No ID

Discussion in 'Amtrak Rail Discussion' started by Ami Gould, Dec 4, 2019.

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  1. Dec 4, 2019 #1

    Ami Gould

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    So I lost my id a few days ago and I haven't been able to find it at all but I'm taking a Amtrak to new york from Texas and it's the only way to get back to my home. What do I do??
     
  2. Dec 4, 2019 #2

    pennyk

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  3. Dec 4, 2019 #3

    PRR 60

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    You should be OK as long as you do not use a station agent to print a ticket or check luggage. The only time I have ever been asked for an ID was by station personnel, and with mobile, kiosk and print yourself ticketing, station people can be avoided (good idea regardless). While I'm sure it occasionally happens, I have never been asked for ID once on the train.
     
  4. Dec 4, 2019 #4

    jimmrl

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    Depending on your route between NYC and Chicago you could get a random border check if your run the Lake Shore Limited. I have only been on the LSL once and we were not checked. But they can since they are within 100 miles of the border.

    Past that you should be fine.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2019 #5

    pennyk

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    My id has been random checked on the train a few times over the years, but not in the last couple of years.
     
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  6. Dec 4, 2019 #6

    jis

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    Well, the Capitol Limited runs within the 100 mile border quite a bit of the way, and of course all trains from New York originate in New York which is within 100 miles of the maritime border. :p
     
  7. Dec 4, 2019 #7

    crescent-zephyr

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    Same here. It seems to happen less frequently than in the past.

    I personally wouldn’t want to travel that length of distance without an ID. If you have anyone at home who can email photos of any identification I would do that. Not just for Amtrak.

    I have seen border patrol do a check on the lake shore limited before. This was many years ago but still, it does happen.
     
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  8. Dec 4, 2019 #8

    fairviewroad

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    Amtrak requires passengers 18 and older to produce photo ID when asked. However, there is no "checkpoint" in the same way that you encounter a security check at the airport. As others (and myself) have experienced, it's common to ride Amtrak for quite a long way without being asked for ID. I can't actually remember the last time it happened to me.

    The risk you are taking is that you will be asked to leave the train en route if you can't produce ID when asked. So you may ask yourself how prepared you are for that to happen. It's a minor risk, but it exists nonetheless.

    If you are a US citizen, I wouldn't worry about the border patrol folks. You aren't required to show them ID.

    And you should definitely, ASAP, contact the government entity that issued your ID...if you can show that you've started the process to replace your ID, you may be more likely to talk your way out of an uncomfortable situation en route.
     
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  9. Dec 4, 2019 #9

    rspenmoll

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    According to page 8-7 of the service standards manual, at the link below, it seems like your best bet is to have someone back home express mail you your birth certificate and social security card. Those two together will be adequate ID. It has to be your actual social security card and either your original or certified copy of your birth certificate, a regular photocopy is not adequate. https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/...-service-standards-manual-031119-redacted.pdf

    Edit: Almost forgot to mention, you need ID to pick up express mail, so the envelope will need to be addressed to someone you trust who can pick it up for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  10. Dec 4, 2019 #10

    Maglev

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    When I lost my driver's license, I was able to print a temporary license by going to the state license website.
     
  11. Dec 4, 2019 #11

    rspenmoll

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    That does appear to be an option for New York residents, but OP would still then need either their social security card or birth certificate as a second document. That's still better though, because that means risking only one identity document getting lost in the mail rather than two.
     
  12. Dec 4, 2019 #12

    nti1094

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    The official guide for conductors specifically states that they have the discretion to make a decision on the spot regarding ID. If there is a legit reason or of alternative ID is provided, they can accept that. Just let them know the situation and they should be reasonable. That said, the chances that anyone check’s your ID is slim to none.
     
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  13. Dec 4, 2019 #13

    nti1094

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    Adjustments.JPG

    Here is the official policy, so you do have a “reasonable explanation.”
     
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  14. Dec 4, 2019 #14

    jis

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    Theoretically that is true. Practically it may or may not work specially if you have the wrong skin color. I have seen it not work for perfectly legitimate US citizens. I have never tried to see what happens myself. Spending a night in immigration lockup in la la land of legality just to make a point is not my idea of having fun. ;)
     
  15. Dec 4, 2019 #15

    Railroad Bill

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    In the current state of affairs in the US, I would not go anywhere on a transportation mode without an ID. Although you may have rights as a US citizen, proving that you are a citizen is something you should have covered when you travel. Being removed from a train would not be a positive experience.
    Hoping that someday we shall return to the America of the past when it comes to civil rights, but until then, it is a good idea to cover your bases.
     
  16. Dec 4, 2019 #16

    anumberone

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    Do you have a ticket or do you have to purchase one? Don’t you have anything with your name on it, credit card. Why are you concerned about ID. The reason I ask that, I’ve never been asked except when purchasing a ticket or getting a traffic ticket.
     
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  17. Dec 4, 2019 #17

    Qapla

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    Even when traveling with a "Senior" or "Passenger with Disability" ticket, I have never been asked for my ID - and these are two areas the website says may require showing ID.

    But then, I always have my ticket on my phone along with a printed copy in my pocket ... I also have my ID with me.

    A couple weeks ago my brother and I, both seniors, rode the Meteor and the Star and all I was asked was my name - didn't even have to show my ticket ...
     
  18. Dec 4, 2019 #18

    Devil's Advocate

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    This question has two very different answers depending on whether the person asking fits the WASP stereotype or not.
     
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  19. Dec 4, 2019 #19

    fairviewroad

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    That is a very valid point, and thank you for the reminder.

    The OP is likely asking because Amtrak's website clearly states Valid Photo ID Required and it is a reasonable assumption for an infrequent rider to make that actually having a photo ID on their person would be a good idea. As many people on this thread have stated, the photo ID requirement is rarely enforced. But it's a fair question and the OP is right to research this prior to boarding the train.
     
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  20. Dec 5, 2019 #20

    F900ElCapitan

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    I too have never been asked for ID when riding Amtrak, which goes back to 1980. I was a minor for a bit of that, but still no requests. I wouldn’t sweat it as long as you have your ticket in any acceptable manner.
     
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  21. Dec 5, 2019 #21

    PVD

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    Since most hotels now want id at check in, and many businesses want to see id when accepting credit cards, at least having a written acknowledgement that replacement is in process, is a good idea.
     
  22. Dec 5, 2019 #22

    anumberone

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    Asking questions doesn't solve her problem. I was only stating, if she has a ticket I wouldn't be too concerned, if she has to purchase a ticket I'd be doing more than asking questions on this forum.
     
  23. Dec 5, 2019 #23

    jis

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    I don't know what hotels or Amtrak does, but I got myself in a situation at SFO without any acceptable photo id on hand to board a flight back east and no hope of getting one in a timely fashion. I explained the situation to TSA at San Francisco International. A Supervisor was called. He took my company Id (which had my photo on it and was verifiable with the company), my health insurance card and my Amex card, went away for five minutes and then came back and cleared me for TSA Pre, which I was eligible for as printed on my boarding pass.
     
  24. Dec 5, 2019 #24

    Devil's Advocate

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    I don't think that's possible since the TSA is not deployed at SFO. :D In my experience lack of acceptable photo ID means S4 at TSA airports. The last time it happened to me GE didn't exist yet, so maybe the right entry in the right database can make a big difference.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  25. Dec 5, 2019 #25

    Barb Stout

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    I expect s/he is concerned because you always need ID to fly. I seem to recall that the poster was talking about someone who was new to taking Amtrak.
     

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