Southwest Airlines Id Requirements In 2023

Traveling by air comes with many rules and regulations, especially when it comes to providing identification. If you’re wondering what documents and IDs you’ll need to board a Southwest Airlines flight in 2023, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: To board a Southwest flight in 2023, you’ll need a valid government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport. The name on your ID must match the name on your boarding pass and flight reservation.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Southwest Airlines’ identification requirements for 2023, including:

Acceptable Forms of ID for Southwest Airlines

When traveling with Southwest Airlines in 2023, it is important to have the appropriate identification to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Southwest Airlines has specific requirements for acceptable forms of ID that passengers must present at various stages of their journey.

Here are the acceptable forms of ID for Southwest Airlines:

Driver’s Licenses

A valid driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory is an acceptable form of identification for domestic flights with Southwest Airlines. It is important to note that driver’s licenses must be Real ID-compliant.

Real ID is a federal standard for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. It was implemented to enhance security measures for domestic air travel and other federal purposes. To check if your state’s driver’s license is Real ID-compliant, you can visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.


For international travel or if you prefer to use a passport as your form of identification, Southwest Airlines accepts both U.S. passports and valid foreign passports. It is essential to ensure that your passport is up-to-date and not expired.

If you are planning to travel internationally, it is recommended to check the entry requirements of your destination country for any additional documentation or visa requirements.

Military IDs

Members of the U.S. military, including active duty, reserve, and National Guard personnel, can use their military IDs as an acceptable form of identification when traveling with Southwest Airlines. These IDs provide proof of military affiliation and are recognized by the airline.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Cards

If you are a member of Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards program, you can use your Rapid Rewards card as a form of identification. This card not only serves as a membership card but also helps expedite the check-in process.

It is important to note that the Rapid Rewards card alone may not be sufficient for international travel and should be used in conjunction with a valid passport.

Global Entry Cards

Passengers who have Global Entry membership can use their Global Entry cards as a valid form of identification when traveling with Southwest Airlines. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

The Global Entry card can be used for both domestic and international flights.

It is crucial to remember that these acceptable forms of identification may change over time, so it is always a good idea to check Southwest Airlines’ official website or contact their customer service for the most up-to-date information regarding ID requirements.

Southwest Airlines ID Rules and Regulations

Name on ID must match reservation

When flying with Southwest Airlines, it is important to ensure that the name on your identification document matches the name on your reservation. This is a common requirement among airlines and serves as a security measure to prevent identity fraud.

Make sure to double-check your reservation details and ensure that your ID matches the name exactly. If you have recently changed your name, be sure to update your identification before your flight.

ID must be valid and not expired

Another important ID requirement when flying with Southwest Airlines is that your identification document must be valid and not expired. This applies to all forms of identification, including driver’s licenses, passports, and state-issued identification cards.

Expired IDs are not considered valid proof of identity and will not be accepted by Southwest Airlines or any other airline. It is recommended to check the expiration date of your ID well in advance of your flight and renew it if necessary.

Real ID requirements

In compliance with the Real ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005, Southwest Airlines and other airlines have specific requirements for acceptable identification documents. Real ID-compliant identification includes driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by state motor vehicle departments.

These IDs have a star symbol on the top right corner to indicate their compliance with the Real ID Act. It is important to ensure that your ID is Real ID-compliant if you plan to use it as your primary form of identification when flying.

Children’s ID requirements

When traveling with children on Southwest Airlines, it is important to be aware of the specific ID requirements for minors. Children under the age of 18 are not required to show a government-issued photo ID.

However, Southwest Airlines recommends carrying some form of identification for children, such as a birth certificate or a school ID. This is especially important when traveling internationally or when a child is not accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

What to do if you lose your ID

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of losing your identification document before your Southwest Airlines flight, don’t panic. There are steps you can take to ensure that you can still travel.

First, report the loss or theft of your ID to the local authorities and obtain a police report. Then, contact Southwest Airlines’ customer service for further guidance. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and assist you in navigating the process of flying without a physical ID.

TSA Identification Requirements 2023

As of 2023, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented new identification requirements for air travel. These requirements are aimed at enhancing the security measures and ensuring the safety of passengers.

It is important for travelers to be aware of these changes in order to avoid any inconvenience or delays at the airport.

Real ID

One of the main identification requirements introduced by the TSA is the Real ID. This is a federally compliant identification document that meets the security standards set by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

To obtain a Real ID, individuals must provide certain documents such as a valid passport or birth certificate, proof of social security number, and proof of address. The Real ID will be required for domestic air travel and access to federal facilities starting from October 1, 2023.

Standard driver’s licenses

For those who do not have a Real ID, a standard driver’s license can still be used as an acceptable form of identification for domestic flights. However, it is important to note that starting from October 1, 2023, individuals with standard driver’s licenses will need to present additional documentation, such as a passport or other TSA-approved identification, if they wish to board a domestic flight.

Enhanced driver’s licenses

Enhanced driver’s licenses are another form of identification that can be used for air travel. These licenses are available in certain states and are equipped with additional security features that meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act.

While not all states offer enhanced driver’s licenses, they can be a convenient option for travelers who frequently fly within the United States.


Passports continue to be a valid form of identification for both domestic and international air travel. If you already have a passport, it is recommended to carry it with you when flying, as it is a universally accepted form of identification.

Additionally, having a passport can provide peace of mind in case of any unexpected travel situations that may arise.

International Travel Identification Requirements


When it comes to international travel, having a valid passport is a must. A passport serves as your official identification and proof of citizenship. It allows you to travel to and from different countries.

For Southwest Airlines flights in 2023, passengers will still be required to present a valid passport for all international travel. It’s important to ensure that your passport is up to date and has not expired before your trip.


In addition to a passport, certain countries may require a visa for entry. A visa is a stamp or sticker placed in your passport that grants you permission to enter and stay in a particular country for a specified period. The visa requirements vary depending on the country you plan to visit.

It is crucial to check the visa requirements well in advance of your trip. Southwest Airlines recommends contacting the embassy or consulate of the country you’re visiting to find out the specific visa requirements and how to obtain one.

Entry requirements by country

Each country has its own set of entry requirements, which may include additional documentation, such as proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test results, or travel insurance. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the entry requirements of the country you plan to visit.

Southwest Airlines advises passengers to visit the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website for detailed information on entry requirements by country. The IATA website provides up-to-date information on travel restrictions, visa requirements, and other essential travel-related information.

Remember, international travel requirements can change frequently, so it is crucial to stay informed and updated on the latest travel regulations. Check the official government websites of the countries you plan to visit and consult with your travel agent or airline for any changes or updates regarding ID requirements for international travel.

What To Do If You Lose Your ID Before a Flight

It can be a traveler’s worst nightmare to realize that they have lost their ID just before a flight. However, there are steps you can take to navigate this situation and still make it to your destination smoothly. Here are some important things to do if you find yourself in this predicament:

Contact Southwest Airlines

The first thing you should do if you lose your ID before a Southwest Airlines flight is to contact the airline immediately. They have experienced staff who can guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary information.

Southwest Airlines has a dedicated customer service team that can assist you with any concerns or questions you may have.

Pro Tip: Save the Southwest Airlines customer service number in your phone before you travel so that you have it readily available in case of emergencies.

Arrive early for additional screening

Arriving early at the airport is crucial if you find yourself without your ID. This will allow you ample time to go through the additional screening process that Southwest Airlines may require. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has protocols in place for situations like this, and Southwest Airlines will work with them to ensure your safety and security.

Pro Tip: Aim to arrive at least two hours before your scheduled departure time to give yourself enough time for the additional screening process.

Consider alternate forms of ID

If you have lost your ID, it’s important to consider any alternate forms of identification that you may have. This can include a passport, a driver’s license from another state, or any other government-issued identification.

Southwest Airlines will accept these alternate forms of ID, but it’s always a good idea to check their official website or contact customer service for specific requirements.

Pro Tip: Always carry a photocopy of your passport or other identification documents in a separate bag or wallet when you travel. This can be a lifesaver in case of emergencies.

Prepare backup documentation

When traveling without your ID, it’s important to have backup documentation to prove your identity. This can include items such as a copy of your birth certificate, social security card, or any other official documents that verify who you are.

Be prepared to provide these documents to Southwest Airlines and the TSA for verification purposes.

Pro Tip: Keep all your important travel documents in a secure and easily accessible folder or pouch when you travel. This will help you stay organized and ensure that you have everything you need in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Remember, losing your ID before a flight can be stressful, but by following these steps and staying calm, you can still have a smooth travel experience with Southwest Airlines. Always check the official Southwest Airlines website for the most up-to-date information and requirements regarding ID issues.


We hope this outline has helped answer your questions surrounding Southwest Airlines identification requirements for 2023. With a valid government-issued photo ID that matches your boarding pass, plus understanding the airline’s rules around age, name changes, TSA requirements, international travel, and lost identification, you’ll breeze through check-in and security to enjoy smooth travels ahead.

Safe travels and happy flying!

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