Vegas! Vegas! Vegas! That’s exactly what I was chanting and the excitement I felt weeks before I planned to go to Vegas for the first time (sometimes the anticipation and preparation for a trip is one of the most exciting parts). I was planning to live all my “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” dreams for my friend’s 24th birthday. Until I drove to Maryland, only to discover within 6 hours of my flight that I did not have my driver’s license with me. I immediately freaked out and called everyone’s mom and dad at 1 am (moms and dads know everything right? It’s crazy). I didn’t have time to drive back, and nothing could be mailed in this time frame.
In efforts to make this long story short and give you the life hack, you’re waiting on, just know you CAN fly domestically without a driver’s license.
What’s the catch? Before you clear out your wallet for a trip, you should actually keep everything in it. Make sure you have every other form of ID in the world on you. I was able to get through modern-day TSA with a credit card, debit card (with my mug shot on it), and health insurance cards. Not a real mug shot, my picture people, before you all go trying to google for one.
The list of acceptable documents can vary, see a list below of common acceptable forms of proof of identity. The basics are that you need something with your face on it and other forms of identification that confirm your name. You will also need an extra hour or so because you will be required to do an extra search.
1. Expired government photo IDs Photo of IDs on your phone. keep a picture of your driver’s license on your phone. This has saved me many times.
2. Student Photo ID – I know you graduated eight years ago, keep it anyway.
3. Credit Card – This is preferred over a debit card. However, if your debit card has a photo ID that’s a plus.
4. Utility bills – Meh, worth a try.
6. Library card – Preferably with a photo.
7. A grocery store membership card –Such as Costco or Sam’s Club.
8. Work security Badge
Passport - This is a gimmie; it doesn’t get a number.
Some of you are on top of your game already and thinking about the Real ID requirement that will soon be required to fly. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it is the result of an act that required minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. TSA may only accept state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards that include the REAL ID-compliant star marking.
Guess what? This life hack still applies, as well. The REAL ID will be required to fly beginning October 1, 2020. According to TSA.gov (so y’all don’t think I’m making this up), if you arrive at the airport and you don’t have your real ID because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. Most likely, a TSA officer asks you to complete an identity verification process and ask for other personal information to confirm your identity, such as the items I mentioned above.
I didn’t say it was easy or convenient but possible.