DC delegate to meet with TSA over rejected driver's licenses

DC delegate to meet with TSA over rejected driver's licenses
© Getty Images

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) is planning to meet with the Transportation Security Administration to discuss reports of the agency refusing to accept Washington, D.C., driver’s licenses as identification at airport checkpoints. 

TSA agents have told passengers on multiple occasions this year that D.C. driver’s licenses could not be accepted because they were unfamiliar to airport security workers, according to reports.

Holmes Norton said Tuesday that she was planning to meet with TSA Administrator John Pistole to discuss the issue. 


“We may not be a state and we may not have a vote in Congress, but we pay taxes to the United States,” Holmes Norton said in a statement. “At the very least, we should be recognized as part of the United States by our own Transportation Security Administration and by each and every State and locality.”

TSA officials have said that D.C. driver’s licenses should be accepted at airport security checkpoints nationwide. 

“A valid Washington, D.C., driver's license is an acceptable form of identification at all TSA checkpoints,” the agency said in a statement that was provided to The Hill earlier this month. 

The most recent incident involving TSA agents refusing to accept a D.C. driver’s license came to light when a Washington correspondent for an Orlando TV station attempted to board a flight by to the capital city using D.C.-issued identification. 

The reporter, WFTV’s Justin Gray, tweeted that he was told his driver’s license was not a valid form of identification. 

“@TSA Agent in Orlando never heard of ‘District of Columbia.’ Demanded passport because he didn't believe my drivers license was from US!?” Gray wrote on July 12.  

Holmes Norton noted Tuesday that D.C. government officials would love nothing more than to become a state. 

She said D.C. is “trying our best to become the 51st State, but being the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital, should be enough.” 

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) tweeted after the incident involving Gray that she would check to make sure D.C. driver’s licenses would be accepted in liquor stores in her state. 

Holmes Norton said Tuesday that she is glad to have Hassan’s support. 

“I appreciate that Gov. Maggie Hassan tweeted she is looking into the New Hampshire liquor ID statute,” Holmes Norton said. “I am also grateful for the immediate action taken by TSA Administrator John Pistole when I contacted him when the first complaints arose earlier this year. I am looking forward to a sit-down meeting with TSA officials to find a permanent solution to this problem.”