How to Travel Without an ID With Greyhound?

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Greyhound is an intercity carrier bus that runs across more than 3800 destinations in North America. One of the oldest bus chains, Greyhound, is considered a safe method of travel, and it is to ensure the safety of the passengers that Greyhound ALWAYS requires identification proof to board the bus. 

If you are reading this, we might as well ask you whether you are running short of some identification proof to be able to board your Greyhound bus? If that is the case, you must be looking for a workaround for your situation. 

In this post, we will cover a few possible solutions to work your way around not being able to present proper identification proof when boarding a Greyhound bus. We will also give you a few tips that will definitely come in handy when traveling with Greyhound, and lastly, this post will cover the question which is better between Megabus and Greyhound, besides answering a few questions relevant to traveling in a Greyhound bus.

Can you travel with Greyhound without an ID?

Firstly, let us tell you beforehand that you can not travel without confirming your identity on a Greyhound bus. This is, however, different from traveling without an ID on a Greyhound bus. Most bus lines, when asking for ID proof, are looking to confirm not only your identity but also your age since many bus lines have a certain minimum age limit to use their transportation services. 

So, what exactly counts as ID proof?

The identification source must have a proper photo of you, including a first and last name. The ID proof should also contain your date of birth, and most importantly, it should be issued by a government agency.

College IDs and other non-governmental IDs do not count as ID proof when boarding the bus.

How to travel without an ID with Greyhound?

As we have discussed before, it is absolutely mandatory to confirm your ID when you are boarding a Greyhound bus, or the agent has the complete right to abstain you from boarding.

So, what do you do if you do not have ID proof?

Use a State ID

If you do not have a driver’s license or some other ID proof, you can easily use your State ID for identification by a Greyhound agent. If you do not have access to any other government-issued ID proof, a state ID will work perfectly fine. However, you need to keep in mind that this works only for traveling within the States.

Pre-pay for the ticket

Now, this may come off as costly, but in order to be able to travel without certain ID proof, you need to pre-pay for your ticket, which costs an additional $18.00. When you pre-pay for your ticket, you are not only paying for the initial cost of traveling with Greyhound but also an additional fee which, as we mentioned, is $18. 

Pre-paying is mostly a way to buy someone else a ticket from your end; however, this is a perfect solution if you are looking to travel without an ID with Greyhound.

How do you pre-pay for a ticket for Greyhound?

Pre-paying is just another way of ordering your ticket online. Go to Greyhound’s official website and choose ‘Book a Trip.’ Now, proceed as instructed until the point of making the purchase. 

This is where you will enter the user information. Generally, the user is the person you are booking the trip for, but since you are using this method to have the Greyhound agents let you pass without an ID, you will be entering your own details.

Next, choose a password. Once you have made the purchase, your ticket will carry with it a confirmation number, which will be given to you on your screen and on your itinerary. 

You will need both your password and a confirmation number in order to use the ticket. How exactly does this solve your ID proof problem? 

The answer lies in the password. Instead of the ID proof, you will only need to give the password as chosen by you (or the person who booked your pre-paid ticket) along with the confirmation number. Voila! You are traveling with Greyhound.

Ring the customer support and ask them for a remedy

Considering that you have no ID proof whatsoever, you can call customer support to ask which alternatives they accept for confirming identity. If you can work with any of the alternative ways to confirm your ID, as suggested by the support staff, you have your problem solved.

5 Things to Keep in Mind when Traveling with Greyhound

Here are 5 tips that can prove worth your while when traveling with Greyhound, whether for the first time or as a regular intercity traveler:

1.Keep a watch on your luggage

We can not stress over this enough. Luggage theft is one of the most common crimes whether you’re traveling on a bus or a train. This is why it is important to be watchful about your luggage, even the checked-in luggage, at all times.

2.Do not venture off too far from the Bus Station

A Greyhound Bus, or any other intercity bus for that fact, will stop at multiple stations. You need to make sure you do not venture off too far from the station during the breaks. It is possible that you lose track of time, and the bus leaves without you.

Besides, it is best to stay within the bus stations during the night, for safety purposes. Many areas where the bus stops can be stranded from crowd and hustle-bustle, which make these spots unsafe. Even decently crowded areas can scale down to being unsafe as the sun goes down; therefore, it is best to stay within the stations with other travelers.

3.Try avoiding the bus bathrooms

We understand you gotta go when you gotta go; however, if it’s possible and not a very urgent Nature’s call, try avoiding the bus bathrooms.

Although the staff tries to keep the bathroom squeaky clean, they are only cleaned once at the very last destination of the bus, which means that it can get messy in the meantime.

4.Always carry an ID proof with you

Since this post is most significantly about helping you understand how you can travel with Greyhound without an ID, we also need to tell you that it is of paramount importance to carry your ID proof unless you do not have one. 

ID proof is required at multiple points, such as booking a hotel, boarding a train, and countless other things other than confirming identity while boarding a Greyhound bus.

5.Arrive early and carry a jacket or blanket if it’s cold

Although Greyhound buses are late on a very regular basis, it is important to do your part and arrive early, because, unlike airlines, bus drivers won’t make a call for you, and there are 97% chances that if you arrived late, the bus would leave without you.

Make sure to carry warm insulating clothing when traveling in the cold seasons. An equally viable option is carrying a blanket.

Which is better – Greyhound or Megabus?

Economical and eco-friendly, buses have always been among the best options for traveling out of state in a hassle-free manner. Megabus and Greyhound have been dominating the bus industry for quite a while now, and in this post, we compare them based on different features and amenities.

Purchasing the Ticket

The point goes to Megabus for this one. The ticket can be purchased online through a simple and crisp website that offers a hassle-free experience. Passengers have the option to select the seats that they want, and the website as such is quickly responsive. Greyhound’s website might look prettier, but the waiting time is enough to take away the initial charm. Moreover, even though the front seats are reserved for passengers with disabilities, no other seating choices are available.

The Journey-Comfort 

While wifi is available in both buses, customers often complain about not having access to them. However, when you take in the seating, Greyhound takes the win with its recently upgraded recliner leather seats. The legroom is also very spacious, not something you would expect from commercial bus travel. The seating in Megabus is average. In neither of these buses have the washrooms received any positive feedback, though, so they are best avoided. 

Stops and Accessibility 

Greyhound is a clear winner when it comes to accessibility due to a large number of stops (123) when compared to Megabus (30). The stations for Greyhound are designed well, and the terminals offer basic amenities such as vending machines, washrooms, and snack bars. The washrooms are cleaned regularly. Megabus, with its few pick-up points, poses some trouble in this aspect. Facilities are limited, however. 

Staff and Pricing

Buses do not offer premium wait-on-you services as airplanes do, so there is not much to be said about the quality of staff. They both offer support and help whenever needed, and the drivers have been rated popularly by most passengers.

Price-wise, Megabus offers comparatively lower prices generally. It is not that Greyhound is expensive, but since the value offered is more, it’s a tie in this case too.

Who wins?

In conclusion, if you wish to save a few bucks and are on a short journey but don’t care much about the comfort while traveling, it makes more sense to opt for Megabus. But if comfort of travel and accessibility is your priority, Greyhound is the clearly better option on both fronts.


Is traveling on Greyhound safe?

Generally, yes, it is as safe as you would expect any journey in public transportation to be. However, you would want to keep your carry-on bags with you at all times because the most common crime is luggage theft. 

Even in the bus station, hold on tight to your luggage. The stations are well lit generally, but before you know it, you could’ve lost your purse. During night times, it is recommended that you stay within the station, where it is relatively much safer than roaming around alone.  

Does Greyhound accept prepaid debit cards?

You can pay on the Greyhound website using debit or credit cards, but they do not accept prepaid cards for payment. If you are paying at the station, you can use either your debit or credit card, Cash as well as personal checks. Some stations offer a kiosk that prints your tickets for you. 

Are there bathrooms on Greyhound buses?

Yes. There are bathrooms available on Greyhound buses, but they are not recommended whatsoever, especially if you plan to sit down on the toilet seats. It is public transportation that is moderately maintained, and there is no saying who has used the toilets. So unless you have to go, it is best to hold back and use the washroom at the relatively cleaner stations.

Can you buy a Greyhound ticket using Cash?

Yes, you can buy a Greyhound ticket using Cash as long as you are paying at the station. Some stations might not accept credit cards, so it is best to have some cash on you at all times if you are planning to travel using Greyhound. However, it is recommended that you buy the tickets in advance because it is cheaper that way and you can do it easily online.

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Author - Willa Carson
Happywayfarer author Willa Carson
Hi, I'm Willa Carson, a passionate traveler who has been exploring the world for 7 years. Whether it's trekking through the Himalayas, exploring ancient ruins in South America, or simply savoring a cup of coffee at a local cafe, I believe that travel has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways. So join me on my journey and let's discover the world together!
Read more about me here.

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