How Long Is An EHIC Card Valid For?
It’s a common misconception that once you have an EHIC card it is valid indefinitely. Just like other important travel documents, such as your passport, your EHIC has an expiry date. After five years, your EHIC will be invalid and you will have to apply for a new one.
Every member of your family needs to have their own EHIC as it is only valid for individual use. If you, or a family member, require emergency medical treatment while you are on holiday in any of the European Economic Area (EEA) your EHIC card will help to cover the costs of treatment. You could receive medical care for free or for a reduced price, depending on the rules of the country you’re travelling to.
Your EHIC will also be invalid if your personal information is not up-to-date. So, if you move house you’ll need to update your information online to ensure that your EHIC is registered to the right address. In most cases, you won’t need to receive a completely different card if you change your personal information but it is essential that it’s up to date. Don’t forget to update each family member’s EHIC card as a change in address will render the whole families cards as invalid.
It’s quick and easy to renew your EHIC online. All you need to do is complete some personal information on our form, such as your date of birth, full address and EHIC PIN number. You can also apply for an EHIC directly through the NHS but our service ensures that your application has the best possible chance of being accepted first time. In general, a new EHIC is sent out within seven days of an application being accepted.
If you are planning to renew your EHIC card you can only do this up to six months before it expires. Unfortunately, any time which remains on the EHIC card before you’ve renewed it won’t be added onto your new EHIC card, instead it will simply be valid for the next five years. It’s important to remember to check the expiry date on your EHIC well in advance of your holiday. Try to avoid leaving it until the busy summer season to renew your EHIC as you may find that you have a longer waiting time, which could put you at risk of travelling without appropriate cover for medical care. Please note that an EHIC card shouldn’t replace your travel insurance, as there are many things which aren’t covered by your EHIC card.