A few years back, I misplaced my license while in Washington, D.C. for a wedding. Little did I know that I didn’t have to take a bus back to New York; I apparently could have just shown my Costco card.
KPIX-TV in California decided to see exactly what was needed to get through airport security when a passenger doesn’t have his or her government-issued photo ID available.
So a producer went undercover at airports in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, each time without any government-issued ID. All the producer needed to get through was a student ID and some credit cards. TSA agents at both San Francisco and Oakland actually suggested the Costco card as possible alternative.“Its about validating who you are so if it’s a library card or a Costco card or a school ID, they are all not forms of government identification, but at least it is something that is printed with your name on it,” a TSA rep explains about the agency’s flexibility on the photo ID issue, adding that those without government-issued ID should expect a secondary screening — like being subject to a swab test or further inspection of carry-on bags.
However, the KPIX producer says the only time she experienced anything resembling a secondary inspection is when — during her second time through the Oakland airport — she was made to answer some additional questions.