LOST DRIVER’S LICENSE – What is an old person to do? Rental Car? Flight ID?

I was headed for North Carolina to visit my son for Christmas. At the Albuquerque Sunport, I went through the TSA Pre line since I had qualified for Global Entry. No problem with my carry-on, but I triggered the security devices several times with my belt, keys, hearing aid batteries, etc. resulting in placing the items in a small plastic bowl. I had not returned my driver’s license to my wallet and laid it on top of the other items in the bowl.

When I got to the hotel in Charlotte, NC, they wanted an ID. I discovered that I did not have my driver’s license; however, the hotel desk clerk, looked at me and waived that requirement, and allowed me to check in. But, I did not have a driver’s license and I had to pick up a rental car the next morning. The evening was spent awake and sorting though every item I travelled with.

The next morning, after searching my belongings in detail, I googled Albuquerque Sunport lost and found. One of the four choices was a phone number for TSA. I called; the license had been turned in late the prior night, The TSA rep. was great. She said that they could FedEx it to me; took my information, credit card number, and the address of the Waynesville Bed and Breakfast where we would be staying.

I wrote down the tracking number she gave me and we headed to the rental car counter. They accepted my wife’s driver’s license and we rented a car.

The next day about 3:00, after tracking my credit card through Memphis, Ashville and Waynesville, it arrived at our Bed and Breakfast. I carefully put it in my wallet; and checked my wallet every few hours.

The FedEx envelope with my driver’s license.


Things I learned from my experience and a bit of research:

  1. Watch your identification documents.
  2. Carry your Global Entry Card with you; it can be used for identification at the airport.
  3. Get a police report for lost driver’s licenses.
  4. In NM you can get a temporary license for a lost license on-line if you are under 75 and don’t have any other problems; with me the problem was the age. I missed the 75 cut-off at 77.
  5. Google: “name of airport” + “lost and found.”
  6. Have someone with you who has a valid driver’s license.
  7. Driving without a driver’s license in your possession is a crime, may lead to your arrest and may cause increase in insurance rates.
  8. Have as much documentation as possible to show that you have a license, ie police report, photocopy, insurance card, etc. Have info on your cell phone and you may be able to talk your way out of it.

The big problem will be the car rental company; so, be a member of their frequent renter group, have another driver with you, and  talk to a manager.

Since you are old anyway, it is a good time to rethink alternative forms of transportation.

Public, Uber, friend, spouse, etc.



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