As a frequent flyer and airport expert, I know that one of the most stressful parts of traveling domestically is making sure you have the proper identification. With constantly changing regulations and requirements, it can be difficult to keep up with what you need to have on hand to get through airport security and board your flight. In this article, I’ll break down the US ID requirements for domestic travel, so you can be prepared and avoid any unnecessary headaches.
Domestic travel within the United States requires certain identification documents to comply with TSA regulations. In this article, we will discuss the different forms of identification that are acceptable for US domestic travel and provide essential details that travelers need to know. Let’s dive in!
What Is Considered Acceptable ID for Domestic Travel?
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires all passengers over the age of 18 to have a valid form of ID for domestic flights. There are several types of ID that are considered acceptable, including:
State-Issued Driver’s License
A state-issued driver’s license is the most commonly used form of ID for domestic travel. It must be issued by a US state or territory and have a photo of the holder. The name on the ID must match the name on the traveler’s ticket.
A US passport is another acceptable form of ID for domestic travel. It must be current and valid, and have a photo of the holder. However, keep in mind that using your passport for domestic travel is not always necessary and may not be the most convenient option.
US Passport Card
A US passport card is a more compact version of a passport that is specifically designed for travel by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. While it cannot be used for international air travel, it is an acceptable form of ID for domestic air travel.
Global Entry Card
For those who have gone through the Global Entry program, the Global Entry card can be used as a form of ID for domestic travel. It is important to note that the card is only valid for the holder and cannot be used by anyone else.
Trusted Traveler Program Cards
Members of other Trusted Traveler programs, such as NEXUS or SENTRI, can also use their membership cards as a form of ID for domestic travel.
What If You Don’t Have Acceptable ID?
If you don’t have any of the acceptable forms of ID for domestic travel, you may still be able to get through security by providing additional documentation. The TSA has a process called “identity verification” that allows travelers to provide other forms of ID or documentation to confirm their identity.
As a frequent traveler, it’s important to know the acceptable forms of identification required for domestic flights. State-issued driver’s licenses, US passports, passport cards, Global Entry cards, and Trusted Traveler Program cards are all acceptable forms of ID. If you don’t have acceptable ID, you may undergo additional screening or provide secondary forms of ID. It’s also important to ensure that your ID is current and not expired, as expired IDs are not accepted for domestic travel.
Secondary Forms of ID
If you have a secondary form of ID, such as a credit card, a social security card, or a birth certificate, you may be able to use it in combination with another form of identification to get through security.
If you are enrolled in TSA PreCheck, you may be able to use your Known Traveler Number (KTN) to get through security, even if you don’t have an acceptable form of ID.
If you don’t have any acceptable form of ID or additional documentation, you may still be able to get through security by undergoing additional screening. This may include a pat-down, a full-body scan, or an interview with a TSA officer.
What if Your ID Has Expired?
It is important to make sure that your ID is current and valid before you travel, as expired IDs are not considered acceptable for domestic travel. If you have an expired driver’s license or passport, you will need to renew it before your trip.
Grace Period for Expired Driver’s Licenses
Some states have a grace period for expired driver’s licenses, which allows travelers to use their expired license for a certain amount of time after it has expired. However, this grace period does not apply to air travel and cannot be used as a form of ID for domestic flights.
FAQs – Domestic Travel US ID Requirements
What ID do I need to travel within the US?
If you are traveling within the US, you are required to have a valid form of identification. Acceptable forms of ID include a passport, driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or a military ID. While a passport is not typically required for domestic travel within the US, it is highly recommended to carry one as it is an acceptable form of identification and can be useful in case of an emergency.
Can I use my driver’s license as a form of ID for domestic travel?
Yes, you can use your driver’s license as a form of ID for domestic travel within the US. However, it is important to note that a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state-issued ID card will be required starting on May 3, 2023. This means that your current driver’s license may not be sufficient for domestic travel after this date. To get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card, you will need to show proof of identity, Social Security number, and residency.
What if I don’t have a driver’s license or state-issued ID card?
If you do not have a driver’s license or state-issued ID card, you may still be able to use other forms of identification for domestic travel within the US. Acceptable forms of ID include a passport or military ID. In some cases, you may also be able to use a trusted traveler card such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, but you should check with your airline first to confirm.
Can I still travel if I lost my ID?
If you have lost your ID, you will need to replace it before you can travel within the US. It is recommended to carry a backup form of identification such as a passport or a copy of your birth certificate. If you have lost your ID while traveling, you should contact your airline to determine their specific requirements and procedures for identification verification.
What if my ID expires soon?
If your ID is set to expire soon, you will need to renew it before you can travel within the US. Make sure to check the expiration date of your ID well in advance of your trip to ensure that you have enough time to renew it if necessary. Keep in mind that some states may have extended the expiration dates for driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so be sure to check with your state’s DMV for details.