TSA clerk doesn’t recognize DC driver’s license

Stupidity
TSA Worker: But D.C. Isn’t A State! (or You Shouldn’t Miss Your Plane Because The TSA Hires The Clueless)

But that’s what might’ve happened to a woman with a District of Columbia license — you know, from our nation’s capital. They issue licenses same as all the states — with a driver’s test and requiring proof of who you are. Residents don’t just get them out of Crackerjack boxes; really they don’t.

Aaron C. Davis writes in the WaPo about Ashley Brandt’s problem as she stood in the pretend security line at the airport after a trip to the Grand Canyon:

According to Brandt, an agent with the Transportation Security Administration took a look at her D.C. license and began to shake her head. “I don’t know if we can accept these,” Brandt recalled the agent saying. “Do you have a U.S. passport?’ Brandt was dumbfounded, and quickly grew a little scared. A manager was summoned, she says. “I started thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to get home. Am I going to get home?’ ”

. . . But the implication from the TSA agent seemed clear to Brandt: The District is not a state; TSA requires a state-issued ID to board a plane.

Never mind that Brandt had used her brand-new D.C. license, the one marked “District of Columbia” over a backdrop of cherry blossoms, to board her flight to Arizona days earlier.

Brandt says the agent yelled out to a supervisor, working in adjacent security line: “Are D.C. licenses valid identification?”

Brandt says she could hear the response, “Yeah, we accept those.”

“She didn’t seem to know that it was basically the same as a state ID,” said Brandt, who had only recently traded her Maryland ID for one from the District. “D.C. is obviously not a state, but I didn’t ever imagine it would be a problem — I mean, the whole population of D.C. has to use these.”

A comment below the piece:

observer9
Same thing happened to me at SFO, of all places.The young TSA officer wanted to see my passport because she thought my District of Columbia driver’s license somehow was from the nation of Colombia. When I explained to her that I lived in Washington, DC and asked her what the capital of the U-S might be – and where the White House was – she gave me a puzzled look. When I told her it was in Washington DC and I lived in the same city where the White House and the Capitol building are located, it seemed like a light when on in her head.

She called for a supervisor, and then said, “so, you’re from the state of Washington?”

The supervisor showed up a minute later and let me through.

Academy-Award-winning security theater.

What’s most amazing is that there are still citizens who believe the TSA is protecting us. (Protecting us from what, catching our plane?)

(Originally posted at Advice Goddess)

  • Lala

    Back in the days when you could visit the Caribbean w/a certified birth certificate, I had a customs agent ask for my passport because I was born in New Mexico. As in, ‘New Mexico, the U.S. state that borders Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and Colorado; our 47th state.’ We had to get a supervisor to okay my entrance to the U.S., because the agent didn’t believe that New Mexico was an American state. Unfortunately, the agent was not alone in his ignorance, and I’ve had more than a few people over the years ask me when I became a citizen…