If you’re reading this, you’re probably in a situation where you have forgotten or lost your ID and have a flight coming up.
It’s not a good situation to be in, but if you’ve forgotten your ID, the good news is that you might still be able to fly.
This is because the TSA has other ways of confirming your identity by checking in existing databases.
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Can You Fly With a Picture of Your ID?
If reach the airport and all you have on you is a picture of your ID, it is very unlikely that you will be able to fly.
This is because the TSA won’t be able to confirm your identity.
However, if you bring a picture of your ID to the airport, along with as much other documentation to help prove your identity, you may still be able to fly.
Other useful travel documentation that can help prove your identity include:
- A credit card, a business card with your photo on it
- Mail or prescription medication with your name and address on the label
- Utility bills
- A library card
- Work security badges
- Voter registration
- Birth certificate
- Expired ID
If the reason why you only have a picture of your ID is because your ID was stolen, it would be wise to file a police report and bring this to the airport, too.
There is zero chance that you will be able to fly internationally with a picture of your ID.
To fly internationally, you need a passport and perhaps a visa too, depending on the country you are flying too.
How to Take a Picture of Your ID to Fly With
In a lot of instances, you are on the way to the airport, realize you forgot your ID, and ask someone at home to take a photo of your ID.
If this is the situation you’re in, make sure that you ask the person taking a photo of your ID to capture both the front and back of your ID.
It can also be a good idea to ask the person to photocopy both sides or scan both sides and then send the images to you, too.
How to Fly If You Only Have a Picture of Your ID
“A TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity.”
You will also be subject to additional screening, including a pat down and screening of your carry-on property.
You should arrive at the airport early due to the additional time it will take to prove your identity.
Acceptable Forms of ID
The TSA state that the following forms of ID are acceptable to fly with if you are flying acceptable:
- Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Permanent resident card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- State-issued Enhanced Driver’s License
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Border crossing card
- An acceptable photo ID issued by a federally recognized, Tribal Nation/Indian Tribe
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
- Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)
Can You Check a Bag Without an ID?
While you might be able to board your flight if you only have a picture of your ID, it is very unlikely that you will be able to check in a bag.
Airline agents pretty much always ask to see your ID when checking a bag.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).