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My passport will expire soon and to get a new one I must go back to my home country, which I plan to do in few months. I have a valid Visa until 2023.
I would like to travel within the US before going back to my home country, but my only US ID would be the expired passport (I don't have a US driving license).
Will I be able to board domestic flights?

I have searched online and most results (including the official TSA website) say that it should not be a problem. Few say it may be a problem if the expired passport is my only ID. I cannot find a clear answer that does not say may / should.

UPDATE

I was able to travel with my expired passport. The TSA agent said it was not a problem since it was expired for less than 1 year.

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  • What state are you in? Can you get a state driver's license/state ID?
    – user102008
    Apr 29, 2022 at 20:54
  • @user102008 Pennsylvania. It seems I need an ID to apply for a driving license, and my only ID is my passport that expires in 1 week. I don't think I can get a driving license in 1 week...
    – Simon
    Apr 30, 2022 at 1:17
  • You might (I'm not familiar with Pennsylvania's procedures) be able to apply for a state ID in one week, which is essentially a driver's license without the driving part (it works for proof of identity, including for flying, but doesn't permit you to drive). That's a fairly helpful document to have, as you can use it for ID for most purposes that don't involve international travel. Apr 30, 2022 at 6:01
  • Thanks, I didn't know about that. The procedure seems the same as the driving license, but it is probably faster. My only problem is that I need a proof of residency, but I live in an Airbnb and I don't have any bill on my name. The site says that in this case I need to "to bring a person with whom you reside along with their Driver's License or Photo ID [...] where they will be required to sign an affidavit stating that you reside with them." My Airbnb host is not in town and will probably tell me to go to hell if I ask him this.
    – Simon
    Apr 30, 2022 at 16:04

2 Answers 2

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My passport will expire soon and to get a new one I must go back to my home country, which I plan to do in few months. I have a valid Visa until 2023. I would like to travel within the US before going back to my home country

Are you sure of this? Most countries issue passports to their citizens at consulates and embassies. (Of course, depending on the country and your place of residence, it may be more convenient to go abroad than to go to a consulate in the US.)

I have searched online and most results (including the official TSA website) say that it should not be a problem. Few say it may be a problem is the expired passport is my only ID. I cannot find a definite answer that does not say maybe / may / should.

I once traveled on a domestic flight with someone who had forgotten her foreign passport. She lived in the US but had no other form of ID on the official list. She did have a foreign driver's license, which they didn't look at at all, a photo ID from her employer, and a few credit cards and bank cards. They looked at these and asked a few questions -- the "personal questions" mentioned on the page, I assume -- which essentially consisted of verifying data from her credit report (former addresses, for example).

From this experience, I infer that you will probably be able to fly with your expired passport, but there may be a slightly higher risk (if still extremely small) of not clearing the security checkpoint. Clearing the checkpoint will certainly take somewhat longer, however, and will potentially be more stressful, especially if the agent or agents verifying your identity are unfamiliar with the procedure or are for some other reason inclined to be confrontational.

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  • Thanks for the answer. This is also what I have been told by few non-American friends. But since I am planning to visit few cities and I need to book more than one flight / hotel, I would like to be sure that everything will go smoothly. I will also ask the flying companies or the airports for more confirmation, but I feel my chances are related to the TSA agent that will check me, so it is impossible to be sure at 100%.
    – Simon
    Apr 28, 2022 at 12:06
  • Regarding getting a new passport, I have contacted my embassy (Italian), and they told me I cannot get a new one because I am not registered in the "list of Italian citizens living abroad" (I can register only after living abroad for 6+ months, but I am in the US since fewer months). They will issue an emergency travel document to let me travel back home.
    – Simon
    Apr 28, 2022 at 12:06
  • @Simon I wonder how effective the information-from-credit-report option would be if you've been in the US for less than six months. I suspect that you'll be able to get through, but I would arrive at the airport a good three or four hours before departure to be sure. What's your status in the US? I am a bit surprised; I was under the impression that for most statuses, the period of admission is tied to the validity of the passport.
    – phoog
    Apr 28, 2022 at 14:04
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    @Simon: "I checked my I-94 and my admission is valid until 2023." Is this an I-94 you got at entry, or from Extension of Stay/Change of Status? If the former, it is very strange that it would have a date later than your passport expiration. If the latter, did you leave and re-enter the US after the EOS/COS?
    – user102008
    Apr 29, 2022 at 20:53
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    @phoog: The Immigration Act of 1990 re-structured the sections. The former INA 212(a)(26) became INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i).
    – user102008
    May 1, 2022 at 0:45
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One option is that the emergency travel document that your country's consulate can issue you would probably suffice as ID for airport security checkpoints. However, the emergency travel document probably has short validity, and the consulate would probably not issue it unless you are traveling to your country very soon.

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  • An emergency travel document is basically a special type of passport. It the same size and shape as a passport, and contains a biographical page that contains all the biographical information as a passport biographical page, so contains all the info needed to identify the person.
    – user102008
    Apr 30, 2022 at 15:44
  • To get an EDT I must present the ticket to my home country. The EDT will be valid for 7 days starting such date. So using it to travel with US is not an option, since I plan to spend 2 weeks traveling.
    – Simon
    Apr 30, 2022 at 15:55
  • Thanks. I've never seen one. As described, an ETD would indeed serve to identify the bearer, as well as to allow their entry. I'll delete my comment. Apr 30, 2022 at 15:58

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