What Counts As Valid Form of ID For Domestic Flights

Real ID Act

We recently found out that New York Driver’s Licenses (+ 3 Other States) won’t be valid for domestic flights next year due to the Real ID Act.

(The post mentions Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire & New York as the states in which licenses will not be accepted next year. Some readers pointed out that Arizona and Idaho will also not be valid in the future).

This news might be causing some of us to worry although we don’t know for sure if the rule will even be enforced next year.

So let’s just say that your driver’s license is no longer a valid form of ID for domestic flights. What will you do? Or shall I say, what will you use?

You could always bring your passport (if you have one). I’d rather not. If you’re a member of a trusted traveler program like Global Entry, that ID will also work. Kim, Lucas and I all have Global Entry which was a benefit from our Amex Platinum & Citi Executive cards so that would be our option for now.

I decided to look up what other forms of IDs are also considered acceptable by the TSA for domestic travel.

Here is the list: (from TSA.gov)

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
  • 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

While my guess is that all of us currently use our state driver’s license or state issued photo ID, which other options would likely be the next most popular choice?

For the four (maybe six) states listed above, I’d assume the top three choices would be:

  • U.S. Passport– If you have a passpot, does it pay to spend more on another form of ID? For most people, I’d guess no.
  • U.S. Passport Card– Besides an actual passport, this is probably the cheapest option. At $55, the passport card is good for 10 years but it’s of limited use. It can be used to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. It’s of no use for entering the country from any international destinations by air.
  • Trusted Traveler ProgramsGlobal Entry– At a cost of $100, the program is good for 5 years. (It’s also a free benefit of select credit cards.) Global Entry “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Members enter the United States through automatic kiosks at select airports” according cbd.gov.

What would be your choice of ID for domestic air travel if your state issued driver’s license was ruled invalid due to the Real ID Act?

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