If you’re looking to move quickly through airport security, TSA PreCheck is a great option. With TSA PreCheck’s trusted traveler program, you get to keep on your shoes, belt, and jacket. You don’t have to remove your laptop from your carrying case. You don’t have to follow the 3-1-1 rule for liquids. And you get to head through an expedited screening.1
Sounds like benefits everyone would want, right? So how does the TSA keep track of who has TSA PreCheck benefits and who doesn’t?
The answer is a Known Traveler Number, or KTN for short. This guide will go over KTNs, explaining what a Known Traveler Number is, how to get a TSA PreCheck KTN, and how to utilize them the next time you book a flight.
A Known Traveler Number, put simply, is an ID number for people who have submitted the TSA PreCheck requirements and approved for TSA PreCheck. Unlike any other trusted traveler program or secure flight program, TSA PreCheck does not provide you with an identification card. This means you will need your KTN to access the program’s benefits and get through the participating airport security checkpoint faster. Some basic facts about KTNs include:2
How do you get a KTN?
KTNs will be given to anyone who is approved for TSA PreCheck expedited screening program, so to get your KTN, you need to apply for the TSA PreCheck program. This is a multi-step process:3
The process, while straightforward, can be overwhelming, which is where GOV+ comes in. With GOV+, you simply fill out our easy online form, and we take it from there. We’ll set up your in-person appointment and make sure you have all the necessary documentation, so you don’t have to worry about anything and enjoy an experdited security screening.
Once you are approved to bepart of the TSA PreCheck traveler program, you will be given your KTN. Just remember that approvals are solely at the discretion of the TSA or Transportation Security Administration. There is no guarantee you will be approved for TSA PreCheck.
Let’s say you apply for TSA PreCheck and are approved. Congratulations! You receive your KTN. Now what?
Well, now you get to reap the benefits of being a member of TSA PreCheck. Whenever you book a flight, be sure to enter your KTN. This will ensure that your boarding pass includes your TSA PreCheck status and will provide you with access to expedited security.
If you do forget to add your KTN at the time of booking, that’s also okay, though it will make things a bit more complicated. When this happens, refer to your carrier website to learn their procedures for adding your KTN or TSA PreCheck indicator to your reservation so that you can still reap your TSA PreCheck benefits.
TSA PreCheck trusted traveler program isn’t the only option when it comes to trusted traveler programs. Other programs include:4
With any of these programs, you will be given a CBP PASSID instead of a KTN. Some basics about CBD PASSIDs include:5
You will also get a trusted traveler card. However, this card will not grant you access to TSA PreCheck privileges. Instead, you will need to enter your CBP PASSID into the KTN field at the time of booking. Your CBP PASSID can normally be found on the back of your trusted traveler card.
One more thing you should keep in mind about your KTN is what to do if you lose it. Life is full of ID numbers (social security, credit card, license plate, just to name a few), so it’s understandable that you may misplace your KTN.
If this happens, you can retrieve it through the TSA website. On the trusted traveler program website, there is a link to look up your KTN. You’ll just need to provide some basic information for them to send your KTN to you.
If you are a member of Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI, the process is slightly different. Since your TSA PreCheck privileges come through your PASSID, you will need to look up that number. Instead of going to the TSA website, head to the Homeland Security website. There you will find the option to look up your PASSID.4
There you have it—everything you need to know about KTNs. If you’re ready to start flying with less hassle, trust GOV+. We make government applications easy, including applying for TSA PreCheck. So, if you want a smoother flying experience, the first step is to head to GOV+ today.
1. TSA. TSA PreCheck® Application Program. https://www.tsa.gov/news/press/factsheets/tsa-precheckr-application-program
2. TSA. What are a CBP PASSID and Known Traveler Number? https://www.tsa.gov/travel/frequently-asked-questions/what-known-traveler-number-ktn
3. TSA. TSA PreCheck® FAQ. https://www.tsa.gov/PreCheck/faq
4. US Department of Homeland Security. Trusted Traveler Programs. https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/
5. US Customs and Border Protection. What is a CBP PASSID and Known Traveler Number? https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article1852?language=en_US