My passport expires this coming January 2014, I'm planning to travel in February (domestic flight).

I have read that you can travel inside the USA with any government issue ID, Last time I traveled I show my visa on step of my passport, and the airline woman went to the first page of my passport on step of looking at my visa information that contains my picture and information, so I didn't try it with the TSA agent.

I still have my foreign ID from my original country that expires 2018, can I use this with no problem? I rather use my visa since is an American issue document, is in English and easy to understand on step of my Spanish national ID.

I don't have time to renew my passport because it takes from 1-3 months.

  • 1
    In my experience, no matter the flight (domestic, international, US, elsewhere), if you want to use a passport, you will need to show the ID page with photo. Depending on the situation you might need to show the visa as well, be able to fly with other documents, etc. but if you only have a passport, people (TSA in the US, police elsewhere, airline or handling personnel…) will definitely check the ID page.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 11:17
  • Related question: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/17811/… Apparently this person was able to fly with an expired passport (see comment to the first answer).
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 15:53
  • Duplicate of travel.stackexchange.com/questions/17811/…
    – Doc
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 17:29

1 Answer 1


Short version: It's technically not enough, but in practice they'll probably let you on the plane anyway.

Long version: TSA's official list of acceptable IDs requires "valid" ID, and an expired passport is by definition not valid. Unofficially, expired US passports not more than a year old are OK. The only foreign ID accepted is passports, foreign identity cards are not enough.

However... valid ID is not an absolute requirement, and in the TSA's own words, "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." So if you can bring any other ID-like documents with you, incl. foreign ID, drivers licenses, credit cards etc, they'll probably let you through, although this will take time and is a bit uncertain.

But I would still recommend renewing your passport. You'll need it if you ever want to leave the US. And getting a local state driver's license would also be handy.

  • It's not what's being asked (+1 to your answer) but I am wondering: If he or she can stay without a valid passport, wouldn't the OP typically have some form of residence permit (green card?)? Isn't that a valid ID? Does US deliver visas that with longer validity than the passport of the applicant? Or is the OP contemplating a trip by plane while staying illegally?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 11:11
  • You'll need [a passport] if you ever want to leave the US -- Whether a passport is needed to leave the U.S. depends entirely on where the person is going, and by which route. Driving into Mexico does not require a passport, for instance. But still a good answer. +1
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 13:07
  • @Flimzy it only doesn't require a passport if you have an alternative document designed specifically to facilitate that travel, such as a WHTI compliant enhanced drivers license. So, while technically true, the reality is that unless you're a US Citizen who is for some reason specifically averse to using a passport, you need a passport. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 13:53
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz: You can legally travel within the NAFTA zone in Mexico without ever showing any papers at all. And you can, in practice, travel through all of Mexico without showing any papers.
    – Flimzy
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 13:56
  • 2
    @Flimzy The border zone is ~25KM wide, and you can only stay there for 72 hours without a passport. It's the exception that proves the rule, TBQH. The fact that Mexican enforcement beyond that point is lax is immaterial to whether it's legal. And Mexico isn't exactly on my short list of countries where I'd like to be detained by local authorities because I was hoping they wouldn't notice that my paperwork is out of order. Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 14:04

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