Search 62305 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement

Can I use my EU National ID card instead of carrying a passport around Schengen?

Laura the Explora

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello! I am a new citizen of the EU (Sweden), and I am wondering if I can use my National ID card to show at albergues for identification rather than bring my (US) passport. My Swedish boyfriend always takes his passport since he doesn't have a National ID card, so he doesn't really know the answer, and I can't find a straight-forward answer on the forum so far.

Thanks!!
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
Camino Maps
A collection of Camino Maps from the Camino Forum Store
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Hello! I am a new citizen of the EU (Sweden), and I am wondering if I can use my National ID card to show at albergues for identification rather than bring my (US) passport. My Swedish boyfriend always takes his passport since he doesn't have a National ID card, so he doesn't really know the answer, and I can't find a straight-forward answer on the forum so far.

Thanks!!
100% yes in my experience! It pretty much counts as ID anywhere in world in my experience apart from non EU airports of course!
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
For albergues, no issues at all using your ID card, but might be an issue with some airlines such as Ryannair. You should check with your carrier.
 
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
For albergues, no issues at all using your ID card, but might be an issue with some airlines such as Ryannair. You should check with your carrier.
I tried to use my Irish Passport Card (one step on from ID) crossing Bulgarian/Romanian border (2 EU countries) by train but they didn’t accept it so always expect the unexpected but no issue albergues.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Just to make sure because people are sometimes misinformed about what they mean and what they label as “national ID card” and whether they can travel with it across national borders in the EU or not. You obtained Swedish nationality, right? And under “Nationaility”, it says “Svensk/SWE” on your card, right?
 

synvilla

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte
The ID is valid for all of EU, yes. Due to the passport crisis in Sweden they have been making a lot of news statements saying how the ID is the way to go unless you're leaving the Schengen area.
 

Laura the Explora

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
100% yes in my experience! It pretty much counts as ID anywhere in world in my experience apart from non EU airports of course!
Thank you! I feel super naked without my passport, but I would need to come back to Sweden if I needed to make an emergency trip back to the US anyway.
Just to make sure because people are sometimes misinformed about what they mean and what they label as “national ID card” and whether they can travel with it across national borders in the EU or not. You obtained Swedish nationality, right? And under “Nationaility”, it says “Svensk/SWE” on your card, right?
Just to make sure because people are sometimes misinformed about what they mean and what they label as “national ID card” and whether they can travel with it across national borders in the EU or not. You obtained Swedish nationality, right? And under “Nationaility”, it says “Svensk/SWE” on your card, right?
Yup. 😊 It's definitely the card I can use instead of a passport to go between Schengen countries. I just wasn't sure if that was good enough for the albergues 😉🙈
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It's definitely the card I can use instead of a passport to go between Schengen countries. I just wasn't sure if that was good enough for the albergues.
For the albergues and hotels, there is absolutely no need to worry. All these types of EU ID cards (plastic cards in standard credit card size) are good for them when you check in.

I usually used my national ID card to prove my identity for their registration purposes but sometimes I used my residence permit card (they are issued by two different EU countries), depending on what I happened to pull out of my purse first. They look so similar and both were good for check-in. In short, you don’t need a full sized passport, even when they often say “Pasaporte por favor”. “Pasaporte” includes our ID cards in this case. Buen Camino!
 
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Hello! I am a new citizen of the EU (Sweden), and I am wondering if I can use my National ID card to show at albergues for identification rather than bring my (US) passport. My Swedish boyfriend always takes his passport since he doesn't have a National ID card, so he doesn't really know the answer, and I can't find a straight-forward answer on the forum so far.

Thanks!!
Never was asked for my ID in Albergues. The Pilgrims Pass was ID enough.

AFAIK any kind of formal ID is sufficient in the Schengen Area. It must be issued by one of the EU member-states.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
Never was asked for my ID in Albergues. The Pilgrims Pass was ID enough.
I have to say I find this very surprising as it is required by law for all accommodation providers in Spain to register foreign guests, which includes your passport or national ID number. In 200+ nights spent in albergues/pensions in Spain over the past number of years, I can honestly count on my two hands the amount of times I didn't have to show my ID and have the number recorded.
Can I ask, how many times have you never been asked for it?
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Can I ask, how many times have you never been asked for it?
I was asked only one single time in Roncesvalles. After that my ID stayed im my wallet. Even on the flight from Porto home they didn't want to check my ID. But I used digital check-in with all documents in app.

Maybe I look so trustworthy? IDK!
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
I was asked only one single time in Roncesvalles. After that my ID stayed im my wallet. Even on the flight from Porto home they didn't want to check my ID. But I used digital check-in with all documents in app.

Maybe I look so trustworthy? IDK!
I'm sorry but this just doesn't add up. It's not about looking trustworthy, it's about accommodation providers complying with the law and in my experience virtually all of them do.

And you boarded a flight out of Portugal without ID? Not to pick holes in your story, but how do you get through a boarding gate, any boarding gate, without physically showing your ID?
 

Roland49

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I'm sorry but this just doesn't add up. It's not about looking trustworthy, it's about accommodation providers complying with the law and in my experience virtually all of them do.

And you boarded a flight out of Portugal without ID? Not to pick holes in your story, but how do you get through a boarding gate, any boarding gate, without physically showing your ID?
Just showed my digital ticket. Maybe all other infos were passed with the assigned account. IDK how that works.
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
I'm sorry but this just doesn't add up. It's not about looking trustworthy, it's about accommodation providers complying with the law and in my experience virtually all of them do.

And you boarded a flight out of Portugal without ID? Not to pick holes in your story, but how do you get through a boarding gate, any boarding gate, without physically showing your ID?
I, too, am surprised to learn that albergues don’t want to see official ID and accept a credential as identification. That does not sound right to me and not in compliance with Spanish law but perhaps it is (I did not check).

As to flying within the EU/Schengen: there have been flights in recent years where all I did at the gate for boarding was scan my digital boarding pass all by myself. No identity check. It surprised me, too. However, in other cases, even when I had a digital boarding card, they wanted to at least glance at my ID card. My experience is limited, though, I don’t fly much.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
I'm sorry but this just doesn't add up.
I, too, am surprised to learn that albergues don’t want to see official ID and accept a credential as identification
I have, upon occasion, stayed in an albergue that looked only at my credencial. It has my name, passport number, and home address written in the front, so they are able to transfer the information that they need to register me. I assume they are just short-cutting the procedure by not examining the original documents.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
As to flying within the EU/Schengen: there have been flights in recent years where all I did at the gate for boarding was scan my digital boarding pass all by myself. No identity check.
Really?? I've never seen anyone go through a gate without showing ID to match their boarding pass.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Norte
Really?? I've never seen anyone go through a gate without showing ID to match their boarding
For albergues, no issues at all using your ID card, but might be an issue with some airlines such as Ryannair. You should check with your carrier.
To be clear I wouldn’t assume that you can cross every border in the EU with an ID Card. I have been rejected at least once so it’s a big assumption.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
As in a number of earlier threads, there is a confusion between two separate things: what you are obliged to do by law and whether you will be checked that you comply with the law. This is a quote from the horse’s mouth (EU Commission webpage) but it ought to be common knowledge:

If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another.

Even if you don't need a passport for border checks within the Schengen area, it is still always highly recommended to take a passport or ID card with you, so you can prove your identity if needed (if stopped by police, boarding a plane, etc.). Schengen EU countries have the possibility of adopting national rules obliging you to hold or carry papers and documents when you are present on their territory.

Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.
Austria and Germany require this. You can get fined up to €2500 if you are found out and the circumstances justify a fine. Italy can refuse entry at the border. I did not check Spanish law.

As to Spain and albergues and their register of travellers: you can check this in the corresponding website of the Guardia Civil. Spanish nationals can use their driving licence as their ID, foreign residents in Spain can use their residence permit card, all others must show valid official ID such as passport or ID card issued for EU citizens by their country of nationality. I would not be surprised to learn that not every hospitalero/a is even aware of this. Let alone complies.
 
Last edited:
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Pocket guide that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
Really?? I've never seen anyone go through a gate without showing ID to match their boarding pass.
From a Focus article (major German weekly):

Are you flying from Germany to another EU country and don't have to show your passport? Passengers are often horrified that they don't have to show their identification either at the security check or at the gate. FOCUS Online explains what the identity checks are all about.
Within the Schengen area, there are no border controls at airports.

Airlines within the Schengen area decide for themselves whether to check the identity of passengers.

Nevertheless, passengers should always carry an identity document with them.

So there is nothing unusual about my own experience in recent years and @Roland49’s experience recently in Portugal. The article goes on to say that ID controls at the gate would not improve or worsen the security conditions.
 

Flog

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
That's told me @Kathar1na and @Roland49, it was an assumption soley based on my own travels and thank you for the correction!

My flying experience within Europe is almost entirely to and from Dublin which of course is outside the shengen area, and so ID checks are a standard feature for me. I assumed the same for everyone, my bad:

Ireland is not part of the Schengen Area, which means that if you travel to the Schengen Area from Ireland, you pass through an immigration checkpoint and have to show your passport or national identity card. The following European Union countries are not part of the Schengen Area: Bulgaria. Croatia.

30 May 2022
 
Last edited:
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Hello! I am a new citizen of the EU (Sweden), and I am wondering if I can use my National ID card to show at albergues for identification rather than bring my (US) passport. My Swedish boyfriend always takes his passport since he doesn't have a National ID card, so he doesn't really know the answer, and I can't find a straight-forward answer on the forum so far.

Thanks!!
I travel all over EU and have always used my National ID with no problem. If I fly to US I will use my passport. Last time I traveled to US customs would accept my N ID. Buen Camino
 

Arctic_Alex

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Primitivo Sep 2022 (planned)
Hello! I am a new citizen of the EU (Sweden), and I am wondering if I can use my National ID card to show at albergues for identification rather than bring my (US) passport. My Swedish boyfriend always takes his passport since he doesn't have a National ID card, so he doesn't really know the answer, and I can't find a straight-forward answer on the forum so far.

Thanks!!
In Sweden there are different kinds of ID cards ... this makes it a bit more complicated I guess.

So if you are a citizen of Sweden I suppose you have a "proper" national ID card for Swedish Citizens (such as the one you get from the police)?

If you only have the ID card from Skatteverket, which you can obtain if you are a legal RESIDENT with a personnummer but not necessarily a CITIZEN, then this one does not help with travel outside Sweden.

So does your ID card mention Sweden as a country and is it machine readable (without a chip, by alphanumerical codes), then it is most likely a proper ID card valid for international travel inside the EU/Schengen.

I have been traveling all over Europe with only my German ID card for 3 decades now without any problems. But I could not do that with my Swedish Skatteverket-ID-Kort ;-)

EDIT: Here you can see how the Swedish ID card you need for travel looks like:
So if you have that one, you are on the safe side :)
 

Most read last week in this forum

Are the trains to Madrid from Santiago usually very crowded on a Monday in mid-October? Is it necessary to prebook train tickets well in advance? Thanks!
Hi. I have connected in Madrid on many occasions on an outbound flight. So I am pretty familiar with how much time is needed. But in October I will fly from Vigo and connect in Madrid for a...
Hello fellow travellers, I will be travelling from Barcelona to St. Jean Pied de Port, via Pamplona on 7th Sept 2022 (Wednesday). Would anyone like to car share (with an app called Blabla, I...

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Top