TSA

TSA Agent Not Sure DC Driver's License Counts as Valid ID

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BillyPalooza/Flickr

Every year around Christmastime, some cousins, friends, and I partake in a bar crawl around our hometown. The first year, this included the local strip club (located behind the town's public library, because we're classy like that). But when we tried to return the following year, the elderly barmaid/bouncer refused to let me in. Everyone else she would allow, but she was certain it was illegal for Ohio drinking establishments to accept a Washington, D.C., driver's license as valid identification. And though we tried to reason with her—I had just come from the bar across the street, which seemed to find my ID perfectly acceptable—this lady was nothing doing. 

I bring this up because one might assume an official agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be smarter than your average 70-year-old barkeep at an Ohio strip club. But then one would assume wrong. In what is surely my favorite tale of TSA incompetence in recent memory, a TSA agent at the Phoenix airport didn't think that D.C. drivers' licenses counted as valid ID, owing to the fact that D.C. isn't a real state.

According to the Washington Post, D.C. resident Ashley Brandt was attempting to fly home last week when she ran into a little glitch going through security. After taking a look at her D.C. license, a TSA agent told her, "I don't know if we can accept these." Did Brandt perhaps have real identification, like a U.S. passport, with her?

"She didn't seem to know that it was basically the same as a state ID," Brandt told the Post. "The whole thing was kind of ridiculous and strange. Apparently in Arizona, they're not sure we're all right."

The befuddled agent called out to a manager, who assured her that, yes, the TSA does accept D.C. licenses as identification. Now if only someone could convince that bartender for me … 

(H/T Boing Boing

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  1. I’m surprised the manager admitted that the agent was wrong.

    1. Well it was late, the detention area was full of elderly people in wheelchairs, and the next plane to Guantanamo wasn’t leaving until the next morning.

  2. I am hovering over the picture, but I don’t see anything…

    1. If you had your passport handy, you could.

    2. You do know it’s the *cursor* that does the “hovering”, right? 😉

      1. I lose focus when it is missing.

      2. Well, I said a bad word when I saw no alt-text. Does that make me a cursor?

        1. A *blinking* cursor, probably.

        2. Well, I said a bad word when I saw no alt-text. Does that make me a cursor?

          If you said the bad word in anticipation of no alt-text you would be a “pre-cursor”.

    3. My alt-text submission:

      “Lego my nuts, bro!”

      1. They’re Playmobil (insert joke here)

        1. Yeah, I find it super creepy that this is a real playset. I’m guessing that parents like it because they can use it to prep their children for their first experience with the police state, but still creepy.

          I suspect that someday we may find that DHS money was funneled to the toy company.

      2. Just needs ta check ya’ blockhole, sir.

        1. This is how it is done ENB.

  3. one might assume an official agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be smarter than your average 70-year-old barkeep at an Ohio strip club.

    Elizabeth, kudos on remembering your audience. “*You* might assume ….” would have been inappropriate.

  4. The agent called out to a manager, who assured her that the TSA does accept D.C. licenses as identification.

    Well that was a letdown. Was expecting hilarious rape-scan, or at least gratifying dog-shooting.

    1. “Sorry, Sir, *I* am the Protector of Freedom here. I’ll have to see the written regulation.”

  5. “Oh, you’re from Vermont? What State is that in?”

    1. “Portland, Ma’am.”

      “OK. Next!”

    2. “Sorry sir, but we don’t accept Canadian driver’s licenses.”

      1. “They’re not even a real country anyway.”

  6. Not everyone has access to nor can they afford an ID. Let the lawsuits against the TSA begin posthaste!

    1. I am somewhat surprised this hasn’t really happened.

      1. Travel by air is a privilege, not a right. And it’s also no longer a contract between you and the airline either.

        1. Even so. “Why can they discriminate against poor minorities?!”

          1. Seriously, why hasn’t someone filed a public accommodation lawsuit against them stating that the driver’s license requirement is an undue burden? If it works for voter registration, it should certainly work for a public accommodation lawsuit.

            1. Why do I need a driver’s license to fly? I’m not driving. I’m flying. And I’m not even piloting the plane!

            2. Because if driving wasn’t a privilege, they couldn’t force you to give evidence against yourself in DUI cases.

    2. In Virginia the DMV issues free ID’s to non-drivers. This circumstance is often brought up during discussions of requiring voters to display ID. Inevitably the goalposts are shifted to how poor people can’t “access” the DMV because…something.

      1. Lack of public transportation!

  7. Why do you even need ID for a domestic flight? They check you for weapons and bombs and all. How does knowing your name help with security?

    1. It gets checked against the ‘violate now’ and ‘keep off the plane arbitrarily’ lists

      1. Yeah, my question was mostly rhetorical. Of course it is about control and the ability to track certain people. Any opportunity for making people identify themselves and to fuck with them without specific cause is good in the eyes of government officials. Can’t just have people moving freely around the country.

        1. Also, security theater. Don’t forget that.

    2. Step this way, sir =

      http://www.wired.com/politics/…..4/08/64599

      re: the mentioned Gilmore? No relation.

      1. Clearly since his name isn’t in all caps…

    3. If you say you lost your ID and answer a bunch of questions, they’re supposed to let you through without it. But you have to say you lost it, not that you’re just refusing to participate. Also they really fucking hate it.

      1. And you still have to identify yourself, which bugs me. I suppose Airlines have always wanted to have an accurate passenger manifest for various reasons, but this shit is spreading to trains and busses.
        You don’t have a right to privacy in public, but you damn well should have a right to anonymity.

  8. Your fault for residing in DC and having a DC ID.

    It is the city that should not be.

    1. It should be Washington City, Maryland

      Maryland Statists and DC Statists deserve each other.

      1. But nobody deserves to share the road with DC or Maryland drivers.

        1. They ought to just make Delmarva its own state and incorporate DC with it.

          And then they ought to flush it out to sea.

          1. Then where would US corporations incorporate? Does anything else happen in Delaware?

    2. Does the DC in Washington, DC stand for Dollar Collectors?

  9. Apparently in Arizona, they’re not sure we’re all right.

    I cannot speak for Arizona, but I am goddam good and certain D C’s not all right.

    1. *** rising intonation ***

      What about the DC lumberjacks?

    2. Mr T would like a word with you, sucka.

  10. I wouldn’t accept D.C. ID either.

    I’d be like, What? loser.

  11. Elizabeth N. Brown ?@enbrown ?3 hrs
    Reason commenters seem strangely OK w/public school teachers hitting students; say it’s not a libertarian issue. Huh?

    Elizabeth N. Brown ?@enbrown ?56 mins
    @PatrickAchtelik I know, but I’m new there, so I’m trying to get a feel for what the blog crowd is like

    We hit* young children… or did you not realize you answered your question before you even asked it.

    *insolent teens get pepper sprayed

    1. That was in response to a “Never read the comments” tweet.

      1. Thank you. I still don’t understand how the hell to follow discussion threads on Twitter.

        1. I was just mentioning that to my wife yesterday.

          FdA@Jordan@playa@Raston@Elizabeth Nolan Brown

          #whatthefuck?

        2. What the fuck is a “twitter”?

    2. Who is this Patrick n00b? He hasn’t been properly initiated yet.

      1. Reading comprehension fail. OK, who is this Elizabeth n00b. And who let the girl in?

        1. The author of the current article?

          Reason used to introduce their new writers, didn’t they? What happened to that, or am I misremembering?

    3. Who’s OK with public school teachers hitting kids?

      1. Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau?

        You did mean hitting on kids, right?

      2. Having read that thread, I’d like to say that a lot of the supposed libertarians commenting on there are fucked in the head, or traumatized from too many childhood beatings or something.
        Either you are against the initiation of violence or you aren’t. And where you stand on that pretty much determines whether or not you can accurately call yourself a libertarian.

        1. I had to abandon the thread because it was fucking with my head.

        2. Really? When it comes to children, I think there is some leeway into how and when they have consent and complete rights. And it’s not an initiation of violence, IMO, when the rules and penalties for breaking them are made clear…even if the penalty does involve physical punishment.

          By your logic (and please correct me if I’m wrong), imprisoning someone for committing a crime is an initiation of violence even if it is a punishment for wrongdoing.

          1. I support spanking inmates.

            1. I support being spanked by hot teachers.

          2. Teachers don’t get to imprison people for crimes either.

            I think parents should have a lot of leeway in disciplining their children. But that’s it. If parents want their children beaten, then they can do it themselves within reason. A parent has to be really seriously abusive before the state getting involved is preferable, but no one else has any excuse.

            I also find the implication that a lot of people made that violence is necessary to properly raise children and that things were so much better back in the day when everyone got regular beatings. Loads of people have raised children quite successfully without whooping their asses. Is the occasional smack on the butt a terrible form of abuse? No, but it is also not necessary and it is not at all clear whether it helps at all, personal anecdotes notwithstanding.
            There are a lot of things that were better in the past, but children being beaten more was not one of them.

            1. Teachers don’t get to imprison people for crimes either.

              What’s detention then?

              1. I don’t know if it is different now, but when I was in school, they couldn’t force you to detention. You’d get suspended if you didn’t go, but no one could use force to keep you there.

                1. “I don’t know if it is different now, but when I was in school, they couldn’t force you to detention. ”

                  So, you make a declaration about something you don’t know to be true, and can’t even be arsed to check to see if you’re right?

                  Let me help. Suspension is force, so your premise is wrong on its face, but these days, it’s worse, they arrest the parents and the kids if they don’t show.

                  You are as wrong about this as it is possible to be about anything.

                  1. And vefore you answer “no it isn’t”, what did they do when you refused to go to suspension?

                    Yeah, that’s why you’re wrong about it.

                    1. “go to suspension”? What does that even mean?
                      If you didn’t go to in-school suspension, you got out of school suspension. If you continue to fuck up, you get expelled. None of those things require force or violence (except in the case of the expelled or suspended student coming to school which is trespassing).

                      Get fucked, tired. Everyone else somehow managed to respond to me in a reasonable and respectful way. What do you want me to do? Call some schools and find out what their disciplinary policies are?

            2. I appreciate your thoughtful response but humbly disagree. Punishment is punishment, and when the punishment is made clear before the offense is committed then I believe it’s probably just UNLESS it involves inflicting real physical or psychological damage. Corporal punishment does neither of these to any scientifically measurable degree.

              And nobody on here is clamoring for the days when everybody was beaten…even if those “days” only exist in your mind. But there are some of us that do not mind the public schools maintaining discipline by way of light corporal punishment in lieu of detention/suspension because we don’t think those are effective deterrents to poor behavior.

              Also, look at my first comment on that thread. That should make crystal clear what my views are on compulsory public education, which is a much more serious matter than a teacher paddling my kid when he gets out of line after I gave her permission to do so (in my stead).

              1. Of course, compulsory public education is the biggest problem here.

                I will still maintain that public schools should never under any circumstances be allowed to use corporal punishment. I could perhaps be convinced that private schools who have explicit permission from the parents could use some light physical correction on occasion.

                And thanks for maintaining a thoughtful and civil discussion and not being a dick.

                1. I will still maintain that public schools should never under any circumstances be allowed to use corporal punishment. I could perhaps be convinced that private schools who have explicit permission from the parents could use some light physical correction on occasion.

                  I guess I look at it like this: I can afford to send my kids to private school, so if I for some reason allow them to go to public school, I would be OK if they used corporal punishment as corrective, assuming I gave permission for the teacher administering it. But, I would only allow it if the rules were given along with the consequences so that my children knew what their actions could result in.

                  I don’t know, man. I was never beaten as a kid, but I was spanked and chased more than once with a belt or switch. I turned out just fine* and I think that type of system will work fine for my kids. And I had a spanking policy for my two older ones…and I think I spanked each of them exactly one time.

    4. Your contempt for us lowly commenters is noted, Liz.

      1. Not contemptuous! Intimidated, perhaps.

        1. Intimidated, perhaps.

          Probably not the worst response. It’s a bit like double-dutch you really just have to jump right into the fray.

        2. Give us alt-text, and we will behave.

          1. Ha, don’t make promises the commentariat can’t keep, CPA.

        3. We won’t behave, but we really are a pretty interesting and smart group for the most part, once you get past the constant profanity, abuse and stupid pop culture references.

          1. You forgot to mention that our humor is mostly funny to adolescent boys, and may be sexist and demeaning. So lots of dick jokes and being as offensive as we think we can get away with.

        4. Ok, fair enough.

          Only Warty bites, though.

          1. Umm, where’s the STEVE SMITH warning? And the one about the goat-fucking lawyer, the mention of whose name will result in banning?

            1. ALLEGED lawyer. You’re going to get them sued again.

              1. Point taken.

  12. “H/T Boing Boing”

    *raises suspicious eyebrow

    1. It used to be such an interesting site before Cory Doctorow Progressiveized it.

      I guess it could still be an interesting site, I just got tired of reading what an evil bastard I am because I’m libertarian. No page views from me, BB.

      1. I used to read the old Boing Boing zine.

      2. Yeah. Full of people who totally want freedom on the internet. Unless it offends them.

  13. isn’t an ID requirement some sort of disenfranchisement? That’s what the progs keep telling me when it is applied to voting.

    1. Why, yes, they do. But expecting consistent reasoning from first principles is not a proggie trait. With them it’s all about choosing the desired result, then reasoning backwards from that. Or just yelling “racist.”

  14. I think any business should be allowed to refuse entry for ANY reason. Living in DC is a good enough reason for me, you goddamn enabler.

    1. I agree. But I don’t think businesses should be conscripted into enforcing silly laws.

  15. One time I was visiting some buddies in the Dallas area. One friend lived in Oklahoma and has an Oklahoma license. When we went to a local bar, the douchebag doorman wouldn’t accept the Oklahoma license as legit because Oklahoma stamps the price of the license on the back.

    Checking online, it seems lots of Okies have had this problem with moron bartenders. I didn’t see any stories about the high school dropouts at the TSA, unfortunately.

    1. The closest grocery store to my college (Ralphs) had some kind of pressure to be better about carding so they stopped accepting out of state licenses and passports for a while. The British soccer players were miffed by the development. Everyone ended up shifting their business to Rite-Aid which gave fewer shits.

      1. That was pretty much standard policy for bars at Penn State back in the Dark Ages (late 80s). They wouldn’t even take a military ID. Only a PA license or LCB card.

        1. “Penn State”

          [recalls last night]

          Fuck you.

  16. Reason commenters seem strangely OK w/public school teachers hitting students; say it’s not a libertarian issue. Huh?

    But we completely tip over when a cop shoots somebody’s dog.

    Weird, huh?

    1. Brooksie, we’ve had our differences, but I draw the line at commenter tipping. That’s just wrong.

      1. Only the commenters on Guam can be tipped.

  17. “one might assume an official agent of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be smarter than your average 70-year-old barkeep at an Ohio strip club.”

    Why?

  18. I had to abandon the thread because it was fucking with my head.

    When the little voice in my head says, “Don’t go in there!” I listen.

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