Did You Know This Fact About TSA Pre-Check?

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I love TSA Pre-Check, it really speeds up my travel time and is very convenient! As I was traveling this morning, I approached TSA Pre-Check as usual. But, since I recently moved, I only had available to me a temporary issued State Drivers license (in paper form.) I was informed by the agent checking IDs that she wasn’t sure that I could go through with a paper id. What?!

Did You Know This Fact About TSA Pre-Check?

After calling over the supervisor, he agreed that I would not be allowed to clear security via the TSA Pre Check line with a paper ID. He said that I would have to get out of the Pre-Check line and go through regular screening. When I asked the supervisor why I couldn’t use my temporary id, as it was government issued he said, “Don’t ask me; I don’t make the rules, Congress does.” LOL.

So, apparently this is something to keep in mind. It is certainly not the end of the world having to go through regular screening, but if you find yourself with only a paper (temporary ID) and need to fly you might want to bring another form of identification to clear through Pre-Check.

Did You Know This Fact About TSA Pre-Check?

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Bottom Line 

I couldn’t find an official word from TSA Pre-Check on this limitation of paper ids however, it is good to note that if you find yourself in a similar situation you should come prepared with a second form of ID to save yourself some time sand frustration. Happy travels!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. This right from the TSA website:

    Adult passengers 18 and over must show valid identification at the airport checkpoint in order to travel.

    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
    ID requirements at the checkpoint will change beginning Jan. 22, 2018. Learn about REAL ID, read the FAQ or factsheet.

    A weapon permit is not an acceptable form of identification. A temporary driver’s license is not an acceptable form of identification.

    So, clearly TSA does indeed say that temporary driver’s licenses are not an acceptable form of ID. You won’t find it under the PreCheck tab but, interestingly enough, you will find it under the one marked “Identification.” under the “Security Screening” tab. TSA PreCheck is an expedited form of security screening so all ID requirements must still be met. Since a paper license was used in this case, TSA had to do additional checking to verify the identity of the traveler so that would take them right out of the “expedited” checkpoint and into the one with all the commoners. Even if identity is finally verified, one could still find themselves subjected to a much more thorough search before being cleared. And if TSA can’t verify your identity – well, it’s safe to say you won’t be flying that day.

  2. This is why I always use my Global Entry card, not my state-issued ID. It may throw off the local TSA agents not used to seeing it, but its the safest option, really.

  3. How is something that may “throw off” TSA agents the safest thing? You’d rather wait while they verify it? Congratulations on having Global Entry and trying to impress the TSA guy.

  4. Yeah, sure. Bragging? It’s more about consistency, really. And the TSA agents here in Hawaii get thrown off because they’re used to primarily dealing with Hawaii-issued IDs. I’d rather wait the extra five seconds it takes for them to read over the entire card than risk the issue explained in this post. Especially since Hawaii IDs aren’t exactly the most robust… The security film comes off quite easily. And it’s the same issue you’d face at an airport not used to regularly dealing with your state-issued ID.

  5. So which ID throws the TSA off? Don’t answer that, I’ll gladly wait in line behind you while you show everything but what they’d expect you to. Have a NEXUS card by chance?

  6. I use my Global Entry card in airports instead of my driver’s license. Lost my license once, which is problematic; would rather risk losing the Global Entry card.

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