If your license has expired, it is still possible to fly if you meet certain conditions.

According to the TSA:

“If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint.

TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration.”

Can You Fly With an Expired License?

All airlines follow TSA regulations.

So regardless if you are flying with Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, American Airlines, or any other regional or major air carrier in the U.S., you can fly with an expired license if it expired on or after March 1, 2020, for up to a year after expiration.

You Need a Passport When Flying Internationally

Regardless if your license has expired or not, you can not fly internationally.

This is because a passport is the only acceptable form of ID you can use to fly internationally.

Depending on the country you are traveling to, a visa may also be required.

US passport resting on a global map

Due to the Covid pandemic, there was a temporary measure in place that allowed U.S. citizens currently abroad whose passports expired on or after January 1, 2020 to return to the United States.

This was measure was only valid until June 30, 2022, so no longer applies.

Related: How Early Should You Get to the Airport For an International Flight?

TSA Acceptable Forms of ID

The TSA state that the following forms of ID are acceptable to fly with:

  • 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)

You Can Fly With a Suspended License

You can fly with a suspended license, as a suspended license only means that you are unable to legally drive a vehicle.

But Not With a Paper ID

According to the TSA, you cannot fly with a paper ID.

A female's paper driver license

Again, it can be useful to bring to the airport to help verify your identity, though.

Nor With a Picture of Your ID

You cannot fly with a picture of your ID alone.

However, a picture of your ID can be useful to help prove your identity to the TSA.

Nor Your Birth Certificate or Social Security Card

A birth certificate will not allow you to fly, though it may be useful to travel with if your ID was lost or stolen to help prove your identity to the TSA.

A U.S. birth certificate issued by the Department of Health
A U.S. birth certificate issued by the Department of Health

A social security card is also not an acceptable form of ID to fly with.

How to Fly If Your ID Was Lost or Stolen

If your ID has been lost or stolen, you may still be able to fly domestically.

Bring as many as the following forms of ID to the airport to help prove your identity:

  • 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 forms of other ID
  • Photos of your ID

See Also: Your Must-Have Travel Documents Checklist

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).