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Can my kids travel within the US without a passport?

sushisushi Registered User Posts: 256 Junior Member
edited July 2006 in Parent Cafe
Was talking to my mother about our upcoming college visit trips - she claims my high school age kids absolutely must have their passports renewed for the trip. What say you?
Post edited by sushi on

Replies to: Can my kids travel within the US without a passport?

  • yourworldyourworld - Posts: 759 Member
    Thats for airport checkin. Passport or valid photo government ID is recommended if you dont want delay at the airport.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,288 Senior Member
    My kids have never used passports for travel within the US. They use photo IDs.....do your teens have either a driver's permit or license? That's what mine have used. They do need the photo ID. I think if they don't have these, then a passport is another form of a photo ID they could use but is not the one they HAVE to use. My kids have flown alone quite a bit.
  • mootmommootmom Registered User Posts: 4,162 Senior Member
    If they are under 18, they're not *supposed* to need photo ID if they're traveling with you (they will need something if traveling alone), but in my experience (especially since my kids were extremely tall by age 15), it will be troublesome at some airports if they don't have a photo ID. If they have a driver's license or government-issued photo ID card (which they can get here before they can drive) it's fine, or even a school photo ID card is usually accepted. If you were going to renew their passports anyway, it might be worthwhile to do so, otherwise some other photo ID is acceptable and reduces hassle.

    (Edit: I just checked the TSA website and could find no specific reference to ID requirements for children, though, so maybe everything I know is wrong. :) )
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Registered User Posts: 35,861 Senior Member
    technically they don't need it ( not even to go to Canada)
    but realistically- I think it would make things go smoother because photo IDs vary and might require more scrutiny
    oh wait- I saw you are going with them
    Never mind- they don't need it.
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    They don't need passports. Think about it: Most people in the US don't have passports.

    In fact, depending on their age, they don't need anything. However, it can help to have a driver's license.

    I personally would not bring my passport to travel around the US because it's too easy to lose something like that and it's a pain and expensive to replace it (BTDT). I use my driver's license as photo ID.
  • asteriskeaasteriskea Registered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    While children do not need passports to travel within the U.S. and quite a few other countries as well, increasingly local authorities are using passports to check identity because of concerns over child abduction. As other posters have mentioned, it is a good idea to have up-to-date photo id. As a preventive measure to avoid potential problems you might want to photocopy the id pages on the passports while you are traveling within the U.S. just to avoid possible hassles. Hopefully, you won't need it.

  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    Here is what happens, you go through security, and if your child is almost of college age, you could have a delay. They match up IDs with boarding passes, and if you don't have SOMETHING easy to check, you could get pulled aside

    I mean, many 20 year olds look like they are 17, so they want to check everybody that its even POSSIBLE they could be of age

    I find it kind of sad that most Americans don't have passports...the world is an amzaing place, and if travel is even possible financially, they should visit it

    And a 17 year old should have some sort of ID...how do they get into those R rated movies?
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    CGM makes excellent points. Some form of photo ID makes your life a lot easier.

    I often travel with my passport because it's easier (for me) to get in and out of my bag than my license. I either end up rifling through my wallet for it or dropping it.

    As for Americans not having passports - unless you go overseas, you don't need one. If you're in Europe, you often need a passport just to stay at a hotel; if you travel a few hundred miles in any direction, you're in a foreign country.

    Not to take over the thread, but I'm going to Mexico soon and know that I need either a driver's license + birth certificate or a passport. I think. Taking the passport because it just makes life easier. (Before 9/11, I went to Mexico with a driver's license. Then again, I don't look like an illegal. Which, to be honest, is some of the issue on the Mexican border.)
  • texas137texas137 Registered User Posts: 2,143 Senior Member
    I'm going to Mexico soon and know that I need either a driver's license + birth certificate or a passport.
    there was talk after 9/11 about changing this to require a passport for travel to Mexico. Not sure what came of it since, like you, I have a passport (and haven't been to Mexico since 9/11). But anyone planning to go there with driver's license + birth certificate because that has been sufficient in the past should check.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Registered User Posts: 11,495 Senior Member
    Americans will soon need a passport when travelling to Canada, too. As of Jan. 1 of next year, if you're travelling by air or sea, it will be required. The following year will require it of all land travellers, as well. It's not to get INTO Canada, but to get back into the U.S. Canada has been trying to fight this for months but it looks like it will be to no avail.
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    My H has a pretty common first and last name, and when he travels with his state ID, we almost always have to go to the counter and they have to check him out, when we travel internally with his Passport, we go right through...it seems someone with a similar name is flagged, and it pops up when his state ID is used, but when he shows his passports, all is okayed.

    My guess is pretty soon a passport will needed for Mexico and Canada travel- gee what the poster above me said, beat me to it!!!
  • citygirlsmomcitygirlsmom - Posts: 13,158 Senior Member
    SOmething else to consider, when in college, a student might suddenly get interested in studying in another country, travel, etc. And to get a passport NOW while at home will be much easier to get. They last ten years, and if an opportunity comes up, it can take up to two months (it is usually less) so why not be ready

    In my town, many post offices do the paper work, but appontments need to be made. The Passport offices are really only for "emergency" needs, say withing two weeks, and you would need proof of that...say, a death in the family, etc

    SO my recommendation is to get one for a college student now before they leave, or when they are in town, etc.
  • ariesathenaariesathena Registered User Posts: 5,087 Senior Member
    CGM: right again.

    I once read advice that said that, if working in a law firm over the summer, to bring a passport. There's the chance that someone might need a young associate in a foreign office for a deposition.

    More than that... if you are in college within driving distance of Canada & Mexico, I can guarantee that your friends will make a road trip to those mythical lands where you can get a margarita at age 18. :)
  • jimbob1225jimbob1225 Registered User Posts: 3,457 Senior Member
    it's not required, but might as well do it. it's always good to have ID available
  • asteriskeaasteriskea Registered User Posts: 1,210 Senior Member
    Even though there is no law or requirment, there are certainly enough good reasons to warrant keeping the whole family's valid U.S. passports renewed and travel ready. During the Reagan administration the idea of a national id card was discussed and discarded - the way things are going now, pretty soon we all might have one in addition to a passport.


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