Florida couple busted in Hawaii with fake vaccine cards

I mean, you can’t go through TSA without ID, so our respective wallets should still be with us when we get off the plane. :slight_smile:
FWIW, I also have photos of my passport and DL on my phone, too.


It did not. That was the plan but the reality and the execution, as often happens, was much more complicated. They basically moved the goal post back towards where the states were willing to go and called it a game. You do not have to have an id to board a plane for a national flight.

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good social distance sure, but where are the masks? :slight_smile:


You don’t need id to GET on the plane, but you need one to go through TSA to get to the gate.


Forgot Your ID? In the event you arrive at the airport without valid identification, because it is lost or at home, you may still be allowed to fly. The TSA officer may ask you to complete an identity verification process which includes collecting information such as your name, current address, and other personal information to confirm your identity. If your identity is confirmed, you will be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint. You will be subject to additional screening, to include a patdown and screening of carry-on property. You will not be allowed to enter the security checkpoint if your identity cannot be confirmed, you choose to not provide proper identification or you decline to cooperate with the identity verification process.TSA recommends that you arrive at least two hours in advance of your flight time.



A code that can be validated with a back end system that displays vaccination status and something else that can be validated. Probably a name that can be cross checked with other id. A picture if you really wanted it all in one spot, but that’s probably to much.

That back end system should be validating the vaccine status directly with the vaccine distribution not taking anyone’s word that they’re vaccinated.

This way, you have an authority with robust validation that a vaccine was actually administered and it’s super easy to validate with no dependency on the id itself.

Just like the grocery store doesn’t check my driver’s license to buy alcohol for the birthdate anymore. The clerk isn’t determining if the physical license is real or not. They hit with a scanner and the system reports that it’s valid (or not).

To use the id, you could use a smartphone, physical card, paper print out of a QR code, any or all of those. Anything the scanning side can use to read it and call the central authority. For the scanning side, dedicated scanners, smart phones, anything that can scan something like a QR code and take an action on it. It’s taking the action, to contact a central source and validate the code that matters. Something like: The code you scanned says John Doe is vaccinated, confirm with other ID that you’re looking at John Doe.

Most (many?) states already have central vaccine databases. They need the lookup interface. Some enterprising companies could create look up apps that can work across all the states and compete for scanning business.


Sounds like they will ask you those credit monitoring identification questions like “which address have you not lived at” and “what is the name of the bank with your mortgage”, etc.


I’m aware of this, but all I have to say to someone that arrives at the airport without id - good luck. The key word there in the second sentence - “may still be allowed to fly”
I’ve never known anyone who has done this.


I know about this because it happened to me. As @llamahunter just pointed out, they ask you a bunch of questions from what seemed like my credit record along with other publicly available data and then let me through when I answered correctly. I remember thinking that I could get that with $25 and one of those creepy personal intel reports like intellus or people finder.


I was able to fly with an expired drivers license some years ago. They gave me a hard time about it, tho. It was especially concerning to me since it was my RETURN flight. They didn’t notice (or care?) on the way out.


We have such a system in the EU, based on cryptographically signed QR codes. It can still be tricked but if I read the list of flaws that are being talked about in the media it seems like they boil down to “in order to obtain a fake certificate either trick a pharmacist with forged paper documents, obtain a pharmacist’s login data or be a pharmacist” and those are attack vectors that no app will be able to avoid.


We managed it in the EU/EEA with over 30 sovereign countries. I’m sure 50 states in one country will be able to find a way.

(And yes, there is a right to travel between those countries as well)


I’m curious as to how they will pull it off since the US and the EU are very different animals.


As I understand it, the REAL ID act would have made it a requirement that travelers present an acceptable form of identification when flying domestically. Full enforcement was supposed to commence in April of this year, it’s been pushed back to 2023:

the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement date by 19 months, from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023, due to circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Beginning May 3, 2023, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.

Bottom line - the government is able and willing to place restrictions on travel for purposes of security theater, but has less resolve when it is a (politically explosive) matter of public health.


To be clear. I got my real id using an electric bill and a paper lease agreement above what was required before the real id act was passed. So from a security point of view it is as valuable as a few old french fries.


The technical specifications how it could be done are all to be found here:

I’m pretty sure a lot of it is even open source, so it could just be copied and adapted free of charge.

Of course the public policy part is more difficult and probably entirely different.



@llamahunter beat me to it. The California QR-code system seems like it achieves the right balance.

Pretty well. The vaccine pass won’t prevent someone from driving across state borders and going to a different state doesn’t magically exempt one from following the rules of private establishments or other institutions that require proof of vaccination.

If you land in Hawaii without a government-issued ID, you likely left it on the plane or cruise ship or perhaps at the boarding gate. I doubt that would happen often enough to warrant any real concern for most travellers.

In practise, they are. One way or another, you have to prove you are who you say you are in order to fly.

I’m sure it will. I’m especially looking forward to the spectacle of legal geniuses from Libertarian think tanks suddenly arguing against the right of private corporations (including airlines) to make rules (ones that don’t discriminate on the basis of immutable characteristics) that bar certain customers, all because they find it more convenient to pander to and ally with science-denying right-wing sado-populists.

No doubt you’ll have more Questions to Just Ask, so fire away!


Nope, I’m good for now. Thanks for taking all that time to answer.


No worries. Easy answers to simplistic questions like that take me less than 5 minutes! I’m sure going through all those edge-case and counter-factual hypotheticals in multiple comments (and “wondering” what happens in situations you yourself experienced) took up much more of your time.


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