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We all know the drill when flying: you go to security, stand in line, and then a TSA agent asks to see your ID. What you may have taken for granted is that the agent looking at your identification has some clue about various IDs and whether or not they may be for places that are actually parts of the United States.
Justin Gray, a reporter living in Washington D.C., recently traveled through Orlando International Airport. He was stopped on his way through security because the agent did not only not recognize an ID from our nation’s capital, but also did not recognize the existence of said capital.
When Gray handed the man his driver’s license the agent demanded to see Gray’s passport.
Gray told the agent he wasn’t carrying his passport and asked why he needed it.
The agent said he didn’t recognize the license.
Gray said he asked the agent if he knew what the District of Columbia is, and after a brief conversation Gray realized the man did not know.
Gray was able to get through security and then stopped to complain to a TSA supervisor.
I guess the lesson here is that it’s not a terrible idea to have a backup form of identification with you when you travel, though it should never come to that. One would hope that the people entrusted with keeping air travelers safe might have some clue when it comes to identifying real documents (or portions of the country), but that might be too much to expect from the TSA.
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