To travel in Flight within USA, proper Photo ID is required. Vijay asked the following question via email.
I am travelling to XXXX for Thanksgiving. I will be taking a flight from Chicago to XXXX. So, I would first need to travel by bus to Chicago. I plan to get my passport renewed at the chicago consulate of India.That would require me to submit my passport. I will get it back by postal mail after 3 weeks.My question is, can I travel from Chicago via flight and back without the passport?Can I show some other kind of ID at the airport? I have my SSN and university ID card.I have applied for state ID but I am not sure if I will get it before I travel.But they gave me a print out which they say can be used as temporary ID till i get the actual ID by mail.Which of these IDs will work and which won’t at the airport? My Passport Expires in May 2012. I am a little skeptical about sending my passport by mail. I have never sent any mail in US before
TSA ID Requirements
You can find the right answer in TSA Website. I’m reproducing the contents from TSA.
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 enter the screening checkpoint or onto an airplane.
Acceptable IDs include:
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS “Trusted Traveler” cards (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DOD civilians)
- Permanent Resident Card
- Border Crossing Card
- DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
- Drivers Licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- A Native American Tribal Photo ID
- An airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
- A foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) card
- Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
Non-US/Canadian citizens are not required to carry their passports if they have documents issued by the U.S. government such as Permanent Resident Cards. Those who do not should be carrying their passports while visiting the U.S.
I have faced some tough situations during travel. It’s advisable to carry your passport with you if you are flying.
If you are going on some adventure trip, it may not be feasible to carry your passport.
Have a scanned copy of your passport, I-94, I-20 in your email. If possible carry a copy with you.
When I go on trip, I usually take my passport. But, at TSA checkpoint, I use my Driving License. Since, I have iPhone, I have access to my scanned copy of passport and other important documents.
Solution for ID Question
- Take your passport.
- Take your state ID (and passport)
- Come back from the trip and apply for passport renewal via Mail.
Its common within USA to mail high stakes documents via mail. You must have received your I-20 in mail right?
I understand that, you are not used to sending mail in USA. Ask for help. Its part of the learning process. I’m sure there will be a post office within your campus or FedEx or UPS store nearby.
If you feel overwhelmed by the various shipping options available, then just ask for help. Explain, how fast you documents have to get there and how much you want to spend.Then you can decide on shipping option.