While you may think you’re ok to travel domestically within the United States freely, you may not realize that you should technically be carrying your immigration documents at all times to avoid issues.
Whether crossing state borders or going on a holiday out of town, you are generally recommended to always be carrying your immigration documents with you in order to avoid problems with local, state, and federal authorities.
If you are 18 or older, yes, you do have to carry your official registration documents with you.
Section 264(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.) requires all residents to have “at all times” official evidence of LPR status:
(e) Personal possession of registration or receipt card; penalties
Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d). Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
It’s really as simple as that. If you’re found to not be carrying your card, you can get a fine or be imprisoned!
Sure, lots of you are probably thinking “but I’ve never been carrying my documents up to now!” and you’re right. It will probably never come up, and you will most likely never need to show it. But these are the rules!
What official documents should I carry?
Well, technically you should have your passport, which contains your I-94 stamp, your green card (if you have one), and anything else that is relevant directly to your admittance into the country.
That is technically the law.
Beyond that, if you preferred to, you could carry copies to show that you could make them available in short time, but it’s up to you whether you want to risk it!
If you’re traveling outside the U.S. you absolutely MUST have all your documents on you, and if you are flying domestically, your passport will work with full effect in all states (which sometimes other forms of ID do not).