If Scotland votes YES, will you need a passport to visit?

The Scottish referendum is right around the corner. Recent polls have suggested that the YES campaign could have gained more traction than previously thought and we could be on the precipice of a new age for Britain as we know it, but this seems to change from hour to hour as the campaign close nears.

As a result, many are beginning to question how life would change for those who hold British passports. Should the NO vote be defeated, will Scotland be as separate a country to travel to as France or the US? And importantly, would your passport be needed at the border?

Will you need a passport to enter Scotland?

Thankfully, the answer is no. Regardless of whether Scotland votes to become independent from England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you won't be required to use your passport to enter the country. The potential divide would have an effect on how Scotland interacts with the other countries within the United Kingdom in terms of currency and healthcare - some of the finer details have yet to be decided - but passports won't suddenly be demanded from you to enter the country.

You don't need a passport to visit Ireland

Additionally, you are not required to present your passport to enter Ireland. Despite them not being part of the UK (only Northern Ireland is), you don't need a passport to visit the land of The Pogues and Guinness. Similar to other countries in Europe, the proximity of the land has fostered a friendly association between neighboring countries.

You need ID to fly in the UK - it doesn't have to be your passport

When you fly within the UK, even to Scotland or Ireland, you aren't required to provide your passport. What you do need is a form of photo identification. For many, a passport or driving license is the easiest to carry and present to passport control (especially after National Identity cards were cancelled in 2011).

When you leave the UK, you know that you have to use your passport. Your passport is not only proof of your identity but a way for other countries to know how many foreign visitors they have and where they go.

Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

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