For once, I won’t go into the entire story, but the four day adventure of my trip back to Genesis actually got started the night before, when I determined that I was not going to be able to get my wallet in time. No wallet, no ID.

I also could not locate my passport book or passport card, which made matters worse. What I could find, however, were three expired drivers licenses (Cascadia, Estacado, and Deseret) and my expired passport.

In a sane world, that would have been enough. The point of having identification at the airport is not to make sure that you have your papers in order (unless you’re leaving the country). The point of having identification at the airport is to ascertain or validate your identity.

Your driver’s license or passport need not be current in order to do this. It could have expired yesterday. It could have a hole punched through it because you relocated. You did not cease to be who you were when you got a new license or a new passport.

Granted, if you’re talking about identification that is fifteen years old, maybe the license isn’t the best way to ascertain your identity. But two of the three licenses I had would have been valid had it not been for a relocation.

Fortunately, I found my current passport book. Mom pestered me a great deal to get it renewed last year and I owe her some gratitude because I wouldn’t have had it had she not been such a pain about it.

Anyhow, even this only got me so far. The guy at the airport demanded another form of identification after I handed him the passport. Even though the passport is every bit as valid as the driver’s license that was missing. He decided to quiz me on the contents of the passport and let me through. I got the feeling he was expecting a “thank you” for letting me fly.

I wanted to say, “Dude, I had a ticket and valid identification. You are supposed to let me fly.”

I fear that at that point, he would have found a reason not to. But seriously, if the TSA is not going to follow the list of acceptable identification, why bother having a list?. (And beyond that, what logical reason is there to fear someone with a passport compared to a driver’s license? As far as national security goes, it is much more important that we be able to have faith in the legitimacy of a passport than in the legitimacy of a driver’s license.

Category: Road

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