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April 21, 2011 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Flying. ID. Waiting for new driver's license, old one clipped.

I just moved to a new state (U.S.) and went to get a new driver's license. They clipped my old one and gave me a piece of paper with some information on it. The new license hasn't come in the mail yet.

This is valid as my New State driver's license here. But, is it acceptable ID for flying?

I'm flying this weekend. I have a passport, so I can bring that, but it seems like a pain... if anyone knows for sure that would be amazing!
posted by J. Wilson to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is what the TSA says about it (also). Generally speaking you need to bring alternate ID, a good reason and a good sense of humor for the additional scrutiny that you are likely to be subjected to. If you have a passport, I would really suggest bringing it since it is totally 100% valid ID that will not get you any additional weirdness. Without a state/federal ID you are a little more open to the whims of the TSA officers on duty which is not where I would personally want to be.
posted by jessamyn at 6:15 PM on April 21, 2011

Flying ID must have a picture - take your passport
posted by pupdog at 6:16 PM on April 21, 2011

yeah it's either bring your passport or it's an excuse for them to scrutinize you as much as possible but it's ymmv. personally the last couple of times i've flown without goverment ID i was prepared for the worst but they let me through without any pat downs or special interrogations. though i did have to literally empty my wallet to show them every credit card, insurance id, work badges etc...
posted by sammich at 6:22 PM on April 21, 2011

Um, why in the world is bringing a passport a pain? Certainly less so than flying without an ID. However,

Flying ID must have a picture - take your passport

Is absolutely not true. My boyfriend and I both lost our IDs (long story) and simply brought EVERY SINGLE OTHER form of identification (picture-less library card, super super faded old employee ID, Rx bottles, SSN card, debit and credit cards) with our names on it. TSA rolled their eyes, gave us a pat-down, and sent us on our way. No biggie. Then again, we look fairly non-threatening, so that might have helped matters.
posted by slightly sissy tea hound at 6:23 PM on April 21, 2011

This happened to me recently. I still had my expired driver's license and apparently there's a grace period of several months in which it's still valid for ID purposes if not for driving. I didn't have any trouble.
posted by picea at 6:26 PM on April 21, 2011

When you say your old driver's license is clipped, do you mean completely cut in half or that they just took a notch out of it? When I renewed my driver's license in VA last year, they punched a hole in the shape of the word "VOID" but it was still valid as a photo ID since it hadn't expired ... just not as a driver's license (a little different than flying, but I work on a military base and they had no issue with it).

But I would just take your passport, personally, unless you're really worried about losing it.

(I've also flown without ID -- I lost my wallet, which had every single piece of ID I would've had. The TSA agents were very nice, though, and let me fly after answering a few questions. My bags weren't even searched. This was last summer though, and I know things might be a little more strict now.)
posted by darksong at 6:29 PM on April 21, 2011

Google "fly without ID"-- apparently you just get extra screening and can still fly.
posted by sninctown at 6:32 PM on April 21, 2011

>>When you say your old driver's license is clipped, do you mean completely cut in half or that they just took a notch out of it?

They just took a tiny little slice off a corner. It hasn't expired yet.

(Bringing a passport is a pain because I have a minor tendency to lose things like that.)
posted by J. Wilson at 6:38 PM on April 21, 2011

It helps to know the airline's policy, too. At the one I work for, though the TSA policy will still let you through the checkpoint without the all-mighty governmentissuedphotoidentification if you have a boarding pass, my airline's policy is to not issue a boarding pass without one. Granted, with kiosks and web-based check-in and all that, you may be able to cicrumvent that policy, but you can't check a bag, since that requires a visual on said governmentissuedphotoidentification.

The only exception that I'm aware of to the rule is if you have a filed police report stating that it was stolen. The clipped corner of the license would be a red flag to a TSA agent, since it's defacement of the license. They might suspect it's counterfeit, in which case, you probably have more problems than just not having an ID on you.

The choice is yours, ultimately: explain yourself four times to four different people, get touched in places you may not have been touched for some time, and endure the best that security theater has to offer... or take your passport and have zero problems at all.
posted by Golfhaus at 7:04 PM on April 21, 2011

That should be fine. Any additional ID is good so a work ID or something less valuable than your passport might serve as adequate backup. I've flown multiple times with no government picture ID and generally get secondary screening (aka a patdown ). Weigh that risk against the risk that you'll lose your passport.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:05 PM on April 21, 2011

I just did this. TSA had no problem with my clipped ID, they didn't even ask to see the additional paper.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:15 PM on April 21, 2011

The clipped corner of the license would be a red flag to a TSA agent, since it's defacement of the license

To be clear: its possible this could happen, I guess, especially since TSA may not be 100% consistent.

But when I did this, they did not seem concerned at all. One of them did ask me, I told him I had changed address and was waiting on new license, and he said OK. I got no additional screening, no problems. The other TSA agents didn't even ask.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:16 PM on April 21, 2011

Eh, I've flown without ID. Mine's been stolen, lost, not returned from the bank drive through, etc., more times than I can count and I'm hell of lazy about getting it replaced. They just dig through your handbag and give you the magic wand treatment. No big.
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:11 PM on April 21, 2011

I flew with an expired clipped driver's license. Texas issues a piece of paper with your picture and license information on it but they didn't even ask to see it.
posted by vilandra at 8:07 AM on April 22, 2011

I flew with one of these without a problem but this was pre-9/11. I don't think this would be "flying without ID"... In MN anyway the expired, clipped ID plus the temporary paper that shows you have renewed your license and are merely waiting for the physical card is fully equivalent to a valid state ID card.

When you think about it this has to be an extremely common situation. Everybody has to renew their license regularly, everyone has to wait a couple weeks to get the new one, people have to fly when they have to fly, and not everybody has a passport. It's not like TSA is going to be like "what in the hell is this business boy?!" Call the airport if you want to know for sure or take your passport if you want to be sure without doing any extra work.
posted by nanojath at 9:33 AM on April 22, 2011

Brought my old clipped ID and the paper, no problems. It is still valid with the paper.
posted by sararah at 9:33 AM on April 22, 2011

I wimped out and passported up based on what you guys said. And of course, my new license was here waiting when I got back on Monday. Thanks for the answers!
posted by J. Wilson at 5:40 AM on April 26, 2011

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