I am in New York and I need to go to Arizona, but my passport has expired. Can I still buy the plane ticket or should I just use my green card? Note that I do not have a driver's license that may be used as ID.

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    If you have a US drivers license that may or may not work depending on where it was issued. – Azor Ahai -him- Mar 6 '16 at 20:14
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    @Azor-Ahai For domestic air travel, all states' drivers licenses should be acceptable. – 200_success Mar 6 '16 at 22:11
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    @200_success The US government has been talking about not accepting those state issued IDs or DLs that don't meet a federally mandated standard. (This is, in effect, a means of slipping a national ID in through the backdoor, as overt attempts to get one have failed a couple of times) The law actually allows this now, but the disruptions caused would be significant and so far the feds have blinked first. I suppose that the threats are meant to pressure the state legislatures in the places that aren't currently up to snuff. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Mar 6 '16 at 22:30
  • @dmckee: Yes but that won't potentially be an issue until at least 2018 – user102008 Mar 7 '16 at 0:03

You can use your permanent resident card ("green card") as evidence of your identity for the purpose of domestic air travel within the United States.


Note that you must show "valid identification" (emphasis mine). I would take this to assume that an expired passport is not a valid one. However I can see the word is ambiguous.

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    Last January I was allowed to fly (inside the US) on the basis of an expired US passport after I lost my driver's license. There was a suggestion that this was allowed because the passport was less than six months out of date. None of which is exactly parallel to the OP's situation, but I thought I'd throw it in. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Mar 6 '16 at 22:32

Yes, you can do this. I travel regularly from San Francisco to New York and Boston without taking my (EU) passport. I need only show driver's license, and even that isn't, strictly speaking, necessary.

  • I think OP is asking if he can use an expired passport as his only means of ID. A valid passport (or any passport) isn't necessary for domestic trips (by air or otherwise) within the U.S. if you have some other form of acceptable ID. – reirab Mar 7 '16 at 1:55
  • That's an incredible blog post - "don't worry, just give us some other information" - like blood sample, first born child (not the name), account passwords.. – Raystafarian Mar 7 '16 at 8:24

For travel within the U.S., you have to show identification. The list of acceptable forms of identification is available at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. A passport is one valid form of identification, but certainly not the only one. Personally, I have never shown my passport to fly: I always use my drivers license. I flew for many years before I got my first passport.

  • As noted in hd1's answer, it's not actually necessary to have ID to fly in the US if you're willing to undergo stricter screening. – phoog Mar 7 '16 at 1:58
  • @phoog, my coworker has been denied the right to travel because he doesn't have ID, if you don't take ID along, your travel rights seem up to airport security. – hd1 Mar 7 '16 at 5:40
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    @hd1 well it's the Federal TSA, not just "airport security," holding your travel fate in its hand, but yes. I would by no means advise anyone to try relying on the supposed right to travel without ID by submitting to stricter screening. But it is on the books. My wife has flown with "alternate" ID (work ID, credit cards) when she forgot her passport. I suppose it depends on both the traveler and the TSA officers. In the end it's just another example of the attempt to pretend that we don't live in a police state while at the same time operating a police state. – phoog Mar 7 '16 at 6:08
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    Airport security in America is the TSA, @phoog – hd1 Mar 7 '16 at 6:15
  • @hd1 well, the airports I'm familiar with also have security guards who are concerned with, for example, whether people are stealing from the shops. These are private security agents, as are (IIRC) the people who prevent you from backtracking from the baggage claim to your arrival gate. These are the people who come to mind (to my mind, at least), when I hear the phrase "airport security." – phoog Mar 7 '16 at 6:21

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