But the TSA’s official position in court has always been that ID is not required to fly: “You don’t have to show ID to fly. You can fly without ID. We have a procedure for that.”
You can fly without ID, if you (1) fill out and sign the obscure TSA Form 415, (2) satisfy the TSA with your answers to a bunch of questions about what’s the file about you obtained by the TSA from the commercial data broker Accurint, and (3) submit to more intrusive than standard search (“secondary screening”) as a “selectee”.
That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it’s been for years.
Now, as we reported in November of last year, the TSA is contemplating a new pattern and practice of preventing anyone from passing through a TSA checkpoint or getting on an airline flight unless either they have ID the TSA deems acceptable, or they reside in a state that the TSA deems sufficiently compliant with the REAL-ID Act.