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I am travelling from the Netherlands to France. I hold both Mexican and Spanish nationality and I live in the Netherlands. Can I travel by train from Amsterdam to Paris with my valid Mexican passport and my expired Spanish passport?

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In general, under directive 2004/38/CE, EU citizens have a very broad freedom of movement within the European Union but holding a valid travel document can be required. However, article 5(4) gives a bit of leeway:

Where a Union citizen, or a family member who is not a national of a Member State, does not have the necessary travel documents or, if required, the necessary visas, the Member State concerned shall, before turning them back, give such persons every reasonable opportunity to obtain the necessary documents or have them brought to them within a reasonable period of time or to corroborate or prove by other means that they are covered by the right of free movement and residence.

Furthermore, the 1957 European Agreement on Regulations governing the Movement of Persons between Member States of the Council of Europe contains a list of documents that should be accepted by all members. For Spanish citizens, the list is the following:

  • Passport, valid or expired within the last five years.
  • Valid national identity card.
  • For persons under 18 years of age, valid national identity card together with an authorisation given by the person exercising parental authority after appearing before a central police station, magistrate, notary, mayor or commanding officer of a station of the Civil Guard (Garde Civile).

A decision by one of France highest courts recently confirmed this agreement should still prevail, in spite of the more restrictive rules found in the EU citizen's right directive. A recently expired Spanish passport should therefore be fine.

Finally, the extra checks that were the rule in 2020 have disappeared and you almost never have to show any ID to anyone when taking the Thalys between Amsterdam and Paris.

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You probably won't be asked for passport. You can also use your national ID from Spain/Netherlands to travel since you're an EU citizen.

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    It wouldn't ordinarily be the case but the OP will definitely be asked for a passport or ID card to check his/her Covid test at Gare du Nord.
    – Relaxed
    Jun 3 '21 at 9:11
  • @Relaxed I've recently been using a US driver's license in Geneva, without trouble, to confirm my identity in connection with COVID certificates. Granted, this has been at restaurants and concert venues rather than with government officials. The Mexican passport ought to suffice for that purpose even if it doesn't show that the bearer's presence in France is lawful. (In fact, I suppose a valid Mexican passport is more likely to be accepted as proof of identity for a COVID test or certificate than an expired Spanish passport.)
    – phoog
    Nov 8 '21 at 13:09
  • @phoog Perhaps but my point was that assuming nobody would ask based on pre-Covid experience wasn't very useful. For most of 2020, the police was present and did ask. All this has however become moot. Note that in France an ID is not required at restaurants and concerts, just the certificate, the question only arises at the border.
    – Relaxed
    Nov 8 '21 at 13:17

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