Clancy lost her drivers license and we’re set to get on a plane tomorrow. So I want to repeat this complaint:

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.

Because we have straightforwardly accurate identification in the form of old drivers’ licenses. Contrary to the title of this post, she did not actually cease being herself. Her address changed (she can provide proof of address, if that matters), and she is no longer eligible to drive under the license in Arapaho. But her identity? Hasn’t changed.

The only danger here is that by allowing expired drivers licenses, a terrorist or something could get a hold of someone’s DL that they look vaguely like. Since it’s an old license, the previous person may not notice. So there is a slightly elevated risk, I suppose. But get real. First of all, that sort of thing could happen anyway because not all expired licenses have the hole punched.

It was a positive development when DMV’s started allowing us to keep old DL’s with a hole punched in them precisely for the reason that the TSA is rejecting here. Apart from the ability to drive, or the address on the license, it’s helpful to be able to identify that you are a person and you are this person.

Clancy is going to get another copy of her license. She may or may not get the physical license today. If she gets a temporary one, the TSA will probably allow that. They have in the past. Which only adds to the ridiculousness. Temporary licenses are easier to forge and the pictures on them are less identifiable, then her no-longer-valid Arapaho license.

Category: Road

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