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ID cards valid for 15 years: careful, only 8 countries officially accept them!

A dozen cases of clients unable to enter informed the SNAV


The prolongation of the validity of the national identity card from 10 to 15 years, may be a source of headache for travel agents this summer. The Minister of Foreign Affaires has announced that only 8 countries have officially accepted the identity card with an expired date but of which the validity was extended for 5 years…



The Minister of Foreign Affaires has announced that only 8 countries have officially accepted identity cards with expired date but of which the validity was extended for 5 years… - DR
The Minister of Foreign Affaires has announced that only 8 countries have officially accepted identity cards with expired date but of which the validity was extended for 5 years… - DR
Since January 1st, 2014, the decree n 2013-1188 establishes the validity of the national identity card (CNI) from 10 to 15 years for adults over 18.

This measure also applies to CNI delivered to adults between January 2nd 2004 and December 31st 2013. These ID cards seem expired but are now actually still valid.

The 5 year extension of the validity length is automatic. However, it does not apply to minors, for whom the 10 year validity is still in place.

Last January, a diplomatic source, explained: “From the time this extension is put in place, this document allows to travel and circulate normally in the concerned countries.

Our partners are aware of the changes.”


But in fact, the reality isn’t exactly the same.

Last April, the SNAV was already warning the government after hearing cases of French tourists who were forbidden entry because of expired ID cards.

A dozen cases of clients forbidden entry informed the SNAV

Since then, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on its website that only 8 countries have officially accepted the ID card with an expired date but whose validity is extended for 5 years…

These countries include Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Monaco, Montenegro, Slovenia, Switzerland, and Tunisia (only for dual citizens or people participating in organized groups by a tourism professional.)


Three countries: Malta, Serbia, and Tunisia have made it clear that they will not accept, as a travel document, a national ID card with an expiration date before to the end of the stay.

As for other destinations (see list in box below*), the authorities of these countries have not officially stated their position.

Valérie Boned, General Appointed Secretary of the SNAV explains: “As of today, we have a dozen cases of agency clients who were not permitted entry, that were informed the SNAV, knowing that the season is barely starting.”

For now, as a number, it’s not alarming. But let’s emphasize that for travelers, there is no alternative. They find themselves left out in the cold…”

Cruising companies could prohibit boarding…

In front of the different treatments of countries concerning this measure, cruising companies reserve the right to forbid boarding “for those failing to possess a valid identification document in all visited stops.”

In a press release, the CLIA reminded last week: “Some itineraries have stop-overs in countries that haven’t signed with France.

Cruising companies cannot be held accountable if a passenger is prohibited from boarding (…)”


Even if the passenger doesn’t get off in a stop-over where he wouldn’t be in accordance with the regulations in place, it is his boarding all together that could be prohibited.

To avoid such inconveniences, the SNAV, the CLIA, and Minister of Foreign Affairs highly advise using a valid passeport over a CNI with an expired date.

As for travelers without passeports, it is recommended to print the information pages concerning the prolongation of the validity of the CNI translated for every country accepting the national ID card as a travel document, they can be found on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.

Who should be held accountable?

In front of the this situation, could travel agencies be held accountable if their client is kept from entering?

According to Valérie Boned, this is impossible: “travel agencies have an obligation to inform on the necessary formalities about border crossing.

The travel agent informs well his client and even goes beyond this obligation by warning him on this new measure, and by advising him to travel with a valid passport rather than a CNI.

The information is not efficient due to state services.

Therefore making the agency not accountable. We could even say that we apply precautionary measures…


*The authorities from the following countries have not yet officially given their position concerning the acceptance of a national ID card with an expired date but whose validity has been extended for 5 years as a travel document:

- European Union Countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Sweden, Czech Republic

- Schengen Area: Islande, Liechtenstein, Norway

- Other countries: Andorra, Vatican, San Marino; Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina; Egypt; Morocco (only for dual citizens or people participating in organized groups by a tourism professional.)


Reminder of countries that accepted the national ID card as a travel document:

Countries of the European Union:

- Germany
- Austria
- Belgium
- Bulgaria
- Cyprus
- Croatia
- Denmark
- Spain
- Estonia
- Finland
- Greece
- Hungary
- Ireland
- Italy
- Latvia
- Lithuania
- Luxembourg
- Netherlands
- Poland
- Portugal
- Romania
- United Kingdom
- Slovakia
- Slovenia
- Sweden
- Czech Republic

The Schengen area:

- Iceland
- Liechtenstein
- Norway
- Switzerland

Other countries or states:

- Andorra
- Monaco
- Vatican
- San Marino
- Albania
- Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Montenegro
- Egypt
- Tunisia (only for dual citizens or persons participating in group trips organized by a tourism professional).

Source: website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Written by Céline Eymery translated by Joséphine Foucher the 23/07/2014
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