Do I really need 6 months validity on my Passport?

When travelling abroad many people often neglect to check whether their passport have enough expiry time on them for travelling, but there are some myths that surround the travel industry in respect of expiry times, these are as follows:

• That you can travel to Europe without a Passport (Not True)

• That you need 6 months of validly to travel outside the UK (Not True)

• That you need a passport to travel to Ireland/Isle of Man/Guernsey (Not Always True)

• That you can travel to Europe without a Passport or with a Passport that is expired (Not True)

Many British Citizens believe that you can still travel to Europe on an expired passport or that they can simply use their driving licence or valid photo ID. This belief often stems from reports of European citizens using identity cards to both travel in Europe and visit the UK. In many cases European citizens do have the right to do this, but it is often restricted by certain conditions and time limits and unfortunately this does not apply for British Citizens looking at travel abroad, you must have a Full UK Passport in order to travel outside the UK.

• That you need 6 months of validity on your passport to travel anywhere outside the UK (Not True)

Most travel agents will often tell you that you need to have 6 months worth of validity on your current UK Passport, but this is only true for those travelling outside of Europe to the Middle East & Asia. If you are unsure there is an easy way to check the validity entry requirements for the country you are travelling to:

1) Visit the foreign and commonwealth website (

2) Click the link on the homepage titled "Travel Advice"

3) You will now see a list of countries simply enter your travel destination in to the search box for example "Spain"

4) Once searched you will come to the overview page for your chosen country, simply click the ''Entry Requirements'' link this will show you some of the most important information about both Passport validity and any further restrictions for entering the chosen country.

• That you need a passport to travel to Ireland/Isle of Man/Guernsey (Not Always True)

This last myth is that many people believe that it is mandatory for British Passport holders to require a valid UK Passport in order to travel from the mainland UK to Isle of Man, Southern Ireland or other British territories such as Jersey or Guensey. This is some cases can be true, but in these cases it is not the government restricting you from travelling but the particular Airline or Travel Company that you are using when either flying or travelling by sea.

We always recommend checking with your providers before applying to renew your passport as in some cases they will only require a valid photo ID such as a Driving Licence for adults and a valid UK Birth Certificate for children under the age of 16 years.

Need more information?

Talk to the Passport Office team

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