Airport security is insane these days, most of the time you're asked to show some kind of identification at least four or five times before you get on to your flight. What you may not be aware of is that you don't legally have to produce an ID in order to fly. If you break out the FAA's Security Directive 96-05 you will see the following-
1. IDENTIFY THE PASSENGER -
A. ALL PASSENGERS WHO APPEAR TO BE 18 YEARS OF AGE WILL PRESENT A GOVERNMENT ISSUED PICTURE ID, OR TWO OTHER FORMS OF ID, AT LEAST ONE OF WHICH MUST BE ISSUED BY A GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY.
B. THE AGENT MUST RECONCILE THE NAME ON THE ID AND THE NAME ON THE TICKET -- EXCEPT AS NOTED BELOW.
C. IF THE PASSENGER CANNOT PRODUCE IDENTIFICATION, OR IT CANNOT BE RECONCILED TO MATCH THE TICKET, THE PASSENGER BECOMES A "SELECTEE." CLEAR ALL OF THEIR LUGGAGE AS NOTED IN SECTION 6, BELOW.
6. CLEAR SELECTEE'S CHECKED AND CARRY-ON LUGGAGE, AND SUSPICIOUS ARTICLES DISCOVERED BY THE QUESTIONS ASKED;
A. IF THE SELECTEE IS ON A FLIGHT WITHIN THE 48 CONTINENTAL US STATES, OR TO MEXICO, OR TO CANADA, ITEMS CAN BE CLEARED BY EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING METHODS:
1. EMPTY THE LUGGAGE OR ITEM AND PHYSICALLY SEARCH ITS CONTENTS BY A QUALIFIED SCREENER, OR;
2. BAG-MATCH -- ENSURE THE BAG IS NOT TRANSPORTED ON THE AIRCRAFT IF THE PASSENGER DOES NOT BOARD.
B. IF THE SELECTEE IS ON AN INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT -- CHECKED LUGGAGE, CARRY-ON LUGGAGE, AND SUSPECT ITEMS CAN BE CLEARED ONLY BY THE FOLLOWING METHOD; EMPTY THE LUGGAGE OR ITEM AND PHYSICALLY SEARCH ITS CONTENTS BY QUALIFIED SCREENERS.
Basically, even though we keep hearing that "it's the law," the truth is, it isn't. Whether or not it's worth it to you to deal with the hassle of airport security in order to preserve a little personal freedom is up to you, but the law is on your side.
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