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Passport Expiry Dates - Can I Travel on an Expired Passport?

A recent survey on what stresses those about to embark on their holiday most showed that one of the main concerns was whether a passport was in date or not.

Whilst the task of checking your passport’s expiry date is very quick and should be automatic, Heathrow Airport reports nearly a hundred cases a day where travellers in or out of the UK have not renewed their passports.

You’d think the bottom line would be that you wouldn’t be allowed to travel and officially that’s the case but in practice the situation is very confusing.

Searching online for the term ‘UK passports’, shows that the passport is a means of identification and remains valid as such even after its expiry date unless the image of the passport holder has materially changed in that time.Passport Check

Some immigration officials follow this guidance and allow entry on an expired passport, sometimes after additional questions. If you’re trying to leave your country of residence, the situation is different as passport control will take into account how likely the destination immigration officials are to allow you in. This is especially true if you are flying to the US. The most common scenario is that you will be denied boarding and will have to reschedule your flight.

The problem should be picked up when you check in and at that point you’ll be directed to the airline’s ticket desk or handlers and, depending on how persuasive you are, you’ll pay anything from just the flight change fee up to the full cost of a new ticket.

Taking a new flight means you’ll still have to get your passport renewed but it’s possible to have it fast tracked within 24 hours for £128 or £106.50 for a child. This could mean you can take the following day’s flight and not miss much of your holiday. Invariably any costs incurred will NOT be covered by your travel insurance as it is deemed to be your fault.

A further scenario develops if travelling within the EU. A possibly misinterpreted EU regulation seems to indicate that a British passport is sufficient for travel within the EU where only official ID is required. Whilst this would seem to fit within the ideals of the EU where a country’s ID is sufficient to travel, on more than one occasion French immigration officials have refused entry to UK travellers using an out of date passport.

It goes without question that a little time spent checking such details can go a long way to preventing distress and the extra cost involved in remedying the problem so we’d recommend that as soon as you finish reading this, you go and check your passport and if the time is drawing near, do something about it.
Kellie Hodge
Posted: July 29, 2013 by Kellie Hodge 3 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, customer service guru, Kellie knows the ins and outs of car rental and always happy to share her knowledge on our blog. Favourite country to visit: Spain.

Last updated: Monday, September 11, 2017
I am travelling to EU, from UK to Portugal my original country and my passport just expired 1 week before I travel. What should I do?
8/9/2017 11:15:14 AM
I have an expired Nigerian passport and I will be flying to Nigeria in few days for my sister funeral,can I travel back home with and expired passport?
3/21/2015 8:26:51 AM
Donna Hart
My passport expired in 2011 i have a funeral to go to in the isle of man on the 9th january i live in liverpool what do i have to do to travel there can i use my invalid passport
1/4/2015 2:10:13 PM