1 of 2Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT
Thousands of Swedes without a valid passport – and the police appointment is packed. But do you really need a passport to be able to travel within the European Union and Nordic countries? TT explains what applies.
During the pandemic, passport debt has accumulated. About 1.5 million Swedes have not renewed their passports in the past two years, and when many now want to go abroad, Police Authority Hard to catch up.
Passport freedom prevails in the Nordic countries. If you are going to visit one of our neighboring countries, it may suffice to have a Swedish driver’s license – although it does not really prove your nationality.
Admittedly, the EU flag and S mark are on the driver’s license, but this means that they were issued in Sweden. A driver’s license is just proof that you can drive certain types of vehicles, although in many cases they are accepted as an identity document, says Sarah Lind, director of travel document procedures at the police’s national legal department.
There may be exceptions
However, it is important to be careful. Despite the freedom of the passport, there may be exceptions.
– It’s a little tricky. We’ve been getting a lot of questions from people who would take the Finnish ferry, for example, as some shipping companies require passports. Sarah Lind says this might be able to check on the people on board.
On the other hand, if you are planning a trip outside Europe, it is important to have a valid passport. Some countries also require that the passport be valid for at least six months after the date of return.
It is up to each individual country on what kind of border controls you have. So it is really important to check what applies to each destination.
If you do not have a passport but have a national ID, you can travel between all EU countries as well as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. But waiting lists for a national ID still require a passport.
They are the same people, the same systems, and the same biometric terminals that handle passport applications and national ID applications. Sarah Lind says it’s the same waiting list and adds:
– Which, of course, is unfortunate in this case when it seems so.
Corrected: Incorrect information has been removed from the factbox.
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