Four Tips To Remember When Checking Your ID At Airport Security

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

Whether you’re traveling with an expired license, misplaced your ID, or recently changed your name, you can still fly. Here are a few tips you should know before you fly.

1) Know what is valid ID

While booking your flight, be sure to fill out your name as it is printed on your ID.  Doing this will save you time and will help alleviate any likely delays at the TSA checkpoint. Find the complete list of valid identification here.

2) Be aware of what to expect at the security checkpoint

You should arrive as early as possible, at least two hours prior to your scheduled departure to allow enough time to complete the screening process. The TSA officer will ask for your boarding pass and an acceptable form of ID prior to entering the security checkpoint. Our officers will review your travel document(s) and ID to ensure that the information presented matches. Once your information is compared and your identity is verified, you will be allowed to continue through the security checkpoint.

If you’re traveling with an expired license or passport you may still be able to fly.  Acceptable forms of ID cannot be more than 12 months past the identified expiration date.

If you have misplaced, lost, traveling with an expired ID, or simply do not have an acceptable form of ID, our officers will ask you for two secondary forms of identification, with the following information:

  • Name
  • A photo
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security Number
  • Date of birth

The TSA officer will review all documentation provided in order to verify your identity. To minimize any potential delays, you are encouraged to provide as much information and documentation as possible. If your identity cannot be verified with the provided documentation, you may be required to go through an alternative identity verification process, which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information, and asking personal questions to help confirm your identity.

3) Know what to expect during screening

Once the TSA officer confirms your identity you can proceed through security screening.  You will be screened by the Advanced Imaging Technology or a walk-through metal detector.  You may be subject to additional screening, which will include a pat-down and a bag search. Watch what to expect during a pat-down.   

However, if your identity cannot be verified, you will not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint.

4) Be aware ID requirements are changing

The Real ID Act improves the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and deters terrorists’ ability to use fake or fraudulently-obtained IDs. Beginning October 1, 2021, if you plan to use your state-issued ID, be sure it is Real ID compliant. If you are not sure if your license is REAL ID compliant, check with your state department of motor vehicles. You can also present any other valid identification such as a U.S. military ID, U.S. passport or passport card. For more information on REAL ID and to check if your state is real ID compliant, please visit

For additional questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at a checkpoint, contact the TSA Contact Center before your next flight or send a tweet or direct message on Facebook to AskTSA.

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