Some Florida driver’s license holders having problems at TSA checkpoints

Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 1:25 PM EDT
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Some Floridians said they are having problems with their valid driver’s licenses not scanning in the Transportation Security Administration lines at airports.

WFLX learned about the problem during a meetup in Royal Palm Beach.

Ron Friedman of Boca Raton told WFLX about a trip that was almost stopped before it started, when his valid license wouldn’t scan at the TSA security checkpoint before a flight to New York state.

"Initially it was frustrating," said Friedman.

When the license didn’t scan, Friedman said he was told by a TSA agent to get a printed boarding pass from his airline ticket counter.

According to Friedman, the boarding pass coupled with the license that wouldn’t scan allowed him to get through the security checkpoint.

He said the same thing happened on his return trip from New York state to Florida.

"These drivers license were newly issued to us," Friedman said. "So, I'm thinking maybe there's something wrong with the issue of it."

Turns out Friedman was not the only one having issues with his license.

It’s a problem statewide, including in Palm Beach County.  Pinpointing the exact issue with the licenses hasn't been easy.

“We have no idea," Palm Beach County tax collector Anne Gannon said. "We just know once it started to happen the vendor was contacted and they developed a work around."

The license printing machines at local tax collectors offices are supplied by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

In an email response, a spokesperson told WFLX:

"Occasionally an individual will experience an issue with the bar code printed on the back of their driver's license; however, it is infrequent."

For now, handheld scanners will be given to each county tax collector’s office. They will be used to test the license barcode before it's issued to the customer. This becomes an extra step in already busy offices.

"What it really does is it adds transaction time, which really backs up our wait line," Gannon said.

Gannon and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles didn't say how many license holders have been affected.

Licenses make up about 52% of tax collector office business, according to Gannon.

Friedman hopes his next trip, a cruise out of Miami, will go smoother.

"Very frustrated that I tried to elevate this by normal means," Friedman said. "So, I’m proud and happy that a TV station like WPTV is willing to take this on."

Friedman said he had to pay $15 for his license reprint.

A Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesperson said if Florida licenses do not scan they will be reprinted without being charged a new fee.

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