Airport screenings can be a significant source of anxiety when you're preparing to fly. There are many rules and steps to follow before you can board a plane. Trusted traveler programs (TTP) like TSA PreCheck® and Global Entry add convenience to air travel by making airport screening a smoother experience for members of these programs.
What is a TSA PreCheck number?
Enrollment in TSA PreCheck will give you a unique 9-digit number called a Known Traveler Number (KTN). You might have heard of your KTN called your TSA Precheck number, and they are referred to interchangeably.
TSA PreCheck is one of several trusted traveler programs, but this is for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. After completing an application process and paying a fee, membership last 5 years and gives access to specific lanes designed to streamline the security process at airport security checkpoints.
How to get a Known Traveler Number
You receive a 9-digit KTN when you finish enrolling in a TTP: Global Entry, SENTRI, NEXUS or TSA PreCheck. The KTN is a unique identifier that confirms your status in one of those programs. You usually enter your KTN when booking or checking in for a flight. After that, your verified status should appear on your boarding pass, so you can enter designated security lanes.
How to find your TSA PreCheck number or KTN
There are several ways you will be able to find your KTN or TSA PreCheck number after enrolling in a TTP.
Sign in to the trusted traveler program website
As you apply for a TTP online, you may set up an account to manage your application and any membership that results. While an approval letter can take several days to arrive in the mail, your KTN will be available online once you've been approved. Perhaps the fastest way to get your KTN at this point is by signing in to the TTP website. If you applied for TSA PreCheck online, for example, you may have sign-in information to manage your application and membership.
After signing in to the program's portal, you should be able to locate your KTN. In the future, you can likely refer to your KTN anytime this same way.
Check your approval letter
Your approval letter should arrive about a week after you finish enrollment in a TTP. You may also receive your approval by email, which could be a faster way to access your KTN. Sometimes the review process can take as long as 60 days, but an approval would contain your KTN.
Look on your membership card
Although members receive a KTN for every trusted traveler program, only Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI issue physical membership cards. On the back of this card will be a 9-digit sequence called a PASSID, which is the equivalent of a KTN.
Adding your Known Traveler Number to bookings
You can add your KTN when you book or check in to your flight. When booking online, you should see a field where you can enter your 9-digit KTN, and your boarding pass will reflect your status. You could also add your KTN when you check in for your flight online or at the airport, and this will have the same result: Your TSA PreCheck status will appear on your boarding pass.
You usually do not have to travel with a membership card in order to access designated lanes at the airport. However, it's wise to prepare for the unexpected and carry your card with you at the airport.
A KTN is a 9-digit sequence that is unique to you and assigned after you're approved for a trusted traveler program, such as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. A KTN is often interchangeable with a TSA PreCheck number. When you book or check in for a flight, you can enter your KTN so that you can access certain lanes at airport screening areas, such as security and customs.
Many travel credit cards reimburse for the application fee charged to enroll in a TTP, including Chase Sapphire Reserve®. The card has an annual fee, but cardmembers can receive one statement credit up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the TSA PreCheck application fee. If you think you already have a reimbursement benefit for a service like TSA PreCheck, review your card's terms and conditions.