Passport mistakes: The right documents for travel abroad

The traffic club ÖAMTC clarifies the confusion around the required registration form for Croatian returnees
July 21, 2020
A valid passport should always be in your luggage when travelling abroad.

Vienna – identity card, driving licence, passport or even the registration form? The peak travel season has begun – and with it, questions about the required travel documents arise at the ÖAMTC every year. “Especially now, in times of travel difficulties due to the Covid 19 pandemic, it is especially important to have the right documents with you. Also against the background that entry restrictions and regulations can change again at short notice and border controls can be tightened,” says ÖAMTC tour operator Maria Renner.

Registration form for transit
Moreover, 2020 is considered the “megapassport year”: every sixth Austrian passport will lose its validity this year – about one million passports are affected. So anyone who has not yet applied for a new passport should hurry up. “Because a valid passport is a prerequisite for trouble-free travel.”
A few days ago, media reports also caused confusion as to whether a registration form is required when returning from Croatia via Slovenia to Austria when crossing the border from Croatia to Slovenia. A number of unsettled members also reported to the Mobility Club. The ÖAMTC clarifies: “Austrians still do not need a registration form when entering Slovenia, the passport is sufficient. However, it warns all those travellers who do not have an Austrian passport: “People who live and work in Austria but are not Austrian citizens are recommended to take a copy of the Austrian registration form for transit through Slovenia.”

The ÖAMTC also lists five persistent passport errors – and clarifies them:
– “For travel within the European Union you no longer need identity papers.” Wrong! Travellers in the EU and also within the Schengen area must always be able to identify themselves with a passport or valid identity card.
– “The driver’s license is sufficient as a travel document.” Wrong! A national driver’s license is not a valid travel document. Only documents such as passport or identity card are accepted, as they prove nationality and identity.
– “With an expired passport you can enter and leave anywhere in the EU.” Wrong! Austria has an agreement with some countries in Europe that allows travel with a passport that has expired up to five years, including Germany, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary. Also due to the current border controls, however, valid travel documents should always be used. Even when travelling by air, passengers with expired passports may be denied boarding due to the transport regulations of some airlines.
– “Croatia is part of the EU, therefore travel documents are not checked when crossing the border.” Wrong! Croatia is part of the EU, but not the Schengen area. That’s why there are border controls.
– “No travel documents need be taken into neighboring countries of Austria.” Wrong. Although they belong to the Schengen area, a passport or identity card can be required there as well, anytime and anywhere.

— hp, source: ÖAMTC

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