Wallet was stolen (have expired id as backup) and I need to fly out again. Help.
June 2, 2009 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I had my wallet stolen while out of town and had to fly back on an expired license I had as a backup (Not easy to do anymore). The problem is I'm back at my hometown airport for a 5 hour layover before flying out again. My documents are in storage a few hours away at my house (where no one is). I've thought of mail/ prescriptions/ and the like, but there is no way to make it home or have anyone bring it to me. Does anyone have any creative ideas on what I can use as backup ID? Keeping in mind all I have is this expired license and no way to get back to my house before flying out again.
posted by debu to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total)
You are in the U.S.? I recently flew without my license. Simply explain to the license checker person you do not have i.d. Another security person will come over, get your name and address, call someone (?) to verify it, and somehow this mysteriously solves the problem. It turns out you aren't actually required to have i.d.

This worked at Charlotte Douglas and Boston Logan. Magic!
posted by Punctual at 12:04 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

You are required to be identified, but it seems they have other ways of finding out like Punctual said:

Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Officer performing Travel Document Checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to go through the checkpoint or onto an airplane.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2009

Tips for flying without ID domestically in the US. It can still be done, but last year it became a much more annoying process.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2009

I've also flown a national flight without id
posted by stratastar at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2009

Do you have a police report about your wallet being stolen? You definitely don't need ID to fly nationally, but a police report might make people a little nicer to you about only having an expired ID.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 12:07 PM on June 2, 2009

I flew back where I am on an expired ID, and they did go through that new routine. They even ask for a few contacts and call them and verify it's you.

The reason I wanted some kind of additional documents/verification is that on my flight back from where I'm going today it will be 6am my time and I don't think many contacts will be answering the phone. Apparently, if you have prescriptions or mail to you they don't have to do that.

I was thinking something like calling doctors office and having them fax - e-mail information but I don't have a printer or fax machine to make it official.
posted by debu at 12:13 PM on June 2, 2009

I've also flown within the US with no ID, and they often just don't care. Then again, I don't look a person they'd bother racially-terrorist-profiling, either. (Your mileage may vary: you look blue like everyone else in your profile, so who knows.)

If the ticket-taker is awake/alert/cares enough to verify you or phone contacts at 6am... let them do that and wake someone up. The cost and hassle of you buying that person lunch next week is lower than most of the alternatives.

Or if you want to be clever: It's Tuesday. Might there not be mail in your mailbox, at your house, right now?

I'm not sure what faxed information would ever be proof of anything.
posted by rokusan at 12:19 PM on June 2, 2009

Is there a Kinkos or the like nearby where you can get faxes? Business suite at a hotel?
posted by jwells at 12:23 PM on June 2, 2009

@rokusan A lot more white than blue ;)

There was some real good info in the link: "game warden to the events rhino"

thanks everyone
posted by debu at 12:25 PM on June 2, 2009

I lost my license on a trip once, and they just labeled me for extra screening. It was no problem.
posted by bluedaisy at 12:32 PM on June 2, 2009

Boyfriend once lost his driver's license on vacation in Texas, and on our way was able to fly by showing his Visa, which happens to feature a tiny photo of him in the corner. No problems whatsoever, but maybe we were just lucky.
posted by halogen at 12:35 PM on June 2, 2009

By Visa I mean the credit card, not a travel document.
posted by halogen at 12:36 PM on June 2, 2009

This just happened to me! Well, kinda: I showed up at the airport and realized that I'd left my wallet (including driver's license, company ID, anything with a photo/name combo) at my cousin's house. The folks at the airport were nice -- checked me in to my flight, and then I had to go through a more thorough screening, which was kind of like a credit check. A TSA supervisor had to call some central office, and I had to answer all these questions to verify my identity: address, date of birth, address, former address, employer, former employer. And then they went through my stuff pretty carefully and wanded me. But then I got on my flight.

If you're really nice about it, I imagine an expired ID plus a willingness to go through supersecurity should be enough to get you on your plane.
posted by janet lynn at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2009

Just call your friends now and tell them to answer the phone early if needed. Be REALLY nice and patient and extra gracious about all the extra security. I bet you'll be fine!
posted by barnone at 12:41 PM on June 2, 2009

By license are you referring to your driver's license or a pilot's license? If you're the one flying and you have an expired pilot's license, you may be in a bind.

As for driver's licenses and expiration, you're not driving so why should it matter? You, the person, are still the same (I presume).
posted by Man with Lantern at 12:44 PM on June 2, 2009

From what I have been told, it's all gonna depend on the leniency of the people you run into at the airport.

I would assume license in this case to mean "legal photo identification that the OP needs to have in order to fly." Not that they're driving/flying with it, so much as "will I be allowed on the plane."
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:55 PM on June 2, 2009

Another reason to get a passport and carry it with during all travel.
posted by telstar at 1:07 PM on June 2, 2009

Man with Lantern:
You often need to have non-expired license for the airline to consider it valid. I have heard that an expired passport is better than an expired driver's license, but that was before last year.
posted by soelo at 1:25 PM on June 2, 2009

I have had more than one co-worker fly with an expired license recently. They didn't realize that their driver's license was expired until they got to the car rental counter on the other end and were informed that they could not rent a car with an expired license (obviously). TSA, however, didn't bat an eye at their expired driver's license, or even inform them that their license had expired.

YMMV of course, but it might not even be an issue.
posted by terilou at 1:56 PM on June 2, 2009

You're flying domestically? Twice I've flown without a license- once my wallet got stolen and once I lost it. Just arrive about 30 min earlier than usual and explain that you lost your license. They'll search your things but it isn't really much of a hassle. It must happen fairly often.
posted by emd3737 at 3:43 PM on June 2, 2009

@Soelo . . .I've flown with no license (extra screening, as others said) and my BIL recently flew with an expired license (no problem - until he got to the rental car counter).

TSA recently told me that my license was about to expire, and I appreciate that (now to get to the DMV!).

We're still living in the greatest country in the world, where you're innocent unless proven guilty. If you don't have your ID, tell them. If it's expired, buck the system and ask if they really think that you're no longer you, even with an expired license.
posted by Man with Lantern at 7:44 AM on June 3, 2009

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