Passports for Ireland and The Channel Islands?
Most of us are more than aware that if we leave mainland Britain we need a valid UK passport to travel. However when you are visiting places like Ireland and the Channel Islands, this becomes somewhat of a grey area, with many people not quite sure of the requirements. Hopefully with some information we have here, you will have a better idea of what you need to know before travelling.
More than 5 millions Brits travel to and from Ireland each year, using both air and sea travel to get to their destination. Britain and Ireland have long been closely connected so it's no surprise that frequent travel between the two is on the up and continues to grow.
The Channel Islands are a group of islands just off the coast of France and consist of the two main islands of Jersey and Guernsey along with the smaller islands of Sark, Herm and Alderney. The islands are not part of the United Kingdom but are however crown dependencies. Meaning although they have independent governments, the United Kingdom government is responsible for the defence and international relations of the Islands.
All of these destinations are extremely popular with us Brits. With just a short flight or ferry ride we can be in a totally different culture and climate, and yet still have all the comforts of home.
So, Do You Need A Passport To Travel To The Channel Islands And Ireland?
The short answer to this question is - No, you don't.
However there are a few things to bare in mind when booking and travelling to these places. So take a look and see what you need before you set off.
Please note that all information provided here is on the basis that you are a British Citizen travelling to or from Ireland or the Channel Islands. If you are travelling from outside the UK or are not a British Citizen different rules will apply and we urge you to speak to your travel provider regarding your requirements.
Why Don't I Need A Passport?
Common Travel Area
The United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland along with the Isle of Man collectively form what is known as a 'common travel area'. This means that people belonging to any of these countries can freely move between any other countries that form the common travel area, and as such are free of immigration controls.
Although you do not require a passport to travel to these destinations they all do require some form of valid identification. This is due to air and sea travel requirements and is to ensure passenger safety and an accurate record of passengers.
What Identification Can I Use?
Obviously if you do hold a valid UK passport this is the most comprehensive identification you can have, but if not there are plenty of other options below -
• Full new style photographic driving licence
• Citizen Card
• Armed forces ID card
• Student ID card
• Photographic disabled badge
• Firearms certificate
If you do not hold any of the above forms of identification please contact your travel provider for more information on any other potential forms of identification they might accept, as it does sometimes vary on your provider.
Children under 16 years
As its not often possible to get identification other than a Passport for children under the age of 16, many travel providers will not request ID for children but some due to certain requirements may require a valid UK Birth Certificate for the child. We recommend checking with your travel company before your trip to confirm this as it can differ depending on destination and method of travel.
Apply for or Renew a British Passport
If you would like to obtain a UK passport to use as identification or for travel outside of the common travel area you can apply online for your First Time British Passport via the standard 3-5 week service or if you already have a passport and would like to get it renewed using a Fast-Track 1 Week or Premium 1 Day Appointment you can book a fast-track online.
Need more information?
Talk to the Passport Office team
Lines open 9am-5:30pm
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