Can You Get On A Plane With An Expired Id

You’re at the airport, ticket in hand, but your ID just expired. Panic sets in — will you still be able to take that all-important flight? According to TSA rules, there’s a grace period for recently expired IDs; they can’t be more than 12 months out of date.

Don’t worry though! Our guide is here to navigate you through the alternatives and tips, ensuring that your travel plans aren’t grounded by an old ID card. Keep reading – help’s on the way!

Key Takeaways

  • TSA lets you use an expired ID for up to one year after it expires but only for flights within the US.
  • You can bring other IDs like a passport card or credit cards if your main ID is out of date.
  • Arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights if you’re flying with an expired ID to allow time for extra screening.
  • Be ready to answer personal questions and go through identity verification with TSA officers.
  • Always follow TSA procedures and have other documents ready to help prove your identity.

TSA Rules and Regulations for Expired IDs

A collection of travel essentials and documents arranged on a table for a trip, including passport, boarding pass, and credit card.

TSA understands that sometimes IDs expire. They allow travelers to use an expired ID for up to one year after the expiration date. This helps if you haven’t had time to renew your license or passport.

Keep in mind, however, this only works for domestic flights within the US.

Expired IDs can mean more checks. The TSA officer may ask you for extra documents with your name and information. These could be a credit card, a social media profile, or mail with your address on it.

You might go through an identity verification process which involves answering questions about yourself. This is where TDCS (Travel Document Checker System) comes into play – they make sure you are who you say you are without peeking at private details like your social security number! Always show up early if flying with an expired ID; it gives time for all these extra steps so you won’t miss your flight!

Alternatives and Tips for Flying with an Expired ID:

A traveler's desk with a boarding pass and expired ID, set in a bustling airport atmosphere.

If you find yourself at the airport clutching an expired ID, don’t let panic set in just yet—there are still avenues to board that plane. It’s all about knowing the right alternatives and having a game plan; here’s where your adaptability pays off, turning potential stress into a smooth takeoff.

Bring other forms of identification

A person holding travel documents in front of a TSA security checkpoint in a bustling city.

Having an expired ID at the airport security checkpoint can be stressful. But don’t worry, you have options! Make sure to bring other forms of identification with you. These can include a passport card, credit cards, or anything else that shows your name and photo.

Even library cards or local gym memberships might help.

The TSA may ask for two secondary IDs if your main one is out of date. Your backup IDs should show things like your address, phone number, and birthdate. Keep these items handy as they will help confirm who you are.

The TSA officer will look at what you provide and may use different ways to check your identity. Remember to pack any documents that prove who you are to avoid delays during screening!

Arrive early for extra screening

Neatly arranged travel essentials on an airport security conveyor belt in a bustling atmosphere.

Make sure to get to the airport ahead of time if your ID has expired. The TSA advises showing up at least two hours before your flight takes off. This gives you plenty of time for any extra screening you might need without rushing.

Extra screening can take a while, and you don’t want to miss your plane because you were late.

Getting there early helps you stay calm during the process too. You’ll have time to pull out other forms of identification if needed. Be ready with your boarding pass and any travel documents, like a passport or military ID, that prove who you are.

Taking these steps will make your trip through security smoother and quicker.

Be prepared to answer additional questions

A TSA officer inspecting a passport and boarding pass at the airport security checkpoint.

Expect the TSA to ask you more questions if your ID is expired. They need to make sure you are who you say you are. You might have to answer personal details like your address or recent travel history.

Stay calm and understand this is for everyone’s safety.

You could also go through an identity verification process with a TSA officer. This will take longer, so be patient. Have other forms of identification ready, just in case they ask for them.

These can help prove who you are and speed up the screening time.

Remember to follow all TSA procedures and respect their guidelines during this extra step in security clearance. Your cooperation helps everything go smoothly and keeps travel safe for everyone.

Follow TSA procedures and guidelines

A busy airport security checkpoint with travelers and neatly organized belongings.

Stick to TSA rules to make your trip smoother. If your ID has expired, they may ask for more proof of who you are. You might need things like a credit card or a birth certificate. Listen carefully and be honest with the TSA officers.

They’re there to help keep everyone safe on their journey.

Keep calm and have patience during extra screening if your ID isn’t up-to-date. The TSA agents will guide you through the process. Have all your documents ready to show them quickly.

This helps speed up the process for you and other travelers too!


A traveler with multiple forms of identification passing through airport security in a bustling atmosphere.

Flying can be stressful, especially if your ID is expired. But don’t worry – with the right preparation, you may still catch your flight! Just remember to pack extra forms of identification and give yourself plenty of time for security checks.

Answer any questions from TSA officers honestly and calmly. Following these tips will help smooth out the bumps on your way to the skies. Safe travels!

If you’re traveling with family and wondering about the best time to fly with little ones, learn more by reading our guide on when babies can travel by plane.


1. What happens if I try to board a plane with an expired ID?

If you arrive at the airport with an expired ID, the TSA may ask you to provide additional information to verify your identity. It’s important, though, to bring valid travel documentation whenever possible.

2. Can I use any other forms of identification if my driver’s license has expired?

Yes – even if your driver’s license expires, other identification cards like a passport or military ID might be acceptable under the Real ID Act for boarding planes.

3. Will the TSA ever make exceptions for travelers without valid IDs?

In some cases, yes; the TSA understands life happens! They have procedures for such situations and may allow you through after confirming your identity through other means outlined in their privacy policy.

4. What steps should I take if my state-issued ID isn’t considered a REAL ID?

Before traveling by air, check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles about upgrading to a REAL ID-compliant card; this will ensure smoother travels due to stricter security measures.