You Can Still Get Through Airport Security Without Your ID — Here’s How

Hand holds Canadian passport and boarding pass

Last year, rapper G-Eazy attempted to use a magazine cover with his face on it to get through airport security — and it worked.

Magazine XXL had published their Spring 2018 issue only days before G-Eazy arrived at the airport sans ID. The rapper, whose birth name is Gerald Earl Gillum, was there with his then-girlfriend, Halsey. She tweeted:

“Gerald [G-Eazy] lost his ID and he’s trying to use the cover of @XXL as part of this additional identification to get through security I’m so annoyed.”

G-Eazy’s response? “It worked.”


But for those of you who aren’t gracing the cover of GQ on the regular, we’ve got good news: you don’t need celebrity treatment in order to get through TSA without your driver’s license or passport. So if you’ve torn up your room looking for your ID, take a deep breath and relax. Here’s what you need to know.

First of all, review the list of accepted identification from the TSA for passengers 18 and over:

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • 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

But what do you do when you’re coming up empty on all 15 of those IDs? Here’s what the official word from the Transportation Security Administration:

“In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The 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. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint.”

The TSA also advises that you will undergo additional screening including a pat-down and carry-on screening.

Furthermore, it’s recommended that you bring anything that may identify you such as:

  • Mail with your name and address
  • Credit cards
  • Business cards
  • And, obviously, magazines with your face on the over.

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