D.C. License Not Seen as Valid Identification by TSA

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By: Victoria Jones
DC License
D.C. residents are finding that getting on an airplane can be troubling now that the Transportation Security Administration does not find their District of Columbia license to be a valid form of identification.

Multiple D.C. residents have been asked to provide a second form of identification while boarding an airplane this year, because TSA agents have told them that their D.C. licenses were not familiar to airport security workers.

District Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton plans on resolving this issue by announcing this Tuesday that she will soon meet with members of the Transportation Security Administration to discuss the problem.

Holmes Norton has publicly criticized the TSA’s rule that requires a “state-issued ID”, which therefore technically omits Washington, D.C. Issues such as this gives another reason as to why some people believe Washington, D.C. should be considered as the country’s 51st state.

“We may not be a State and we may not have a vote in Congress, but we pay taxes to the United States,” Holmes Norton said in a press release about the issue. “At the very least we should be recognized by our own Transportation Security Administration and by each and every state and locality.”

There have already been three highly-publicized cases this year on D.C. residents not being able to use their licenses as a form of ID.

In mid-July, WFTV Correspondent and D.C. resident, Justin Gray, announced via Twitter that a TSA agent did not recognize his D.C. license at an Orlando airport. In February, D.C. teacher Ashley Brandt was help up briefly at an Arizona airport after a TSA agent was unsure whether to recognize her license.

Last month, another similar situation happened when D.C. resident Travis Mitchell was not allowed to buy alcohol at a New Hampshire liquor store after the owner state that the state’s laws required identification from one of the country’s 50 states or from Canadian provinces.

After the incident, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan tweeted that she would look into the state’s liquor laws and try to fix them.

Holmes Norton said she is appreciative for the “immediate action” taken by the governor and that the New Hampshire Liquor Commission issued a statement saying that D.C. driver’s licenses are acceptable.

Holmes Norton is also pleased that the TSA is taking action after she raised her concerns with them. While a date for Norton’s meeting with TSA officials has not been announced, she says she is “looking forward to a sit-down meeting … to find a permanent solution to this problem.”

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