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Strengthened border controls: show your identification and opt for a valid passport!

The recommendations of SETO


Due to the state of emergency and strengthened border controls, the SETO recommends its members to advise travelers to have a currently valid passport. The different security measures that were established following the attacks in Paris are not putting in question the validity period of National Identity Cards (CNI). However, it is possible that some foreign countries will change their mind on accepting this type of French ID cards displaying an expired date.



The SETO also states that it is possible that some foreign countries to change their mind on accepting this type of French ID cards displaying an expired date. Photo : Fotolia.com - Unclesam
The SETO also states that it is possible that some foreign countries to change their mind on accepting this type of French ID cards displaying an expired date. Photo : Fotolia.com - Unclesam
The state of emergency, initially ordained until November 29th, 2015, was prolonged on this day for 3 more months by the National Assembly, meaning until the end of the month of February 2016.

Other than the internal measure that the state of emergency imposes on French territory, it also expects a strengthening of security identity verification at borders.

French citizens traveling abroad, including inside the Schengen zone, must carry valid and recognized identity documents.

The SETO, after consulting with French authorities (DGE, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development) communicated various recommendations to its members, especially around the prolongation of the French identity card from 10 to 15 years.

Use a currently valid passport

The SETO thus indicates that the state of emergency and all of the decided measures “do not reverse the validity duration of National ID card, extended since January 1st, 2014 in some conditions for the French.”

Indeed, it is starting this date that the validity duration of the national ID card was extended for 5 years.

As a reminder, this measure also applies to National ID cards delivered to adults between January 2nd, 2004, and December 21, 2013. Meaning that these ID cards look expired but are yet still valid.

In this context, it is recommended for French citizens to opt to travel with a currently valid passport.

In the event that a client “wishes/must travel with an ID card showing an expired date, it is necessary to verify that the authorities of foreign countries have marked their agreement to recognize French ID card displaying an expired date in order to enter in their territory.”

The list of countries that accept extended ID card is to look over on the portal of “Recommendations to Travelers” on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These travel agents can download informative forms on the extension of the validity duration of the ID card translated in the language of each country accepting a national ID card as a travel document, on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

SETO also indicate that it may be possible for some countries to change their mind about accepting this type of French ID displaying a passed expiration date.

Thus, it is necessary to inform clients that these changes without notice could take place.

Written by The Editors translated by Joséphine Foucher the 20/11/2015
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