Amy from the Department of Homeland Security's TSA Public Affairs called me today. I had left her a message yesterday (see DEL posts here). She was helpful and pointed me to this TSA document online called a Passenger Identity Verification Form (PVIF).
The downside to the form is that it requires 3 forms of identification, which one needs to be a birth certificate that is certified. The other two forms of identification would be for me a Driver's License and my passport. If I didn't have either of these, it would seem a challenge to meet the 3-document requirement. The other two forms of identification need to be notarized, which will require a $10 fee for me to get from a local notary.
The certified birth certificate can be had for $18 from the County Hall of Records, if I show up in person. Otherwise I will need a notary to prove that I am who I am to then pay the $18. I also get the benefit of receiving the document promptly if I go in person. So my cost is either $28 or $38 depending on if I want to go in person and wait for 30 minutes in line to get my certified birth certificate.
The PVIF letter states:
"Please understand that the TSA clearance process will not remove a name from the Watch Lists. Instead this process distinguishes passengers from persons who are in fact on the Watch Lists by placing their names and identifying information in a cleared portion of the Lists. This information is transmitted to the airlines. Airline personnel can then more quickly determine when implementing TSA-required identity verification procedures that these passengers are not the person of interest whose name is actually on the Watch Lists.
Clearance by TSA may not eliminate the need to go to the ticket counter in order to check-in. While TSA cannot ensure that this procedure will relieve all delays, we hope it will facilitate a more efficient check-in process for you. Additionally, TSA has issued guidance to the airlines to clarify further the Watch List clearance protocol."
Even with all of the work involved, it still will not likely alleviate the check-in problems, but rather would allow them to move me forward faster, well maybe. I spoke with Carolyn from Southwest's customer service relations and she recommended that I go through the TSA procedure, but she was not sure if it would solve my problem with their kiosk check-in program. She did recommend that I book round-trip and as far in advance as possible.
I will keep you posted once I send the TSA my notarized and certified documents.