Transgender & Flying? Gender Matching ID Now Required for Domestic Flights

Gender and Date of Birth Now Required Information for domestic flights

Washington, DC, August 17, 2009-The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rolled out a new phase of their Secure Flight program over the weekend. Passengers will now be required to provide their birth date and gender when they book an airline ticket as part of a move to help distinguish passengers from those on the government's "watch list" (often called the "no-fly" list).

NCTE has issued a new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about the Secure Flight program and its impact on transgender people. The resource includes information about how to navigate the new process, particularly if you have identification that does not match your gender presentation. NCTE firmly supports the right of transgender people to maintain our privacy and to travel freely.

NCTE has been engaged in ongoing work with TSA and administration officials about the Secure Flight program. There appears to be no chance of having the requirement of listing gender lifted; however, we will continue to work on how the policy is implemented in order to minimize the negative impacts. We are also monitoring the impact on transgender travelers. If you encounter difficulties when you travel, please contact us as 202-903-0112 and let us know. We may be able to provide you with assistance and the information can also help us as we work with TSA to help prevent future problems.

You can read more information in the New York Times about the Secure Flight Program.


About NCTE The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. By empowering transgender people and our allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in our nation's capital and around the country. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.


Abby said...

Kelli, I think the title of this post is misleading. The Safe Flight program does not require the gender on the passenger's ID match anything. Instead, it merely requires that the passenger disclose hir name as it appears on hir government-issued ID, plus hir date of birth and gender at the time the reservation is made. It does not require that the disclosed gender match hir ID or anything else. Instead, the DOB and gender are simply used to eliminate errors when matching passenger names against names on the "no fly" list.

Although the requirement that the passenger disclose hir gender at the time of booking a flight increases the risk that zie may be questioned by airline or security personnel about any mismatch, it does not mean that zie won't be able to fly if there is any mismatch among hir gender identity, gender expression and/or the gender on hir ID. As the FAQ linked in NCTE's announcement states, there has been no change in airport security measures; therefore, "You should not be stopped by airport security because of your gender marker or gender presentation."

planet trans said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
planet trans said...

Abby, If a person attempts to travel on a domestic flight and the name they booked the flight with is Mary and the gender female and the person is traveling in their male persona their gender expression will not match there picture ID. It is my impression that they will not be allowed to board the plane without qualifying the requirements in the second TSA quoted paragraph.

It follows that the article's title is correct. A persons gender expression, on the day they fly, must match their picture ID.

TSA Web site

"ID Requirements for Airport Checkpoints"

"Effective June 21, 2008, adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains the following: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight."

"Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Officer performing Travel Document Checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to go through the checkpoint or onto an airplane."


From the NCTE FAQ

"You should submit the name, date of birth, and gender as it appears on the form of identification you intend to use at the airport. If you have different names on different documents, you should ensure that the document you intend to use at the airport reflects the name you listed when booking your flight."

"This potentially becomes difficult if you have transitioned but your identity documents reflect an old gender marker. In this case, you may choose to submit the gender marker consistent with your gender identity so that the ticket agent is less likely to notice an inconsistency between your submitted gender and your perceived gender expression."

Not all of us are 'full time'.

IT seems that if you are going to fly a domestic flight and you are CD, Q, I, or have not gone full time, confusion, questions and the very real possibility of trouble on flight day could be avoided. So when you haul out you Visa or Mastercard and pre pay for your flight give some thought as to what gender expression you will be traveling with.

I have experienced the humiliation of having police dump my suit cases in full public view all because I paid cash on the flight day. I had not transitioned to full time and out came my wig, heels ect. ect. ect.
No one should have to go thru that, for any reason.

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