Losing your wallet is always going to be stressful. You have to worry about canceling all your old credit cards and replacing your photo IDs. However, it can be downright frightening when you are traveling. How can you get through TSA security to get your flight home, without your wallet and ID? Fortunately, you have some options to help you, in case your wallet is lost or stolen.
Here are some general guidelines to help you get on your flight if you are missing the right documentation. These tips can help you whether you are traveling domestically or internationally.
Use Whatever Documentation You Have Available
The TSA hasn’t received a reputation for being the most sympathetic organization in recent years. However, they do understand that documents and identification cards can be lost or stolen. You can get on your flight if you can present some form of valid documentation. Here is a list of Acceptable Forms of ID for the TSA.
If your primary ID is lost or stolen, they can make exceptions and allow you to travel, as long as they can verify your identity. What other forms of ID can they consider? Here are some things that have helped other people get on the plane:
- Presenting a Costco card with a photo ID on it.
- Showing an old library card.
- Showing an expired license.
- One woman lost everything and had to ask her husband to fax a scanned copy of her photo identification card from home.
These may be problematic, but use whatever you can to verify your identity and get on the plane. Although you might be able to get on with your library card, it could be challenging. A library card doesn’t meet the requirements of the TSA’s legitimate forms of identification. However, it could at least help them access public databases that could help confirm your identity.
Show a Copy of a Police Report if Anything is Stolen
Hopefully you have filed a police report if your wallet was stolen. Show a copy of this to the TSA agent, and they will be more likely to understand and accommodate you.
Ask to See a Supervisor
Some of the security agents might hassle you a bit. Others might feel they don’t have the authority to allow you onto the plane. Make sure you speak with a supervisor and explain your situation.
The supervisor will ask you to sign a TSL 44 form that authorizes them to look over your social security records. At this time you will be required to answer a series of control questions which will prove your identity.
Be Prepared for a Thorough Security Screening
You may be forced to undergo a much more thorough screening to make it through security and onto your flight. A TSA agent may need to go through your bags item by item, while a second agent pats you down. Make sure that you are prepared for such a screening in case the TSA supervisor deems it necessary.
Allow plenty of time at the airport
Obviously, all of the above can take much longer than it normally takes to get through the TSA security lines. Plan to arrive at the airport with lots of extra time before your flight. Worrying about being late for your flight will only make the experience more stressful. It’s much nicer to be able to relax with a coffee after making it through security.
Getting on a plane without a valid form of identification can be very stressful, but it is possible. Make sure that you are prepared for the procedure. The most important thing is to stay calm and don’t do anything that would make the agents uncomfortable.
Kalen is a travel writer. He shares blog articles on shopping in Hong Kong and other cities throughout the world.