Perhaps TSA isn’t your favourite government agency, and for most people that fly very often, probably somewhat further down that list. However, you have to love that they will work with you if you have lost or misplaced your government issued photo ID that is required to board a plane now. To be honest, I’m amazed that they will try to find a workaround for you at all and even more amazed that a Costco membership card will work for them.
But wait, Did you know that the identification that you use does not actually have to be issued by the government? That is not part of the mandate by federal law, nor does it even need to have a photo on it. I know, who knew, right? A television station in California (KPIX 5) decided to investigate the TSA identification procedures and found that you can use anything that can identify you with your name on it, such as a library card, utility bill, school ID, or even…..a Costco membership card. They just need it to be something with your name printed on it. However, without official government identification, be prepared for a secondary screening, which could include swab tests and inspection of your carry-on luggage.
Someone from the KPIX 5 team tested out the non-government id rule at three different airports in California: San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. She was let through by showing a school ID and personal credit cards. At San Francisco and Oakland airports, she was actually asked by TSA agents whether she had a Costco card that she could show them. How weird/funny is that? What is kind of amazing though, is she tried to get through the Oakland airport screening a second time, without any wallet or form of identification whatsoever, and after a 20 minute question and answer session with a TSA agent was allowed through to her flight. I wonder what kind of questions they asked.
So, not only is your Costco membership card your gateway to great savings, but to the friendly skies as well.
For more information:
- KPIX 5, San Francisco CBS: Gov’t-Issued Identification Not Needed To Pass Through TSA Security
- Consumerist: Lost Your License Or Passport? Airport Security Will Accept A Costco Card