When planning a trip, the last thing you want to forget is your identification, not just your boarding pass. Bringing the right form of ID to the airport ensures you don't miss your plane and that you get through the tsa security checkpoints with minimum fuss. The Transportation Security Administration issues a detailed list of the allowed forms of identification and id requirements depending on where you are traveling to, your age and your U.S. residency status.

State Issued ID

State identification cards include driver's licenses from the department of motor vehicles, state photo IDs or enhanced driver's licenses.‌ These acceptable forms of identification must include a photograph, have your date of birth, and be current. All states issue identification that is compliant with federal security protocol for air travel. These forms of identification are sufficient for domestic flights, not global entry. Canadian provincial driver's licenses are also allowed identification for travel within the U.S. although you might need additional screening at airport security.


A U.S. passport or foreign passport is necessary for traveling abroad.‌ It must be current and contain a photograph of the passport holder. Both adults and children must have a passport to travel abroad. A government-issued passport card is not necessary for travel within the U.S. for foreign travelers if they have a permanent resident alien card. Although it is only necessary for international travel, you can also use a passport for travel within the U.S. if you don't have other forms of ID available.

Immigration Documents

Immigration documents and identification cards are allowed for both international and national air travel.‌ Allowed identification documents include resident alien cards, border crossing cards, permanent resident cards, and passports from a foreign country. Other ID options are DHS travel documents, an ADIT stamp or an emergency travel document issued by a U.S. or foreign consulate for emergency travel reasons.

Other Forms of ID

Certain forms of ID are allowed depending on the background of the traveler.‌ A current military id or merchant mariner ID card is allowed for both U.S. and foreign travel. A NEXUS card, issued by Canadian or U.S. border authorities, allows Canadian and U.S. travelers passage between those two countries only. Native American tribal IDs can be used instead of state issued IDs for U.S. travel.

Children's Identification

All international flights require a valid passport or other acceptable form of id, regardless of the age of the traveler. minors do not require photo identification when traveling with an adult guardian, although it's advised they still carry some form. Teens 15 to 17 do require identification for traveling alone. A school ID, library card, Social Security card, birth certificate, state driver’s license, or an organization ID all suffice, as do the allowed identification forms for an adult, such as a state ID. Children younger than 14 do not require identification when traveling alone.