If you are planning a family trip within the United States and realize that your child'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 child and the adults involved in the trip are necessary.

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 the passport is expired, as it is not needed.

Air Travel

Children traveling domestically by air do not need to present a valid passport 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. 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 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 to learn how to make the process as quick and easy as possible.