Known Traveler Number for Quicker Airport Security

Woman with Known Traveler Number walking through airport with luggage

What is a Known Traveler Number?

In an effort to streamline airport security procedures, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduced the TSA PreCheck program back in December 2013. This initiative was designed to offer a more seamless airport security experience for participants at designated airports throughout the U.S.

While navigating TSA security queues can be a traveler’s nightmare, enrolling in TSA PreCheck can significantly streamline your airport security experience. To give you a perspective on the time saved: In March 2023, nearly 90% of those with TSA PreCheck breezed through security in under five minutes.

Those who have TSA PreCheck enjoy exclusive security lanes, the luxury of keeping their shoes on, and the convenience of leaving their 3-1-1 liquids and laptops untouched in their bags. Plus, these perks are accessible on numerous airlines across more than 200 airports.

To be a part of this program, travelers are required to pay a fee of $78 and undergo a series of verification processes, including a background check, a face-to-face interview, and a fingerprint scan. Once these steps are successfully completed, participants are awarded a unique identifier known as the Known Traveler Number (KTN).

Unlike other travel programs such as Global Entry, Nexus, or SENTRI, where members receive physical identification cards, TSA PreCheck members are identified solely through their KTN. This number essentially acts as your TSA ID.

It’s crucial for travelers to have this number readily available, as it needs to be included in all qualifying flight reservations to enjoy the benefits of expedited security screening.

How Do You Get a Known Traveler Number?

The TSA PreCheck program is open to all U.S. citizens, nationals, and legal permanent residents, provided they don’t have a criminal record. For immigrants interested in joining, detailed application guidelines can be found on the Dept. of Homeland Security’s official website.

The application process is quite user-friendly. Initially, you’d need to fill out an online application. Following this, an in-person interview is scheduled at a TSA PreCheck enrollment center. During this interview, it’s imperative to present specific documents that confirm your identity. Acceptable forms of identification include a valid U.S. passport, driver’s license, or birth certificate.

Additionally, kids age 12 and under don’t require a separate TSA PreCheck membership. If they’re accompanied by an adult who’s a TSA PreCheck member, they can also use the expedited TSA Security lanes. Teens between 13-17 can use these lanes too, but only if their boarding passes have the TSA PreCheck indicator.

How long does it take to get a Known Traveler Number?

Typically, after getting the OK for membership, most individuals receive their KTN within 3-5 days. However, according to the TSA PreCheck’s official site, it might take up to 90 days in some cases.

Can You Add Your KTN into an Existing Reservation?

Once you’ve secured your Known Traveler Number, you can begin enjoying its perks. Since airlines can’t automatically discern which travelers possess TSA PreCheck benefits, it’s essential to input your KTN into every flight reservation.

Ideally, you’d do this while making your booking. Once added, your boarding pass should display notations like “TSAPRECHK,” “TSA PRE,” or “TSA Pre✓” to signify the successful addition of your KTN. The exact notation might vary based on the airline and the format of your boarding pass (digital or paper).

But don’t fret if you overlooked this step. You can still incorporate your KTN into your ticket before your journey. Phone your airline or contact them online to add your  Known Traveler Number (KTN). Be sure you enter your full name, date of birth and KTN in the exact same way that you did during your enrollment . If there any of the travel reservation data does not match , you will not receive the TSA PreCheck indicator on your boarding pass.

Is it Possible to Add a KTN After Check-In?

If you’re nearing your flight time and haven’t attached your KTN to your ticket, all hope still isn’t lost. However, a few additional steps are required to access the expedited security benefits.

For travelers who’ve already checked in online without their KTN, reaching out to the airline’s customer support might be necessary to input the KTN and get a revised boarding pass.

If you’re facing extended call wait times, there’s an alternative. You can add your KTN directly at the airport. Approach a service or check-in counter before heading to security. Once you share your KTN, the representatives should be equipped to issue a new boarding pass, enabling you to use the speedier security lanes.

Where to Find Your KTN

Wondering how to locate your KTN? If you can’t remember your KTN, don’t worry. The recovery process is straightforward. Navigate to the TSA’s official website and select the option to “Retrieve your KTN online.” Here, you’ll be prompted to enter your full name, birth date, and at least one contact method, either phone or email.

For those who’ve gained TSA PreCheck status through their Global Entry membership, the TSA website won’t provide a KTN retrieval. Instead, access your Global Entry account on the Homeland Security portal and search for your PASSID. This method is also relevant for Nexus and SENTRI participants.

Alternatively, you can utilize your Universal Enroll ID (UEID) number, paired with your birth date, to search for your KTN. The UEID is provided when you initiate your TSA PreCheck application online and prior to your scheduled interview. Check your confirmation email to locate this detail.

What If You Can’t Locate Your KTN?

There might be instances where, despite entering accurate details in the KTN search tool, you’re met with a response stating “No status found.” If you’re certain about the accuracy of your input and still can’t trace your KTN, reach out to Homeland Security at 855-347-8371 for further guidance.

Locating the Known Traveler Number on a Global Entry Card

Locating the Known Traveler Number on a Global Entry Card Your Known Traveler Number, often referred to as PASSID, is conveniently located on the reverse side of your Global Entry card. This identifier typically spans nine digits and commonly starts with 15, 98, or 99.

The Key to TSA PreCheck: Your Known Traveler Number

The Known Traveler Number is the distinguishing mark for TSA PreCheck members. To enjoy the benefits of swift airport security checks, this number must be incorporated into every flight reservation. Whether you’re booking, post-booking, or even after checking in, you can input this number.

Misplaced your KTN? No worries. You can either use the online Known Traveler Number retrieval tool or simply refer to the back of your Global Entry card to find it.

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