Update on REAL ID and documents required for air travel in U.S.


American Samoans can use the territorial government-issued Certificate of Identity for travel to Hawaii as long they provide additional identification information, required by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) - which oversees security checks points at all US airports.

ASG officials made the confirmation today (Friday, Feb. 2, 2018) during a Senate Public Safety/Homeland Security Committee hearing, which was a continuation of the one held Wednesday, where senators wanted clear and solid information pertaining the use of CIs to enter Hawai’i and that CIs would be accepted not only by TSA but Hawaiian Airlines.

US Immigration in Honolulu has already confirmed to ASG officials that they still accept CIs to enter Hawai’i, but the airline and TSA have different policies.

At today’s hearing, local Homeland Security Department director Samana Semo along with Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale, confirmed that CIs will be accepted for travel on Hawaiian for American Samoans heading to Honolulu.

The two officials noted that the CI should be accompanied with other TSA acceptable forms of identification — for example, a military ID, driver’s license etc. — as proof that you are the traveler.

A “Certificate of Identification Guidance & TSA ID Requirements” information leaflet distributed at the hearing from ASDHS, explained what the TSA accepted as proof of identification.

At TSA check points at the airport (and TSA checks points at all US airports), TSA will take one of the following as proof of identity:  acceptable state issued driver’s license, US passport, US passport card.

If the individual does not possess the above, then “other forms” of ID will be needed. Furthermore, a traveler may be asked to present at least two forms of ID with their names and other identifying information, such as photo, address, phone number, social security number or date of birth. Traveler may present the following:

• temporary paper IDs

• expired IDs

• credit cards

• social security cards

• birth certificates

• marriage certificates

• bank statements or bills

• Certificate of Identity will count as other forms of ID.

During today’s hearing, Samana said confirmation of use of CIs came following a conference call Wednesday afternoon with US Department of Homeland Security officials, followed by a meeting Thursday with the local TSA and Hawaiian Airlines officials.

Travelers without a US passport are recommended to check in early just in case TSA or Hawaiian have questions or need more information.

Samoa News will report on more details from the Senate hearing and any new updates on this matter in Monday’s edition.

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