How to Circumvent TSA’s New Driver’s License Glitch

by SharonKurheg

Most would agree the TSA has a lot of issues:

However despite all of that, if nothing else, going through the TSA checkpoint has gotten easier over the years:

Unfortunately, the TSA still isn’t perfect (gee, ya think? LOLOL!) and thanks to a computer glitch, if you have a recently-issued driver’s license from Colorado, it may not be able to be scanned at TSA checkpoints.

Nicholas Hunt, a writer for Denver-based 5280 Magazine, explained it this way:

…the TSA agent took one look at my license and said something along the lines of, “Ugh, Colorado IDs are the worst. They never scan.” Sure enough, I watched as the agent’s Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) machine, the little black box on her desk with a slot similar to an ATM, rejected my license and forced her to verify that I was who I said I was manually…

Why is this happening?

According to AXIOS:

The problem is the technology that confirms the different marks on a driver’s license, TSA agents say, and dates back years.


The database the scanner uses to verify legitimate IDs doesn’t appear to have the correct version of Colorado licenses, which were redesigned in February 2022.

The issue affects Colorado residents who have received a new driver’s license in the past year or so.

The State of Colorado is well aware of the issue but suggests it’s not their problem but the TSA’s. The TSA apparently understands the problem and realizes its CAT machines require a software update, but has yet to complete fixing the system.

So until then, what’s a Coloradoan to do?

There are a couple of workarounds:

Use an expired driver’s license

During Covid, the TSA decreed that a recently expired driver’s license was an acceptable form of ID. This became the rule because state agency offices were closed due to the pandemic and some people were delayed in getting their driver’s licenses renewed in time. They still haven’t changed that rule (and even when/if they do, recently expired DLs may still be considered OK, based on TSA’s pre-Covid rules). So if you have an old driver’s license that expired before the February 2022 redesign that’s causing all the problems, that might work for you.

Use a different form of ID

You don’t have to use a driver’s license to show who you are. There are several other forms of ID that can be used. If you have one of those, use that instead of your driver’s license.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, but…

The TSA will undoubtedly eventually fix the problem and current Colorado driver’s licenses will be considered OK by their scanners. Until then, it’s a known hiccough. So for now, either arrive at the airport early (especially airports in Colorado, where more people will have issues since, obviously, more people there will have Colorado driver’s licenses) to give yourself time for the TSA officer to confirm your ID using a different, slower method, or bring a different ID than your newly issued driver’s license.

Feature Photo: TSA

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.

Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


Steve February 27, 2023 - 6:48 am

Global Entry card works fine. Recently used in Denver at Pre-Check

Craig Hi. March 5, 2023 - 3:57 pm

The same iwith new Florida drivers licenses. Very annoying that the government puts a system in place with an issue like this.

SharonKurheg March 5, 2023 - 3:59 pm

How new? My FL DL was last issued in early 2021 and I have no problems…?

Amy jones March 5, 2023 - 11:49 pm

I had issues with my Colorado license this week and was going to get a new one since mine expires in 3 months but it sounds like that will make things worse.

Barb June 26, 2023 - 5:15 pm

We have licenses issued in 2019. My husband has trouble with his and I don’t. He was going to get a new one since we thought the old ones were the problem but now I read that the newer ones can be just as bad!


Leave a Comment