Showing up to the Airport with No ID — Reader Mistake Story
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Today, I want to share a story from TPG reader John, who had to find his way through airport security after misplacing his driver’s license. Here’s what he had to say:
Over 20 forms of ID can serve as valid identification at airport security checkpoints, but the TSA may still allow you to travel if you leave yours behind. Credit cards, business cards, personal mail and other documents may suffice in a pinch. If your ID is stolen and you don’t have any backups, be sure to file a police report and bring a copy to the airport. You (and your belongings) will likely need to go through extra screening, but that’s better than missing your flight and having to reschedule.
This information may soon come in handy if your state isn’t in compliance with the REAL ID Act. The TSA recently extended the deadline for those states to October 11, 2018, after which driver’s licenses will no longer be considered valid identification for getting through airport security (unless the deadline is extended again, of course). Residents of compliant states can continue to use non-compliant licenses until October of 2020. Wherever you live, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with other valid forms of ID so you’re ready when the time comes.
I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. To thank John for sharing his experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending him a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Reader Mistake Story” in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.
Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!
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