ORLANDO, Fla. – A recent incident at Orlando International Airport has showed the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) that it needs to devote some time to training its employees in geography.
Justin Gray of Channel 9 was flying out of Orlando last weekend when a TSA agent told him that his District of Columbia driver’s license was not a valid form of identification.
Gray said that his license is legal and up-to-date – but neither of those were the problem.
Instead, the problem was much simpler, and more alarming: the TSA agent apparently didn’t know where the District of Columbia was.
After Gray presented his license, the agent demanded to see his passport. Gray responded that he wasn’t carrying his passport, and asked why the agent needed it.
The agent said that he did not recognize Gray’s D.C. license.
After a brief conversation with the agent, Gray realized that he did not know what the District of Columbia is.
Gray managed to get through security, after which he stopped to complain to a TSA supervisor.
Gray also tweeted about the problem.
“[email protected] Agent in Orlando never heard of ‘District of Columbia. Demanded passport because he didn’t believe my drivers license was from US?!” the incredulous Gray wrote on July 12.
Minutes later, he received a response from a TSA spokesman confirming that a District of Columbia license is an acceptable form of ID.
“Officers are trained to identify fraudulent documents, which can potentially deter and detect individuals attempting to circumvent this layer of security,” the spokesman stated.
A TSA spokesman also told Gray that all TSA agents in Orlando are being shown copies of a District of Columbia driver’s license.
Critics of the TSA have noted that this particular incident is indicative of much broader problems at TSA.
“They simply have not been either applying or maintaining standards for good personnel,” said Douglas Kidd of the National Association of Airline Passengers.