Lifestyle Travel

What Identification Do You Need for Flying in The U.S.?

We travel frequently, both in and out of the USA, so we have passports. But many people who travel infrequently don’t realize that they may need more than just a driver’s license to travel, even if they are traveling only in the US.

Listed below is what TSA will accept as a “valid ID” for travel fully within the United States:

  • Driver’s license or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent (see the important note below on the REAL ID)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

These two IDs are NOT accepted for travel:

  • a weapons permit
  • a temporary driver’s license

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


Starting October 1, 2020, If you want to use your state-issued ID or driver’s license to fly (within the U.S.), it will need to be a REAL ID. If you are not sure if your ID complies with REAL ID, check with your state department of motor vehicles.  Click here to learn more about flying with a REAL ID.


What ID Do Children Under 18 Need?

Children under 18 are are not required to provide identification when traveling with an adult companion within the United States. However, always contact the airline that you are traveling on for any questions about their specific ID requirements for travelers under 18.

What Do You Do If You Forget Your ID?

If you arrive at the airport without valid identification, you may still be allowed to fly. If you do have a valid ID but just forgot it at home or lost it, you may be able to fly. TSA will have you go through an identity verification process, which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity.

If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a “patdown” and extra screening of carry-on property.

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

This is one reason why it is a very good idea to arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time like the TSA recommends. And some airlines at some airports recommend that you arrive even earlier than that, so always check this during your travel planning and scheduling.

This information is valid July 11, 2019, the posting date. Always double check to make sure there aren’t any updates. TSA 

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