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Old Mar 9, 04, 11:41 pm   #1
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Is It Illegal To Travel Under A False Name?

I was just curious about this. I know that it would raise all kinds of flags with various government agencies if you were to travel under a name that was not yours. But the question is, is it illegal to do so? If it is, does anyone know the statute or regulation that covers it?
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Old Mar 10, 04, 1:34 am   #2
 
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This would certainly seem to depend on what aspect of travel that one is thinking about (the "Soundproof Airport Motel" that used to be across Cicero Avenue from MDW comes to mind). Are you talking about paying cash and traveling with a Chicken Inspector badge?

In terms of being required to identify oneself, Gilmore v. Ashcroft is still kicking around. Nothing new in PACER when I checked a week and a half ago, but as far as the airlines are concerned, if it's not law, it will become "policy," so I think you'd be stuck with carrying fake ID.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 4:55 am   #3
 
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No criminal intent = No Crime. But (at least as far as air, train, or bus transportation) you would presumably have to make or obtain bogus government-issued ID and you would run afoul of various federal and state laws.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 5:25 am   #4
 
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As far as I know, you can certainly travel domestically under a false name. You do NOT have to have ID to travel; stating you do not have ID will result in a thorough search but nothing more.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 5:58 am   #5
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Is It Illegal To Travel Under A False Name?

It shouldn't be. Good luck, Gilmore!!!

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Old Mar 10, 04, 6:42 am   #6
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In the US, as in other English common law countries, you can call yourself anything you want. Contrary to popular belief. You do not need a court order or anything.

However, you cannot be doing this to accomplish any fraud.

You can even get your passport or driver's license issued in any name, believe it or not. You just need to sign an affidavit saying that this is the name you go by.

Traveling under a different name is perfectly legal. Nothing false about it if that is what you call yourself. And you may have several names at the same time if you wish.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 6:54 am   #7
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by richard:
Traveling under a different name is perfectly legal. Nothing false about it if that is what you call yourself.</font>
But then you are answering a question different from the one that was asked. If this is a name you really go by, then it isn't a "false name." And while I agree that you can go by any name you like, I don't think any airline will let you board if the name on your ticket is not the name on your ID.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 7:36 am   #8
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by pynchonesque:
But then you are answering a question different from the one that was asked. If this is a name you really go by, then it isn't a "false name." And while I agree that you can go by any name you like, I don't think any airline will let you board if the name on your ticket is not the name on your ID. </font>
Many persons named William or Richard do it every day. Right, Bill and Dick?
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Old Mar 10, 04, 11:12 am   #9
 
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The Robert / Bobby issue is one more example of discrimination in the application of airport security checks. People with foreign nicknames that are extremely common but unfamiliar to the insular TSA line personnel have trouble when the names don't match exactly. Robert travelling as Bobby goes right on through.

A relative of mine had to change his name legally to his nickname from his given name because of the continual recurrence of this dilemma. Half of his official paperwork was in his given name and the other half in his nickname.
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Old Mar 10, 04, 11:33 am   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Spiff:
Is It Illegal To Travel Under A False Name?

It shouldn't be. Good luck, Gilmore!!!

</font>

Let's take it a step further. Giving a false name is a lie but it is a lie forced upon the passenger who really wants to fly anonymously. The only reason one would give a false name when the intent was not criminal (to establish that Fred was in New York when he wasn't) is because the airlines have this spot on their reservation form that says "Passenger Name" that they must fill out.

The way (I think) this would work would be for the airlines to either not even ask a name or honor the request for one to fly anonymously. You give your name voluntarily if you want to participate in a loyalty program.

To me the issue is whether or not I want to reveal my identity, not whether or not I want to use a false name--and I believe I should not have to reveal my identity if I choose not to. Freedom of mobility is implied by the constitution and has been an inherent in our history from the moment the settlers began pushing back the frontier in Salem.

Of course that implies no FF miles or status! The price we pay for freedom and privacy is a high one on many fronts!


[This message has been edited by pushback (edited Mar 10, 2004).]
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Old Mar 10, 04, 11:49 am   #11
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Or, my decision to share my identity with the airline is my own. The federal government should not force me to do so and they should not consider themselves welcome to that information. It is none of their godd@mn business who, how, when, where or why I fly.

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Old Mar 10, 04, 12:50 pm   #12
 
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The mention of Gilmore was a bit cryptic, so here is the link for anyone who wants to follow up.

http://www.freetotravel.org/legal.html

John Gilmore filed a lawsuit on July 18, 2002 against United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, the heads of the Federal Aviation Administration, the new Transportation Security Administration, FBI, the new Homeland Security agency and also the Attorney General. He sued "because he believes persons have a right to travel by air without the government requiring that they relinquish their anonymity. No security threat is as important as the threat to American society caused by erosion of the right to travel, the right to be free from unreasonable searches, and the right to exercise First Amendment rights anonymously." (from Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief)
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Old Mar 10, 04, 2:29 pm   #13
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So what names do people like P.Diddy, 50-cent, Cher, Beyonce, Snoop Dawg, etc. travel under?
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Old Mar 10, 04, 2:35 pm   #14
 
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The legal name they were born with or changed to.

On "Airline" Monday night there was a segment with a SW agent helping some fans determine whether Eminem was flying through LAX (On Southwest, I assume) on that particular day. She commented that "we know he can't travel under an assumed name" and with the boys' help looked up the name Marshall Mathers (but struck out).
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Old Mar 10, 04, 2:55 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by BigLar:
So what names do people like P.Diddy, 50-cent, Cher, Beyonce, Snoop Dawg, etc. travel under?</font>

"Rich and famous rapper/superstar"
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