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NIE vs Passport

Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008, half Via del Plata 2011, Camino Fisterra 2011, Camino Aragones 2013.
I'm Irish but I live in Spain and I hope to walk the camino this year starting in SJPP. My question is this: Is it necessary for me to bring my passport with me or will me NIE card suffice (a) to cross the French-Spanish border (twice) and (b) for any other admin/ID issues on the camino?
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Active Member
Hola. Si eres ciudado irlandes y por lo tanto de un país miembre de la Uníon Europea, no creo que tengas necesidad de Pasaporte para cruzar las fronteras de estos países.


Staff member
I think you should be fine, I have never crossed the border between Spain and France but I do not think there are any border control. My wife and I (she Spanish, I Norwegian) flew to Paris a few months ago, she traveled only with her Spanish ID card and she was fine. I have a Spanish id card as well, but decided to take the passport, even though I think I would have been fine with my id ... (I thought, why take the chance).

Inside Spain "everyone" uses the Spanish id card to identify themselves, so here you need nothing else.

...just my thoughts... :)

Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008, half Via del Plata 2011, Camino Fisterra 2011, Camino Aragones 2013.
Thanks for your replies. I suppose I should confirm with an official govt department before I leave home without my passport.


Spain and France are both part of the Schengen area, and you can pass freely between them without any form of ID.

With the notable exception of the UK and Ireland (both island nations), most EU countries are members and it is assumed border controls were carried out at the place of entry into the Schengen area. You will notice this most as an Irish citizen if you have to take connecting flights. eg Dublin - Munich - Madrid. Passport shown at Munich (entry into Schengen) but no passport at entry at Madrid (already in the area). (Note this does not stop ID being needed to get on the plane for security reasons)

Have a look here

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New Member
The Spanish NIE card does not have a photograph on it as opposed to a Spanish Identity Card which does.If you don't want to carry your passport how about getting a photocopy of the page with your picture on it and get it reduced and encapsulated.
If you want to use a credit card in Spain most outlets want some form of identity proof. An NIE would not be accepted,I usually show my UK Driving licence which has a photograph on it.
I also live in Spain and am setting off on a section of the Camino on the 30th April. Sarria to Santiago and will be carrying my pack with me and not sending it on between refuges, As I am nearer to 70 than 60 I will not be doing the full distance this time but will do other stages when possible, I am keen to do part of the Camino Portugues and have found this forum to be of great help, also videos found on You Tube.

Best of Luck on your journey
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008, half Via del Plata 2011, Camino Fisterra 2011, Camino Aragones 2013.
Ta again. Maybe I am not using the right terminology but my "NIE" card does have my photo on it and fingerprint as well. I believe the authorities are no longer issuing such cards to EU citizens but giving them a certificate which works in conjunction with one's passport instead. I will be hanging onto my card as long as possible I think!


New Member
Yes, the card you term an NIE card seems to be a Spanish Residencia Card,they are no longer issued and it is true that the authorities now issue a Residencia Certificate which no longer has your photo on it.When your Residencia expires you have to exchange it for a Certificate. I collected mine in Denia last week.Businesses will accept a Residencia Card as proof of identity with a credit card.
Another point to bear in mind is as I see you live in Valencia Ryan Air have very good deals on flights to and from Santiago if you want to take advantage of them, but they insist on photographic identity and I belive by that, for British and Irish Republic citizens a passport. I paid 22 euros return for a flight this coming March. Handy for collecting Credentials from the Pilgrims office and checking on bus times to Lugo from Santiago Airport.

All the Best Ron

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