02/28/2014 12:44 pm ET Updated Feb 28, 2014

TSA Agent Questions Passenger Over Status Of D.C.'s Statehood

Plenty of things can trigger a slowdown in the security line at an airport. Whoever thought the status of Washington, D.C.'s statehood would be one of them?

This, after traveler (and D.C. resident) Ashley Brandt says she was delayed at the Phoenix airport last week after presenting a TSA agent with her D.C. license to confirm her identity. As the TSA requests a "state-issued photo ID," and Washington D.C. isn't a state but a federal district, Brandt says she was subject to extra inquiry.

In a recollection of the incident to the Washington Post, Brandt says the agent looked at her ID, shook her head, and said, “I don't know if we can accept these ... Do you have a U.S. passport?"

Brandt didn't present a passport, leading the agent to call for a superior. “I started thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, I have to get home. Am I going to get home?'" Brandt said.

Fortunately, reports NBC Washington, the supervisor signed off on her ID and Brandt made it home on time.

In the midst of the incident, Brandt's boyfriend, who was with her at the time, tweeted, "Holy. S**t. TSA @ PHX asked for gf's passport because her valid DC license deemed invalid b/c 'DC not a state'."

The tweet went viral, prompting D.C.'s House delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to author a letter to the TSA calling for "corrective action." But in all fairness to the TSA, as Mother Jones notes, the matter was cleared up pretty quickly.

In a statement to The Huffington Post, a TSA spokesperson confirmed licenses from Washington, D.C. shouldn't pose a problem at TSA checkpoints.

“A valid Washington, D.C., driver's license is an acceptable form of identification at all TSA checkpoints. When issues arise at the checkpoint, TSA officers work to make sure facts are gathered and quickly resolved to avoid future confusion.”

This story has been updated with comments from the TSA.



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