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  • Can You Fly Without an ID?

    You arrive at the airport and are ready to board your flight. You reach into your wallet only to find that your ID has somehow gone missing – oh, great… Though security measures in airports have only become more strict over the course of the last decade, you actually can fly domestically without an ID. If you don’t have your ID on you when you arrive at the airport, here’s what you need to know.

    Can You Fly Domestically Without an ID?

    There are circumstances where you can fly without an ID on domestic flights:

    • You can fly without an ID on domestic flights if you’re under the age of 17
    • You can fly without an ID on domestic flights if you’re over the age of 18 but can verify your identity

    If you’ll need to verify your identity you’ll have to go through an identity verification process once you arrive at the airport. Because of potential delays due to this process, you’ll want to arrive at the airport earlier than normal. Some valid forms of identification you can show include a valid passport, a DHS trusted traveler card, a passport card, or these other valid forms of identification.

    Verifying your identity really only becomes an issue once you arrive at the security line. If you don’t have a valid ID once you get to the security checkpoint, you will be pulled out of the regular security line, and asked to fill out a release form that includes your name, your home address, and the last four digits of your social security number.

    This form gives the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) permission to check social security records. Once you’ve completely filled out the form, the TSA will ask you multiple questions designed to verify your identity. Most times the questions they’ll ask will vary from person to person, but the questions will usually include information that appears on your birth certificate that only you may know such as your mother’s maiden name, your father’s name and place of birth, and which state your social security number was issued. 

    If at the end of this step in the process the TSA can verify your identity through your given responses, the last step in the process is to go through additional screening measures. This may include going through a full-body scanner, having your carry-on bags thoroughly inspected and tested for bomb residue or gunpowder residue, and a pat-down. 

    What Impact Will REAL ID Have on Domestic Travel?

    Though REAL ID won’t be enforced until October 2021, you should still be aware of the impact REAL ID will have on traveling domestically. If you don’t have a REAL ID come October 2021 and want to travel domestically, you’ll need some other form of federally recognized ID to prove your identity and to board a domestic flight. 

    Valid forms of identification include a passport, a passport card, NEXUS, SENTRI, a valid military ID, Global Entry, and legal permanent resident cards. You can review the full list of valid identification types at the TSA website.

    Can You Fly Internationally Without an ID?

    Though you can possibly fly domestically without an ID, this isn’t possible if you’re going to be flying internationally. Even if you get through the airport security checkpoint by passing the identity verification process, you still won’t be able to board your flight. Airlines don’t allow passengers under any circumstances to board international flights without having a passport in hand.

    If you have an international flight coming up and you find that your passport is expired, lost, was stolen, is damaged, or has gone missing, it is possible to obtain a new passport quickly when using Swift Passport and Visa Services. Here at Swift, we can process new passports and passport renewals in as little as one business day in some cases. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. No matter where you’re going in the world, we’ll get you there!

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