Identification Requirements

What Identification is Required at US Airports?

YOU know the drill... If you don’t have verification identification, the TSA security folks are not going to just let you walk through. But what exactly counts as ID? And how many of you need it? And what happens if you don't have one?


Adult passengers, 18 and older, are expected to provide documentation before being allowed past security and on the plane. If you do not have, or forget to bring your identification, you may not be allowed on the plane (in some cases you may be permitted but will go through extra security screening).

Here is a list of some of the accepted forms of identification:

Valid State Issued Drivers License

·         Driver Education Card

·         Passport

·         Social Security Card

·         Birth Certificate

·         Military ID Card

·         Military Dependent ID Card

·         Divorce Papers

·         Certificate of Marriage

·         Baptismal Records

·         Court Order

·         School Records/Transcript (certified)

·         Unemployment Card

·         Adoption Papers

·         Concealed Weapons Permit

·         DHS "Trusted Traveler" cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)

·         A Native American Tribal Photo ID

·         Border crossing card

·         Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

·         Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card or A Permanent Resident Card

·         Any form of government issued ID

Passports can take up to six weeks to process, so plan ahead when traveling abroad. Passport facilities can include your local post office, courthouse, and certain travel agencies or libraries. Check with the U.S. Department of State for a listing of participating facilities nearest you. To process your passport, you’ll need two passport sized photos, proof of U.S. citizenship and a valid photo identify verification.

For a driver’s license or a state identification card, you’ll need several documents showing proof of citizenship, your social security card and a birth certificate or certificate of citizenship. The exact requirements will vary by state, so you’ll want to check with your local DMV for a list of accepted forms of identification or proofs of residency. 


There are other forms of personal verification that will be accepted at the Airport, so it is always best to check before your scheduled flight to be sure that you have everything that you need. If you don’t bring acceptable documentation then you may be forced to go through extra screening which can not only prove to be an embarrassing affair, but can cause you to miss your flight completely.

Children Airport Identification Requirements

Children traveling with adults on domestic flights may not need a photo ID card; however, airlines may require the accompanying adult to show proof of age in the form of a birth certificate. You’ll need to check with the airline on which you’ve booked travel for their specific rules regarding child airport identification. Children, even infants traveling internationally will be subject to the same documentation requirements as adults. This means that if you are planning an international trip, even if a baby has not yet been born but will be born by flight time, you will need to make arrangements for a passport. 

When a child is traveling as an unaccompanied minor, the adult dropping the child at the airport as well as the adult picking the child up at his or her destination will be required to show identification. Additionally, the airline will need to be notified in advance with the contact details of the adult retrieving the child at the final destination.

While airlines may not specifically require children to travel with individual photo identification, it is never a bad idea to have photo ID created for your child before you travel. Sites such as will make photo IDs for children that include a parent’s name and emergency contact numbers in case you should become separated from your child.

Don’t have a valid form of Identification?

Well you can still get through security, but you will be subject to a manual check, meaning you will be placed in a separate line so security can perform a more detailed screening, which could include a search of your person or your carry-ons or both. Be prepared for an extra delay.

Pets & Luggage

Any checked baggage should always be clearly marked with your name, a contact number (both from home and your destination, if possible) and the immediate destination of the baggage. Pets traveling as cargo should follow the same rules. Whether your pet is traveling as cargo or on board with you, you should also make sure your pet is wearing a collar with all identification details.