Okay, so I'm an international Student here in the US. and My passport is being renewed right now. And I have to fly to Seattle in a week. So I was wondering if my university ID will suffice for a Photo ID at the airport?

EDIT: Or is an expired passport, but with a Valid US visa, acceptable?


The TSA has a page on "Acceptable ID" for passing through a security checkpoint.

The most important part on this page for you is :

Not having an ID, does not necessarily mean a passenger won't be allowed to fly. If passengers are willing to provide additional information, we have other means of substantiating someone's identity, like using publicly available databases.

Whilst it's likely that a University photo ID would not be sufficient (unless it was issued in a way to meet "REAL ID" requirements), your US Visa, especially when combined with an expired passport, would certainly be sufficient to prove your identity. If required, they could even carry out additional checks such as fingerprints to confirm your identity (as these would have been taken when your visa was issued), although realistically I can not see this happening.

I would plan to arrive at the airport a little earlier than required in case the additional checks take extra time, but I would not expect you to have any problems getting through.

Personally I've also been able to go through TSA checkpoints on two occasions using an Australian drivers license. I didn't intend to, but grabbed the wrong license from my wallet - and both times they commented on it and then let me through without any further checks. I certainly wouldn't rely on that working (especially if your home-country license doesn't include security features like holograms/etc), but it's worked for me...

  • 1
    So turns out, I can use the passport till within six months after expiry. Maybe you could add that to your answer?
    – Chandough
    Jul 28 '13 at 16:22

The answer is: No.

University IDs are not a valid identification for travel according to TSA. If you are a student you should be eligible to get a SSN and a drivers license. That would be an acceptable ID.

  • SSNs and Drivers License will take at least 6 months to acquire. Is there anything else I could use. Or would they accept an expired passport with a valid US Visa?
    – Chandough
    May 31 '13 at 16:39
  • @Chandough That should work. Question that I have why didn't you receive it yet? Since you are a foreign student here...
    – Karlson
    May 31 '13 at 16:42
  • Also maybe you should add that comment to the answer. It'll help the others who come by'
    – Chandough
    May 31 '13 at 16:47
  • 8
    There's no need to get a drivers' license, which requires passing a driving test. You should be able to get a state issued ID, which serves the same ID purposes (and looks almost identical in many states), without the driving test.
    – Flimzy
    May 31 '13 at 16:51
  • 2
    State ID will most likely require an SSN, but more important it will require them to verify your legal status in the US - which will require your passport, as well as your current I-94 (or entry stamp, if you entered the US since the removal of I-94's). And we're back to square one...
    – Doc
    Jun 1 '13 at 1:41

Yes, I have used a school ID before. It helps if you have a debit/credit card to have along as well in the same name. I have also used a credit/debit card before too. They may take longer and ask more questions but it works.

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