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Travel Resources
Lost Your ID?

Here are some suggestions

What can you do when you lose your ID? The best thing to do is take the necessary precautions before losing your IDs or valuables. Be prepared. Bring other forms of identification with you, and most importantly, make copies of IDs, passport and other important documentation.

The following are some helpful tips for preventing your IDs and other valuables from being lost or stolen:

  • Keep your hands free. If both hands are full, it is difficult to stop a pickpocket.
  • Keep all valuables - money, passport and credit cards - in a pouch near the front of your body.
  • Maintain physical contact with bags and other valuables.
  • When standing up, always check to see if anything has been left behind.
  • Be cautious of other travelers and everyone around you.

Some travelers may find it safer and more convenient to carry their IDs and plane tickets in a single pouch around the neck. The pouch can be folded open to display all the essential information required for getting on a plane, decreasing the chance of leaving your ID behind.

Most airlines will accept secondary forms of identification in the case of ID loss. Most carriers may accept a different form of ID - such as a business card with a photograph, a credit card with a photograph or, in some cases, an official document such as a phone bill.

Keep in mind that the airlines are directly responsible for checking travelers' identification - if a traveler loses an ID, the situation must be worked out with the airline - not the Transportation Security Administration. The Air Transport Association of America has recently stated that there is no set policy for dealing with a traveler without ID. It is recommended that the traveler contact the airline ahead of time to find out the airlines' policy regarding lost IDs.

It is important for business travelers to make copies of IDs and other important documents, such as:

  • Passports
  • Vaccination certificates
  • Travelers check receipts
  • Plane tickets
  • Credit cards

Most airlines accept photocopied forms of ID, although they handle lost or stolen ID issues on a case-by-case basis. Remember: Photocopied identification should be carried separately from the actual IDs. Another helpful tip is to make a digital copy of your driver's license and other ID and e-mail it to an easily accessible account through the Web. If you lose your ID, you can simply pull up the copy on a nearby Internet connection and print it.

The best advice is often the most common: Be prepared by taking steps to prevent ID loss and theft. Business travelers should keep IDs close to the front of the body, carry additional forms of ID and photocopy ID cards.

For more information about how to handle a lost ID, contact your airline.