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Answers (7)

TSA ID Requirements for International Travel

TSA ID Requirements for International Travel

  1. Nayak

    This might be a trivial issue; nevertheless, I wan’t to clear my confusion.

    I know that a valid passport is essential for international travel, but is it a must to present your passport at a TSA security check point before an international flight? I fly from Chicago O’Hare’s terminal 5 (international) a lot, and every single time the TSA personnel ask for my passport for identification. They refuse to accept a US Driver’s License.

    I can’t find anywhere online that a passport is a must. The TSA website clearly mentions I can show any valid ID. The TSA signs at the security check point also don’t mention passport as a requirement. Am I missing something?

    The next time I fly, I plan to stay firm, show my Driver’s License and not take out my passport.

    Any insight into this would be very helpful. Thank You!

  2. Gaurav

    Good luck, and let us know if you’re able to get on your flight!

  3. Brad B

    I actually prefer to use my passport when flying on international travel, that way I make sure I haven’t forgotten it at check in or at home. You can also use a Global Entry card through security.

    If you do insist on showing your driver’s license you can ask to speak to a supervisor and ask why it isn’t valid here, it could just be policy there to ask for it to make sure someone hasn’t forgotten their passport. You may be ‘randomly’ selected for additional screening.

    I would also recommend emailing TSA complaints and let them know and ask if there is that policy, they might not know this local policy is occuring.

  4. David W

    Might be because it’s an international flight. I’ve never had trouble using a state ID for domestic flights. For international travels, my passport is out anyway so I dont want to bother messing with my wallet for my ID.

  5. Nayak

    [USER=701]@Brad B[/USER] : This is exactly what I am scared of- being ‘randomly’ chosen for additional screening. I guess it is just easier to show my passport. I just sent an email to TSA about this issue. Waiting to see what they say.

    [USER=29]@David W[/USER] : The thing which I am scared of is misplacing my passport. I mostly fly BA and LX, which don’t offer TSA Pre, so I have to go through the entire security check process. I normally prefer taking out my passport as less as possible. Once it happened that another person took my laptop sleeve (which had my passport), thinking it was his. I was very lucky to have been able to find that person and board my flight on time. But you are right, for an international travel it is much more convenient to just keep the IDs away and keep my passport handy.

  6. David W

    Well after the initial TSA check with passport and boarding pass, I put my passport and boarding pass away into my personal bag – usually a messenger bag or small duffel. I also take out everything else from my pockets and put it there as well, and zip it shut. TSA doesnt need to see it again after that so I go thru security with all those items away. Out of habit, I check my passport a few times after security but before boarding just in case. I normally dont take out my passport and boarding pass again until boarding.

  7. Gaurav

    I wear a scottevest and the passport goes right into an inner pocket as soon as screening is done. I try to always keep it on my person.

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