As the nation’s capital, it may seem like a no-brainer that the District of Columbia—Washington D.C.—is a part of the United States. It seems, however, this was not an understood fact by a Transportation Security Administration agent at Orlando International Airport.
Justin Gray of WFTV talked about his experience trying to fly with a D.C. driving license: The reporter was trying to go through airport security for a recent trip, when a TSA agent said his D.C. driver’s license was not a valid form of identification and asked if he had a U.S. passport.
Gray was traveling without his passport and asked why it was needed. His license is legal and currently up-to-date.
It became clear the agent didn’t realize that the District of Columbia was in the United States. Gray eventually made it through the checkpoint and made a complaint with a supervisor.
He also later tweeted about the incident and received a response from the TSA. A spokesman confirmed a District of Columbia license is in fact a valid form of ID, and explained TSA officers are being shown D.C. licenses in order to better recognize them.
“Officers are trained to identify fraudulent documents, which can potentially deter and detect individuals attempting to circumvent this layer of security,” the rep added.
Startlingly, this is not the first time the TSA has been oblivious to basic United States geography.
Earlier this year a woman flying with a D.C. license out of Phoenix was told she would have to use a passport. A TSA agent told D.C. resident Ashley Brandt, “I don’t know if we can accept these, do you have a U.S. passport?”
The Washington Post reported a TSA supervisor eventually allowed Brandt through the checkpoint.