Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Traveling to Tahoe without a Driver's License

View from our room This past weekend, I had quite the adventure traveling to Lake Tahoe. On Thursday night, I flew into Denver from LA and had a busy night tidying up loose ends. After 3 hours of sleep and a late start, I was on my way to DIA early Friday morning. As I was approaching the parking garage, the lights went on in my review mirror.

When the cop asked me for my license and registration, I opened my wallet and felt my heart sink.

My driver's license was missing.

I quickly realized I left it in my pants the night before and explained this to the officer. Luckily, I found my birth certificate in my car's console and was able to show him that. He still wasn't convinced. Then he looked at my coat and said "What about your ski pass?" It had a picture on it and seemed to satisfy his identification criteria.

The cop then asked me why I was speeding (63 in a 45) and I politely explained my flight was departing in 30 minutes and I was hoping to make it. He said, "You won't make it. They won't let you check-in." I said I checked in online. He seemed to know this might work and quickly filled out the rest of my ticket. At this point, I didn't think it was possible to make my flight. I felt defeated and dreaded waiting all day until the next Frontier flight to Sacramento.

I arrived at the counter (to check-in my skis) 20 minutes before the flight was scheduled for departure. Frontier was awesome - they checked in my bags and sent me on my way as fast as they could. TSA wasn't too bad; I just had to go through the extra screening. Of course, I had to run all the way through Terminal A to make my flight on time.

While taxiing to the runway, I reflected on how awesome it was that I was utterly defeated 30 minutes prior and how the good people of Frontier Airlines made it all possible. Of course, when I arrived in Sacramento, my adventures continued with late baggage and rental car issues.

The good news is it all worked out in the end and I had a great weekend of skiing at Heavenly and Kirkwood. The snow wasn't great, but we skied in t-shirts all weekend. The Tahoe Trip seems to have become an annual tradition. Next year I'll make sure and bring my license. ;-)

Posted in General at Jan 22 2009, 04:09:27 PM MST 7 Comments

how do they let you board a plane without a government id? I have issues even with them

Posted by Carlos Sanchez on January 23, 2009 at 01:43 AM MST #

I'm also curious to know how you managed to get past TSA without ID (I doubt that they would be satisfied with a ski pass)...

Posted by Patrick Peralta on January 23, 2009 at 01:47 PM MST #

Having a boarding pass helps a lot in convincing TSA who you are. The rest was my credit cards and pictures of my kids. More than anything, I think I just got lucky.

Posted by Matt Raible on January 23, 2009 at 02:59 PM MST #

So, if you steal somebody else bag, with their wallet and the boarding pass, and have pictures with you and kids you can do whatever you want? then they'll make you take your shoes off for "security"

Posted by Carlos Sanchez on January 23, 2009 at 08:13 PM MST #

You can fly without photo are just subjected to more scrutiny. I've accidentally flown on expired credentials and didn't find too much extra hassle. The real miracle is that Frontier let you check bags that close to take off. Frontier screwed me over in December for this very scenario. We were literally 2 minutes past the official time and they wouldn't take us.

Posted by Mark Mascolino on January 25, 2009 at 04:40 PM MST #

And not forget to mention that nice police officer! Such a thing surely never happens to me, not in America, and certainly not in Norway!

Posted by Arne on January 28, 2009 at 05:50 AM MST #

Indeed, I've gotten away with flying without photo I.D. I think it depends on who's checking you and what kind of day they're having.

Posted by repossed cars on November 11, 2010 at 05:57 PM MST #

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