Check whether your passport will be valid after Brexit

You may need six months left on your travel document to travel to Europe

Simon Calder: Passports after Brexit

Come 30 March, everything changes when it comes to travel, whether or not the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal.

While much is uncertain, it is clear that in a no-deal scenario UK passport holders will need a minimum of six months left on their travel documents in order to visit much of Europe.

To clarify matters, the government has launched a new tool to help British travellers find out if their passport will be valid after 29 March, the day the UK officially leaves the EU.

The “check a passport” service requires that users input data including travel destination, date of travel, date of birth, date the passport was issued and date it expires. It will then confirm whether the passport will be valid for the journey in question.

Matters are complicated by the fact that those who previously renewed a passport before it expired may have had the extra months added to their new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months will likely not count towards the six months that should be left on the passport for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey, for journeys to the 26 countries in the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area and have their own entry requirements.

Some airlines are already anticipating the changes and warning passengers travelling after 29 March.

A new government tool lets you check if your passport is valid

Wizz Air urged British customers to check whether their passports will still be valid for European travel on social media.

“FOR UK PASSPORT HOLDERS ONLY,” the Hungarian low-cost airline tweeted on 16 January. “We want you to have a smooth journey, so please check if your UK passport is still valid for Europe after 29 March 2019.

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“Further information related to other nationality passports is not yet available.”

The government has confirmed the first blue and gold passports will start being issued from October 2019.

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