You Don’t Need ID to Fly

by on September 6, 2007 · 6 comments

At Burning Man last week, I came across a young fellow whose backpack had been stolen – with it, his ID, car keys, and credit cards. Among his stresses was getting on a plane to return home without ID. I explained to him that the TSA doesn’t require you to show ID, they just pretend to require it, and I told him about the Great No-ID Airport Challenge. Even the local sheriff who took the report on the theft didn’t know what the TSA’s rules were.

Happily, Chris Soghoian has been bird-dogging the no-ID issue through the auspices of Senator John Warner’s office. He has finally received written confirmation from the Transportation Security Administration that people are not required to show ID at the airport. (His discussion here.)

I also explained to the stressed young man that merchants and his credit card association would absorb the liability for wrongful use of his credit cards. His remaining problem was conjuring car keys from Reno out to the Black Rock Desert. Now that’s a tough one.

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