WAMU 88.5 : News

Norton Criticizes TSA For Not Recognizing D.C. License At Phoenix Airport

The new D.C. driver's license is a state-issued ID for security purposes.
The new D.C. driver's license is a state-issued ID for security purposes.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton has written a letter to the Transportation Security Administration complaining of an incident in which a D.C. resident was initially denied access through an airport security checkpoint because a TSA officer did not recognize her city-issued driver's license.

The incident, first reported by The Washington Post, took place at the airport in Phoenix, Ariz., where Ashley Brandt was attempting to board a plane back to D.C. At a checkpoint, a TSA officer took her D.C. license and said, “I don’t know if we can accept these."

Brandt was eventually allowed through after a supervisor intervened, but Norton wrote that the incident was yet another slight for the city, which does not have voting representation in Congress.

"While D.C. residents are undemocratically denied voting representation in the House and Senate and full control over their local laws and budget, our residents are American citizens who have all the other rights of citizens, including using D.C.-issued identification to travel by airplane," she wrote to TSA Administrator John Pistole.

"The undemocratic treatment of D.C. residents by Congress should never extend to similar treatment by federal employees," she added.

In her letter, Norton calls on Pistole to ensure that TSA employees recognize licenses and ID cards issued by D.C. and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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