What Happens If I Lose My ID on Vacation?

Have you ever flown somewhere in the United States for a vacation or work trip and thought to yourself, "what would happen if I lost my ID, how would I get home?" Well, this exact scenario happened to me while on vacation. 

I had been in Disneyland, and when I was getting ready to head into the park for our final day there, I could not find my wallet anywhere. I searched out entire room up and down, asked the front desk to see if housekeeping found a wallet in the trash or on the sidewalk. Nothing. Headed into Disneyland and filed a report with lost and found. Still nothing. 

Now I was faced with the question "how am I flying home tomorrow?" Anyone who has flown knows that a form of ID is required to pass through TSA. 

According to TSA, it is more than possible to get through security without your ID, but the process is not guaranteed. If you happen to have a credit card, an immediate family member that you share a last name with, or piece of mail, it makes the process a lot easier. Since I had lost my entire wallet, all I had was a prescription pill bottle with my name on it. My Mom, whom I live with, was with me, but we don't share a last name. 

So what happened? I was able to get home, but not without a long screening process first. 

First off, I had to describe why I no longer had my ID or wallet on me, to which I told TSA about losing my entire wallet and showed them my loss report from the park to show a paper trail. Did the paper trail make a difference? I have no idea, but I wanted to include the information. I gave them my full name and address. Afterwards, I then had to answer personal questions about myself, my family, and where I lived. Questions that only I knew the answers to. This is the important part of your screening, if they cannot verify your identity you are unable to fly for 24 hours, and have to be able to provide a piece of verifying information. So I would have been stuck in Los Angeles until my Mom could get home and overnight me a piece of mail to prove my name and address. 

Luckily for me, TSA was able to verify my identity, but the screening process wasn't over. I had to go through a pat down and have my carry on checked, which was just a small backpack. Once I cleared that, I was off to the races! I was able to get on my flight and get all the way home... only to have Disneyland call me that night and say my wallet had been recovered. Well, at least all the cash was still there! 

If you have a passport, you can always bring it as a backup to leave in the hotel safe. That is what I talked about my Mom with afterwards. I'm prone to losing things on vacation, plus I'm paranoid. I almost ALWAYS lose sunglasses while out of town. So for me, if it happens again, I have piece of mind getting home. No passport? Bring a piece of mail and an extra credit card with you. 

Have you ever lost your wallet on vacation? Were you able to get home?

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