May 29, 2008 at 10:23AM AKST
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would accept tribal photo identification cards, Canadian Indian and Northern Affairs cards as valid identification as the department institutes new procedures to identify passengers on domestic flights within the United States.
Currently, passengers must present photo identification at security checkpoints so Transportation Security Administration officers can verify passengers’ identity.
Many Native American individuals have had problems at checkpoints because TSA officers were unwilling to accept tribal IDs as valid identification. As a result, Indian people were sometimes subjected to secondary screenings or personal interviews so that their identity could be verified.
Assuming that employees at the checkpoints are duly informed of this change, Native Americans with tribal IDs that have a photo should not face resistance due to identification problems.
The regulations went into effect May 26. To be accepted, a tribal ID must contain the tribal member’s photo, name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature.