Oh, the indignities that D.C. must bear

TSA agent asks for D.C. man’s passport to board flight from Orlando to Washington

July 15

In another incident suggesting that the status of the District of Columbia becomes hazier with distance from the Capitol dome, a TV station in Florida aired an account of the failure of a D.C. driver’s license to satisfy a federal airport screener there.

The station, WFTV in Orlando, carried a report on the difficulties encountered Saturday by a Washington correspondent who tried to use his D.C. license to board a flight back to Washington from Orlando.

The station’s report came as other news accounts told how an effort to purchase alcohol in New Hampshire failed because a D.C. license was not considered a valid form of identification.

In the Florida incident involving the confrontation with a TSA screener, the Orlando station reported that Justin Gray,Washington correspondent with the Cox Media Group, “realized the man did not know” what the District of Columbia is. Gray was eventually permitted to board.

It was not clear how common such incidents are, but they have been reported previously.

The TSA confirmed on Tuesday that D.C. licenses are valid forms of identification. Efforts are made to resolve whatever misunderstandings may arise, a TSA spokesman said.

In the New Hampshire incident, it turned out that state law lists licenses issued by one of the states as valid proofs of age for the purpose of purchasing alcohol.

But the law says nothing about a license issued by the District, which is not a state.

This prompted the New Hampshire governor to send a twitter message saying that she was looking into the statute.

In addition, the state liquor commission said it did not believe that the District was left out of the statute on purpose.

As quoted in a news account, the commission took the position that D.C. driver’s licenses are indeed acceptable forms of identification for those wishing to purchase alcohol in New Hampshire.

It was not immediately clear how many D.C. residents have been rebuffed in their attempts to buy alcoholic beverages in the Granite State.

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