I am on vacation in Michigan and need to fly back to Florida in 5 days. I have lost my ID. I am having my daughter send me my expired driver's license, social security card, marriage license, and birth certificate. Will those documents be enough to get through security?

  • 4
    Make absolutely positively sure that the documents will make it to you. Last thing you'd want is for those (originals) to get lost or destroyed. – BruceWayne Jun 15 '18 at 20:58
  • 1
    The driver's license is all you need if it is less than 1 year expired. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 16 '18 at 0:38
  • Losing your id is OK. It's the id that causes these incidents with people getting drunk and violent on planes, and having to be led off in handcuffs. What is more important is that you retain your superego. – Ben Crowell Jun 16 '18 at 16:02
  • @Harper why would being expired less than one year help? Do you have a citation? – phoog Jun 17 '18 at 2:35
  • Yes, but I paid it! Seriously an SSA (really) agent told it to me to my face; it seems to be anecdotal but there are a LOT of anecdotes that it's up to field agents (TSA not SSA), and <1 year expired is pretty reliable. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 17 '18 at 2:52

No, those will not help specifically because they are not valid forms of identification. They will help the screeners clear you, but you will still have to go through the no ID process.

Identification & Forgot Your ID?

I've heard this isn't particularly difficult, but you should arrive at least two hours ahead of time to make sure.

If you have one of the forms of ID listed above, you can pass TSA normally.


Yes, most probably. As TSA states:

Forgot Your ID?

In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete 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 may be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property.

You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you chose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.

TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.

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

They'll generally ask identify verification questions based on your credit report (past addresses, information about your relatives, that kind of thing), followed by a through search. The additional documents you're being sent may be helpful if there's an issue confirming your identity, but they also may not even be necessary. If your license is recently expired (six months at least), they're likely to just accept that. As TSA recommends, arrive early.

  • 2
    Had a friend who flew to Alaska on a fishing trip with a Costco membership card as id. He'd left his id at home and didn't have time to drive back to get it. Had to have his passport mailed to him for the flight back (something about ANC being an international airport?) – Nathan Cahill Jun 16 '18 at 0:34
  • The "arrive 2 hours in advance" is a little weird for the typical traveler... 'cause if you "forgot your ID" then how would you have planned to come earlier... – user541686 Jun 16 '18 at 11:44
  • 1
    @Mehrdad If you truly just forgot, as in left home without it, then yeah there's not much you can do. But I'd imagine many travelers without ID know in advance: they lost it while traveling or don't have one or something and know they won't have ID with them well before they get to the airport. It's those travelers who can plan ahead to arrive early. – Zach Lipton Jun 16 '18 at 22:20
  • Yeah that makes sense, but then it wouldn't make sense for them to title it "Forgot Your ID?"... – user541686 Jun 16 '18 at 22:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.