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ID Question

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ALC Rail Writer

Conductor
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
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4,690
Location
Ohio
So my disorganized first-time Amtrak riding friend has misplaced his driver's liscense and I was wondering what other ID Amtrak would take. The website says two forms of ID, one of which is govt. issued is acceptable, would a social security card and credit card work? Or a birth certificate and social security card? Unfortunately I don't expect he has any other current photo ID (student, military or passport).
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,407
I lost my license traveling this past June in Phoenix and managed to make it home a very long way on Amtrak (including an AGR award) riding 13 segments without the scanner giving me the random ID check. I also avoided doing anything at ticket counters and never to even explain to Amtrak what was going on. My back-up was a copy of the photo page of my passport that I had on my computer with me and later printed out. The biggest hassle was making phone calls to multiple hostels in Chicago, the one night that I wasn't staying with friends of the circuitous trip (an AGR reward to MSP) with my sad story until one agreed to accept my story and circumstances and let me make a reservation and stay for the night. (Believing my passport scan).

The biggest hassle I could see is trying to check baggage since that requires going through a human who asks for ID.
 

the_traveler

Conductor
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
26,008
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Whatever siding I'm sitting on!
The magic word is "RANDOM" ID checks. In all my years of traveling on Amtrak, except when checking bags or dealing with an agent at the ticket counter, I have never been asked for ID. Not on board, and I still am waiting for a QT to ask to see my ID!
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,088
Location
KAL
When does he leave? Is there any chance the state can expedite a new license?

Unfortunately, a credit card and birth certificate only list your name. They need photo ID.

For what it's worth, I only get asked for a photo ID when we line up to board the Michigan trains in Chicago. I've never had them ask on-board.
 
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ALC Rail Writer

Conductor
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
4,690
Location
Ohio
From Amtrak, one photo or two non-photo:

What is a Valid ID?

To be valid, your identification must be current and in-force. The following forms of identification are acceptable for persons 18 and older:

  • One piece of photo identification issued by a government authority, or
  • Two pieces of identification, at least one of which is issued by a government authority
 
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SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,088
Location
KAL
Weird, and I stand corrected. I say "weird" because I've never been anywhere that didn't require a photo ID. I wonder if that's because some people travel with kids, who might not have photo IDs yet.
 

ALC Rail Writer

Conductor
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
4,690
Location
Ohio
The magic word is "RANDOM" ID cks. all my years of traveling on Amtrak, except when checking bags or dealing with an agent at the ticket counter, I have never been asked for ID. Not on board, and I still am waiting for a QT to ask to see my ID!
I have no idea how you've avoided them Dave, I have been asked for my ID every time I NECoard in NYP, WAS or CHI as well as several times during sweeps on the CL outside PGH and quite a few times by conductors on board en route... In my experience Amtrak asks for ID quite often. That being said their policy doesn't require photo ID so I need to know what else is acceptable.
 

SubwayNut

Conductor
Joined
Nov 17, 2011
Messages
1,407
I was just relaying personal experience, twice "I've been randomly selected" so far with the QT scanners. Once on the NH-Springfield Shuttle the other time on Acela Express First Class (Upgraded using a coupon). The second time I joked with the conductor that "I'd won" as I grabbed my wallet for my ID.

My assumption in the cross-country trip was that I could simply explain that I had lost my license and would have not been denied boarding or kicked off at the next grade crossing if I was already aboard.
 

Gemuser

Service Attendant
Joined
Jul 14, 2012
Messages
121
Location
Sydney, Australia
The magic word is "RANDOM" ID cks. all my years of traveling on Amtrak, except when checking bags or dealing with an agent at the ticket counter, I have never been asked for ID. Not on board, and I still am waiting for a QT to ask to see my ID!
I have no idea how you've avoided them Dave, I have been asked for my ID every time I NECoard in NYP, WAS or CHI as well as several times during sweeps on the CL outside PGH and quite a few times by conductors on board en route... In my experience Amtrak asks for ID quite often. That being said their policy doesn't require photo ID so I need to know what else is acceptable.
Last year I & my train enthusiast mate traveled over 15,000 km (about 9,500 sm) on Amtrak, no id check while traveling. The only time we showed id (passports) was at the Ferry Building in San Francisco when we exchanged out travel agents vouchers for actual tickets.
 

Barciur

OBS Chief
Joined
Aug 13, 2012
Messages
559
Location
Lancaster, PA
So today was the first time EVER on Amtrak that a conduct asked for my ID and then asked about my ISIC ID card after he saw my ticket has a discount required. I think he could have been a new training AC so maybe that's why.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,054
Location
LAX
Along these lines, I've never been asked for my AAA card or ID to prove I'm over 62.
 

calwatch

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 28, 2010
Messages
428
With the scanners I've noticed a lot more regular questioning for identification now. I was never asked for ID before scanning began. Supposedly conductors would ask for ID if the last digit of the ticket matched the day's lucky number, but I would never even see the 10th passenger asked for ID at all. Now with the computer there is more questioning. And yes, non photo ID issued by the government counts. This could be a social security card, DD-214, or voter registration card. The second piece of identification could be a credit card or employer issued identification card.
 

Big Iron

Conductor
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
1,027
Location
Virginia
I just got back from a RVR-NYP round trip and we were never asked for ID. The Amtrak police did walk their K-9 through the train before we left WAS Northbound.

I'm not as well travelled on Amtrak as some that post here but ride often enough, in over 30 years I've been asked for ID only a few times.
 
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