Can You Fly if You Have a Warrant?

Can You Fly if You Have a Warrant?

Tolkien famously wrote in The Lord of The Rings that ‘Not all those who wander are lost.’ Considering the remarkable British writer’s words, it can be concluded that wandering, for instance, from the right path in life, doesn’t mean we will be lost forever. 

Traveling as a convicted felon or when awaiting trial can be difficult. However, criminals who have served their time may legally hold their passports and travel outside their country again. A lot depends on the nature of the crime committed.

Today you will find out when it’s possible to fly with a warrant, what crimes exclude you from travel, and what is the best option for you.

Passport photo in 3s!

Take a photo with your smartphone, upload it to the website, we will convert it to an official passport photo and send you a digital or printed version. Simple? You can’t get more convenient than that!

passport photo editor

When can I fly with a warrant?

The fundamental difference concerns national or international flights. You can get on most domestic flights with an outstanding warrant but not on international ones.

Police have access to information about criminals through a national database that allows them to find information on almost every person, including warrant status. If police determine there is a warrant for your arrest, you will be arrested and taken into custody. This is not something you want to happen at the start of your holiday.

Who cannot fly with a warrant? 

You will be denied from having a passport when you are:

  • international drug traffickers
  • subjected to a federal arrest 
  • forbidden by probation, parole, or a court order to leave the country 
  • owning money in child support (for example in the US if you owe $2,500) 
  • imprisoned or under a supervised release program for felony drug charges relating to distributing a controlled substance.

Can you travel on domestic flights with a warrant?

There isn’t any specific way to escape the security borders but on domestic flights your name doesn’t appear while boarding so you don’t have to worry. Even when checking in online or at the airport, airlines don’t automatically check passenger names against certain databases to determine if there are warrants. 

Like this article and want to know more? Check these out:

Can you travel internationally with a warrant?

While travelling internationally the difficulty comes when entering a different country. You might not have problems with your country’s airport but the country you want to visit might issue a visa as a convicted felon. 

As opposed to domestic flights, the security procedures for international flights do involve checking databases. What does that mean for you? Well, your name will appear in an airline security database, but if it does not show up there, there still are several additional security checks to pass.

Our advice is not to travel far from home until the issue is resolved, particularly if you’re in the middle of a trial or currently have a warrant.

If you already held a valid passport prior to a warrant being issued, or prior to an arrest and court appearance, it may be confiscated, or you could be ordered not to leave the country while still being allowed to keep your passport. In fact, this means that you are still able to leave the city or state but your passport will be confiscated.

Can you travel if you have a warrant?

Depending on the nature of the crime you committed and the countries you want to visit the rules might vary. However, you can travel on domestic flights and some international ones. Just check how you would be welcomed in the country you plan to travel to.

The best plan is to avoid attempting to sneak in and out of your state or country. When you find out if you have a warrant and you get to your destination somehow, if you lied to airport security to get there, you are committing another crime.

Can you travel if you have a warrant?

Can a felon get a passport?

In general, you can get a passport as a felon because it is your identification document, not the only one to travel with. But, as mentioned above, sometimes your passport can be confiscated.

However, if there is an arrest warrant issued in your name and you apply for a passport renewal or a new passport,  as part of the application process, you will need to complete Form DS-11, which does not ask about any criminal history but does indicate that the State Department will cross-reference your application with relevant agencies.

There is only a small group of specific felons who are not eligible for a passport. The government policy gives felons more rights after being released from prison or otherwise completing their sentence.

Along with the process of applying for a passport, you will find help on the Passport Photo Online site. Check it out!

Can you fly if you have a warrant: FAQ

To finish off, we’ll answer some of the most important questions you might still have about flying with a warrant.

Will I get stopped at the airport if I have a warrant for my arrest?

If you have a warrant out for your arrest, you may be detained or arrested at the airport. Traveling internationally is a greater risk, as airport security staff will check your identity more comprehensively.

The best thing to do is to deal with the warrant head-on, so it is not hanging over you, then prepare your travel plans. In exceptional circumstances, getting a lawyer to appeal for a hold (or stay) on your warrant may be possible if you absolutely need to travel.

Will I get stopped at the airport if I have a warrant when in the UK?

While UK Border Patrols may not have ready access to information regarding warrants earned in the U.S., there is still a chance that U.S. citizens entering the country could be subject to spot checks by customs officers, who may then uncover the warrant and arrest them. The best plan is to ensure that you resolve any current warrants before traveling.

Does TSA check for warrants?

Agents of the Transport Security Administration (TSA) do not actively check for warrants, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk of arrest, particularly when traveling internationally, where border officials examine security databases to determine eligibility to travel.

Does TSA check for warrants?

Agents of the Transport Security Administration (TSA) do not actively check for warrants, but that doesn’t mean there is no risk of arrest, particularly when traveling internationally, where border officials examine security databases to determine eligibility to travel.

Can you fly internationally with a misdemeanor warrant?

Traveling with any active warrant carries risks, especially if traveling internationally. It is best to deal with the warrant before traveling to ensure you can legitimately leave the country.

Can you leave the country with a warrant?

Leaving the country with a warrant relies on two things:
1. The warrant not being spotted by the authorities at the airport of departure in the U.S.
2. The traveler being allowed to enter their chosen destination.

International flights require more database checks, which could risk the traveler’s exposure and arrest. Some countries also refuse entry to foreign visitors with warrants or unserved sentences. It’s better to deal with the warrant directly first. If there is an emergency that means the subject of a warrant must travel, they can apply for a hold (or stay) on their warrant, so it does not look like they are trying to sneak out of the country.

Can you fly with a bench warrant?

The authorities are likely to be extra vigilant with a bench warrant, but arrest remains more likely when traveling internationally.

What matters most is that it does not look like you are trying to “sneak” out of the country, as this increases your chance of getting arrested and may even implicate you in other crimes.

The best option is to deal with the warrant first to ensure you will be traveling legitimately. Getting a hold (or a stay) on your warrant can also help if you need to travel abroad in an emergency.

Do airports check for warrants on international flights?

Although the airport security staff on international flights will not be specifically searching for warrants, they will look up everyone’s name on several databases, increasing their chance of discovering warrants and therefore arresting their subjects.

Can you fly with a probation warrant?

This mainly depends on the individual’s situation, but there are circumstances where someone on probation will be subject to travel restrictions. In extreme cases, they will not be allowed to fly out of the state, let alone out of the country. It is crucial to read the terms of your probation very carefully to ensure you don’t get caught out.

Can you fly if you have a warrant for unpaid child support?

The U.S. Department of State says that anyone who owes over $2,500 (two thousand five hundred dollars) in child support is not eligible for a passport. Combined with a warrant, this will most likely exclude them from flying.

Can convicted felons fly without issues from airport security?

Traveling as a convicted felon is not always easy. In some cases, for example, convicted felons can have their passports revoked. In addition, some countries may refuse to allow convicted felons across their borders, further compounding the issue. However, in general, the restrictions on convicted felons become more lenient after serving their sentences, so it will then be easier to travel without problems.

Can you be arrested at the airport for a warrant?

Yes, even if the TSA is not actively searching for warrants, there is a chance that the authorities will discover one and arrest the subject at the airport.

Can you go to Mexico with a warrant?

No, Mexico will not allow travelers with outstanding warrants across their borders.

Does Amtrak check for warrants?

In cases of domestic travel, it is unlikely that Amtrak would notice a warrant. However, if someone travels by Amtrak from the U.S. to Canada, border control will undertake checks that may result in Canadian immigration officials discovering their warrant.

Can probation find out if you try to leave the country?

Depending on the severity of their crime, people on probation may have limited freedom of movement. If this is the case, U.S. Customs will be made aware of it, so if people on probation attempt to travel, the authorities will catch them.

Can you go on a cruise with a misdemeanor warrant?

No, because the cruise company will run every passenger through a security database, revealing any warrants against their names. Make sure that you resolve any outstanding warrants before taking that cruise.

Can you fly out of Texas if you have a warrant?

People with warrants can fly out of Texas for domestic flights but not international ones. It is important to remember in any case that a warrant means the police can arrest the subject at any time. To avoid an unwelcome surprise at the start of your holiday, the best thing to do is get the warrant sorted first.

Can you travel to Puerto Rico with a warrant?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, meaning any flight from the U.S. is considered domestic. This means that it is possible to travel there with a warrant. Remember, however, that the police can arrest people under the terms of their warrant at any time. Puerto Rico’s territory status also means one can be stopped by local authorities and extradited to their home state.

Rate my article:

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.