My UK passport is due to expire soon and I will renew it using the overseas service. However this requires me to send the old passport back to the UK, and I will be in the USA with no passport while this is being processed. Is there a temporary document I can apply for while waiting to receive the new passport? I have a valid UK driving licence, but I am worried that this may not be accepted as a form of identification, for example, if the police want to check documents

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    There are 10 million people living in the US illegally. You'd have to try hard to get into trouble. – JonathanReez Nov 27 '17 at 19:22
  • The police can only check documents in certain well defined situations, the most likely of which is that you are suspected of a crime. Most people will never find themselves in a situation in the US in which they are legally required to produce identity documents. – phoog Nov 27 '17 at 20:03
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    @JonathanReez: Not really a good comparison. Lots of those people do have valid foreign passports which they can use for identification. And in many cases they have to try awfully hard to avoid getting into trouble. – Nate Eldredge Nov 28 '17 at 0:32
  • @phoog: True in a sense, but there are lots of things you might want to do, for which ID is required either legally or practically. For example, you may have to show ID to get into a bar; you're not obliged to show it, but if you don't then the bar will probably not let you in. Another example would be taking a domestic flight (in principle TSA can try to verify your identity by other means, but no guarantee they would succeed). I don't think the UK driving license would suffice in either case. – Nate Eldredge Nov 28 '17 at 0:34
  • @NateEldredge That is all correct, of course. I was just responding to the specific example in the last sentence of the question. My wife, who lives in the US as a nonimmigrant, once flew domestically without her passport (she has no ID issued by a US state nor the federal government). The TSA agents seemed to go out of their way to say that her foreign driver's license was completely useless to them, even though the cards that they did look at were far less secure. – phoog Nov 28 '17 at 1:12

If you have the old passport number, you can print your electronic entry record here and show it along with your UK driving licence if stopped by the police or Border Patrol.

It could cause delays, but not necessarily, and in any case you'd be fine in the end.

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    Note that the chance of being stopped by Border Patrol or any other agency seeking to verify immigration status is vanishingly low unless one is traveling by land within 100 miles of the Mexican border or flying from one of a handful of airports in that area. – phoog Nov 27 '17 at 20:06
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    I agree with @phoog's comment, except that my experience suggests the chance of being stopped is vanishingly low even in the 100 mile zone. I have lived in San Diego county since 1975. I have driven many times along California Highway 94. I have ridden a horse on a beach within sight of the border fence. In all that time, I have been questioned twice, both times at a border patrol checkpoint. One time they let me go as soon as I said "British citizen, US permanent resident". Once I was asked for documentation. – Patricia Shanahan Nov 27 '17 at 20:19
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    Even when traveling by land near the border and coming to an immigration checkpoint, I was not asked for my passport as a passenger in a nice car driven by someone in expensive clothes. "All US passports?" the agent said. "Two US, two Canadian, one South African," the driver replied. "Have a nice day!" said the officer and that was the entire interaction. (The driver's South American inlaws have a much harder time at that same checkpoint every single week.) – Kate Gregory Nov 27 '17 at 21:50
  • @PatriciaShanahan I should perhaps have been more precise. There are specific locations in the 100-mile zone where the chance of being stopped is fairly high, but there are only a few dozen such locations. In the rest of the zone, it's still vanishingly low, though perhaps slightly higher than it is farther away from the border. – phoog Nov 28 '17 at 1:06

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