As a parent, it can be overwhelming to navigate the rules and regulations involved in air travel. One question that frequently arises is : do 14 year olds need ID to fly.
The short answer is yes, they do, but let’s dive a little deeper into the details.
The TSA’s ID Requirements
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) states that all passengers, regardless of age, require a form of identification when traveling on commercial airlines within the United States. This means that 14 year olds are subject to the same guidelines as adults.
Acceptable forms of identification include U.S. or foreign-issued passport, driver’s license, state-issued ID card, permanent resident card, or a Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler card (such as TSA Pre-Check).
Exceptions for Minors
If your 14-year-old does not have a government-issued ID, there are still options available. The TSA offers a “Identity Verification Call Center” that can help passengers verify their identity in advance of their travel.
Additionally, children under the age of 18 are not required to show ID if they are traveling with a companion who has a valid ID.
The companion will be subjected to additional screening procedures, but this can be a helpful option for families who don’t want to apply for ID cards for their children just yet.
Preparing for Travel
As a best practice, it’s always a good idea to double-check the TSA’s current guidelines before traveling.
You can visit their website or app for the most up-to-date information on ID requirements, prohibited items, and other travel tips.
Furthermore, make sure your child’s name matches exactly on their flight reservation and ID, as discrepancies can lead to delays and additional security screening.
It’s important to research the specific requirements for your destination and to give yourself plenty of time to obtain any necessary documents (such as a passport).
You may also need to provide documentation of your child’s relationship to you if you share a different last name.
Talking with Your Child
Air travel can be stressful for people of all ages, but particularly for teenagers who may be flying alone for the first time.
Talk with your child ahead of time about what to expect, what the security process entails, and how to stay safe while on their trip.
Encourage them to ask questions and speak up if they feel uncomfortable at any point during their travels.
Traveling with teenagers can be a unique challenge, but with the right information and preparation, you can help alleviate some of the stress and ensure a smooth trip for all involved.
Remember that 14-year-olds do require identification to fly, but there are exceptions and alternatives available if needed.
Take the time to research the requirements for your specific situation and communicate openly with your child to make sure they feel comfortable and prepared for their travels. Safe travels!