What Documents Do I Need for a Domestic Flight?

Updated April 17, 2017

The Transportation Safety Administration for domestic flights has numerous rules and regulations. You may feel overwhelmed packing and preparing for your next flight. The most important items that you need to remember to take with you are the documents required for you to board the plane. Without the necessary documents, you may be delayed by security or refused access to your flight.

Ticket or Boarding Pass

You must have a paper ticket, an e-ticket or boarding pass to show TSA staff before passing through security. According to the TSA Secure Flight Regulations put into effect in 2009, the name on your ticket must match exactly the name on your photo identification card. If you use a middle initial on your photo ID, your ticket must also display the middle initial in your name. If your ticket name and ID name are not identical, contact the airline to change the name on your ticket before your flight.

If you forget your paper ticket, walk to the airline's customer service desk and see if you can arrange for them to cancel your old ticket and provide you with a new one. You may need to buy a new ticket on the spot. Supply the airline with your cancelled ticket at a later date to receive a refund.

If you forget your e-ticket or boarding pass at home, go to the airline's service desk to have them print the e-ticket for you.

Photo ID

You are required to show a form of photo identification before passing through security. For domestic flights, most people use their driver's license. If you don't have a driver's license, you can show TSA security staff a passport, US Military Card, tribal resident's card, Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler card or a permanent resident's card. If you forget your photo ID, you will not be permitted to pass through security to board the aircraft.

Credit Card

If you purchased an e-ticket, for security purposes, the airline may ask you to show them the credit card used to charge your online ticket. Remember to bring the exact credit card that was used to purchase the ticket when you head to the airport.

If you forget the credit card, you may be able to use your ticket reservation number. You can find this number on your itinerary.


A printout of your itinerary is not required, but you may find it useful to refer to if your flight is cancelled or delayed. If you forget your credit card for an e-ticket, you can show your itinerary to airline personnel. Airline staff may be able to verify the required security information from your itinerary so that you can continue boarding your flight.

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About the Author

Veronica Summers is an Internet pioneer, creating websites for Fortune 500 companies since 1994. In over 15 years of writing for the Web, she has received awards for explaining complex topics in an easy-to-read manner. Summers holds a Bachelor of Science in technical writing from Carnegie Mellon University. She writes computer- and travel-related articles online.