from the one the OP is a national of? Jul 2, 2017 at 12:34
  • @HenningMakholm Any EU national can enter the EU, but you're not supposed to be allowed on a plane with such a card
    – Crazydre
    Jul 2, 2017 at 12:51
  • +1, great answer, especially the steps to take along the way. Is there a reason why they should leave their Greek passport at home? Will it compromise them in some way?
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 2, 2017 at 14:02
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    @GayotFow It is expired, hence only ballast ... Jul 2, 2017 at 15:37
  • @Crazydre I think that depends on the country, and the concern is entirely the airline, that the destination country will not let the person in and the airline will have to take them back. But several countries outside the EU DO let certain EU nationals in without a passport and only an ID card, so travel to those should be allowed. You can enter Turkey on just a French ID card, for example.
    – Ivan McA
    Jul 3, 2017 at 4:45

No problem whatsoever. The site requires me to write more but that's really all there is to it. You can enter every EU country, even countries that do not themselves issue ID cards (that's the UK, Denmark, and Ireland, although Ireland recently introduced a “passport card”), with a valid national identity card issued by another EU country. It doesn't matter if you are currently coming from inside or outside the EU.

  • Inside your parentheses, "it" refers to UK, Denmark, Ireland, or all three?
    – anonymous2
    Jul 2, 2017 at 11:20
  • @anonymous2 Ireland has passport cards, not the other two
    – Crazydre
    Jul 2, 2017 at 11:21
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    (I know, for example, that Italy issues carte d'identità to EEA citizens resident in Italy -- but those cards bear a "not valid for travel abroad" notation.) Jul 2, 2017 at 12:37
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    @HenningMakholm That's the one “confusing terminology” I had in mind. I am positive you won't find anything like that in France, which is why I assumed the ID is Greek.
    – Relaxed
    Jul 2, 2017 at 12:38
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    @FooBar That's what Timatic is for - at least someone there will probably know enough English to read it
    – Crazydre
    Jul 2, 2017 at 13:55

Here are some update about the travel:

On the way in (France =>Russia). I always showed only russian passport and had no question about the second nationality.

On the out (Russia => France). During the checkin they asked me to prove that I can enter EU so I showed my greek ID card. They were not so happy about the fact that it had more than 10 years of emission but I told them that the Greek Id has no expiration. At the end they were not happy but finally let me checkin. At the borderpass of Russia I showed only Russia passport. At the borderpass of France I give them Greek Id card + expired Greek passport and Russian passport. The guy just opened the russian passport and put a stamp in it without looking my European documents.

  • 4
    The French police officer did not do it correctly. He should've checked your Greek ID (+optionally the expired passport) and not stamped any document. It seems he automatically assumed you were showing a residence permit rather than an ID card, without actually taking a look. But whichever way works! Just for the future, you would only have needed the Greek ID at the French border.
    – Crazydre
    Aug 21, 2017 at 8:59
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    I was also surprised by this, but it was early in the morning and I was in the middle of a Russian crowd, so I guess he did all the things without thinking so much. Moreover I've seen a significant difference between French and Russian border control. The Russians check each thing on the passport and ask questions whereas the French ones seems to not care that much.
    – sk245230
    Aug 22, 2017 at 6:40
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    The French are very lazy - they often don't even stamp passports from the US, Canada, Australia Singapore and other "low-risk" countries, which is illegal on their part and can give you a living hell if trying to exit through Germany, the Netherlands or Switzerland (for example).
    – Crazydre
    Aug 22, 2017 at 13:34
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    In any case, for the future: you only need to show your Greek ID card to the French (doesn't matter where you're travelling to/from), not your Russian passport. Your expired Greek passport can be left at home. Any embassy/officer that says otherwise is plain wrong.
    – Crazydre
    Aug 22, 2017 at 13:37

So here are more informations. I called the French border control center. They told me that I should be able to pass the border but I may encounter a longer document control. They also added that I should avoid indirect flights. Moreover, I found here in this link that we can travel with expired passport and valid Id card: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/entry-exit/expired-lost-passports/france/index_en.htm It concerns The French documents and leaving from France, but there's not the case of leaving France with Greek ID.

  • So again some more information. I called the Greek consulate. They told me that for the travel France-> Russia, there's not problem, but for the travel Russia-> France, they were not sure. So from all the informations I am 95% sure that I would be able to enter Russia, but have no clue about entering Europe. Anyway, my flight will be in one month, I'll inform you if I pass or not.
    – sk245230
    Jul 3, 2017 at 9:33
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    "No clue about entering Europe": as an EU citizen, you have a legal right to enter the EU. Your Greek ID is proof of your EU citizenship.
    – phoog
    Jul 3, 2017 at 10:44
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    And if I were with you, I would still keep the expired Greek passport while travelling. It's an additional proof of your citizenship, though expired.
    – Max Payne
    Jul 3, 2017 at 11:43
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    @sk245230 My God, you've been speaking to complete amateurs, who've made you concerned for absolutely no reason. With a Russian passport, you have the legal right to enter Russia, and with a Greek ID card (proof that you're an EU citizen) you have the legal right to enter France (an EU Country), full stop. It can take a bit longer at French border control, yes, because entering a Greek ID card's data takes about 15 seconds by Hand instead of just scanning it
    – Crazydre
    Jul 3, 2017 at 13:05
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    @sk245230 And by the way, you shouldn't ask the Greek consulate about French requirements, since they have no say in it. French border Police, yes, but what the Greek consulate says means absolutely zero
    – Crazydre
    Jul 3, 2017 at 13:05

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