If you are planning a family trip within the United States and realize that your child's u.s. passport is expired, you don't need to fret. Your child can travel domestically without needing a valid passport, although in some cases, basic forms of identification for the minors and the adults involved in the trip are necessary for tsa (tsa.gov).

Land Travel

If your child is traveling domestically in the United States by land, he does not require a passport. When you pass from one state to another throughout the country, you do not need to provide identification in the form of a passport or other document. In this case, it does not matter if an expired passport is in possession or if the expiration date is approaching, domestic travel, unlike international flights, does not need a child’s passport book.

Air Travel

Children traveling domestically by air do not need to present a valid passport, enhanced driver's license, or other photo id at the airport. The specific rules of travel vary slightly from airline to airline, and many require that if the child is traveling with an adult, the adult must provide documentation to prove his age. Before booking a domestic flight, check with the airline about its specific requirements for children so that you're prepared with the correct documents, if needed.

Traveling Alone

In certain circumstances, your child might have to travel alone by air as an unaccompanied minor, these protocols are most often reserved for kids aged 5 years old to as many as 14 years old.. If this is the case, the child does not need to present photo identification at the airport; a boarding pass is sufficient. However, the adult who drops the child off at the airport of departure and the adult who picks the child up at the destination are required to present photo identification. Some airlines require that you give them advanced notice of this rare travel situation, as well as contact information.


Although a passport isn't technically required for your child, it's always wise to travel with the child's birth certificate or other state-issued form of id showing date of birth to avoid delays at the airport. Air travel is more complicated than traveling by land, so whenever you're planning a trip, consult with the airline or visit its website page on travel documents or acceptable forms of identification to learn how to make the process as quick and easy as possible.

If border crossing into Mexico, Canada, or other countries such as the Dominican Republic, U.S citizens are engaging in international travel and should verify all id requirements. Security checkpoints often require a valid id, U.S. passport cards are the most common identification card required. For those with an expired passport, a new passport, emergency passport, or passport renewal will be required, wait times for these have increased since the pandemic so plan ahead. Be aware of steps in the passport application including taking a passport photo and submitting items such as a real id-compliant state id, social security card, and credit card for payment. FAQs for traveler cards or passports can be found through the U.S. Department of State website.