Here’s a new one for you, new as in “it’s a new rule since last week” (exact quote from a TSA agent in Detroit this morning). When you show your ID at the security checkpoint you must now take it out of any holder. So, if your Drivers License is in your wallet, even if fully visible and legible, you have to actually remove it. The TSA agent won’t necessarily take it from you to look at it, they won’t scan the magnetic strip on it, they won’t do anything different at all – they’ll look at it just as they did before. They’ll just wait while you take it out and put it back – it’s the new rule I was told (even though there is no update posted about it on the TSA web site). And so, after I put my Drivers License away, I stood for a few minutes and watched lots of people fumble with their wallets.
I feel safer already!

20 thoughts

  1. Ben – I’m not one for government bureaucracy, but to be fair, the TSA is there for a reason.
    Now, if I have to remove my ID and hand it to a bouncer to get into a bar/night club, I can’t see the problem with making it a requirement to get onto a plane.
    The guys mistake was trying to make up an excuse for you to do so. It just seems like common sense to me. There are far sillier things that the TSA does, like pulling over gray haired old ladies for "extra screening" (seen that before).
    Cheers,
    Davo

  2. These so called saftey measures are there only to provide a false sense of security and to make the "average" person think they are actually making the planes safer by making it inconvenient to board a plane. If you read the all the reports most, if not all, say that you are no safer now than you were before, just more inconvenienced.

  3. I’ve had to do that for a while – but only because the date on my driver’s license has expired and LA fixes this by sending a sticker you put on the back of it. So they always have to flip mine over to see that it hasn’t expired.

  4. Like David said, I have to do that at bars and if ever asked by a cop so it’s not surprising TSA is asking for it, I’m just kind of surprised it hasn’t before.

  5. I’d feel pretty warm and fuzzy about that stuff if I didn’t read reports of various gov’t agencies still ‘testing’ security by smuggling various bad items through TSA. They can check my license but can’t find bomb parts stuffed in someone’s luggage.
    Note to self: don’t sit next to Aaron on the plane 🙂

  6. Oh, don’t get me wrong. The TSA has a purpose, and I fully support any and all measures that would truly make the flying public safer. It’s the petty, the inexplicable, the inconsistent, the nonsensical, and the arbitrary, that bugs me.
    — Ben

  7. I guess what taking your drivers licence out of your wallet accomplishes is showing that it is a real, solid drivers licence and not a reasonable quality photocopy stuck behind a plastic cover. While slightly annoying, I can see that that is actually pretty sensible.

  8. Why? The 9/11 highjackers had real, state issued drivers licenses.
    And as Ben mentioned its not like they are performing any real check to make sure its legitimate.

  9. Back in 2004 me and my boss went to New York City from Washington National Airport and we both checked in at the counter at the same time with the same teller. We were handed our boarding passes and went through security. There I gave them my id and boarding passe and they looked at both comparing for names. Once we got past the metal detectors I realized that I was given my bosses boarding tickets back at the checkin counter. This would mean that when the guy looked at both my boarding pass and id there were two different names on them. Yes, this is the kinda of security that unfortunately gives me a sense that it’s not a matter of if but when something like 9/11 is going to happen.

  10. I added the "remove ID" step to my airport workflow a while back. What kills me is the variable where some airports want you to keep your boarding pass out for re-inspection after you go through the metal detectors, while others don’t care. Some airports had the same mixed message with shoes for a while. Now they all seem to require shoes be removed.
    I don’t so much care what the rules are, I’d really just like them to be consistent.

  11. Here’s my favorite, the RJ’s (Pinnacle, you know them well Ben) are being real pains with carry-on. They forced me to check my camera (Canon EOS Digital) at the plane. The flight attendants don’t even know the rules. I’m printing them out for the next time I fly.

  12. I know they have a purpose and some of their rules make sence but htis one doesn’t make me feel any safer! But if they want to see my liscence-no problem!

  13. For all the funding they are recieving, they have to appear to be doing everything possible to secure your safety. If that means using some idiotic security measure thought up by some idiot, then so be it. Frankly I think people in general are generally all idiots, except for me, oh and my wife 😉
    I know why they do this, but I don’t know why anyone would think this would be effective. Maybe some stupid minor at one time actually tried just glueing a number over his birth year to get into a club, but I highly doubt a terrorist would be so dumb. Don’t tell anyone, but I altered my ID when I was 19 to get into clubs, but in a way that was permenant and fixed under the laminate. Surely anyone else can do the same.
    Its amazing how people follow mob rule. If more than one person, especially if they have authority, says something is so, everyone follows without question. A group of people can not stand unified on logic alone, they need validation and leadership, even if by a leader who is wrong and in opposition of their common sense. Look at all the religions for the biggest example. There you will find the reason for stupidity such as you experienced at the TSA.

  14. If they can keep the delay time to a minimum they can look at my drivers license, my passport, my websites, my mother’s myspace, or whatever. I believe seeing the driver’s license itself is secondary, they are probably gaging reaction or looking for some other sign. A friend of mine works for TSA and calls it Ten Standing Around…checking a license is more than standing around.

  15. That’s a new rule? Since 9/11/2001, I have always just automatically taken my id out of it’s covering, My first flight after 9/11 was out of John Wayne Airport(SNA) and they made me take it out so I’ve been doing it ever since.

  16. Taking an ID out of your wallet ensures that it is not a sorry excuse for attempting to fake a legitimate government issues ID, but with technology these days and connections that people have, I believe it is not that difficult to make a "fake" ID falling under all the necessary parameters and it being distinguished from the real thing. Therefore in making an effot to truly keep us away from harm, I think much more effort has to be established.
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  17. Posted by Kevin: "They forced me to check my camera (Canon EOS Digital) at the plane."
    I was flying with my video camera, digital fuji camera, and laptop. The gate agent came by and said that anything that was a briefcase size or larger would have to be checked at the gate because they did not have enough weight in the tail cargo section of the aircraft.
    She came by and told me I would have to check my bag with the cameras and laptop. I told her no. I then calmly explained that I worked as grounds crew for 3 major airlines when I was in college and that the policy was to use sandbags in any cargo areas that were short on weight and that her grounds crew were being lazy since I could see a cargo cart full of sandbags outside for that very reason. She threatened to have the TSA force me to check my bags due to FAA regulations.
    I explained that the rules that were posted stated that if the bags fit in the overhead bins we are allowed to carry them on board.
    I finally won when I asked her for her name and employee number in case any equipment was damaged or lost. I am surprised I got to fly that day, but I got home.

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