What is a Known Traveler Number? and Other FAQs

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration launched TSA PreCheck in December 2013. This Trusted Traveler Program, designed to make airport security a smoother experience for its members at select airports across the U.S., is available to travelers who pay an $78 fee and complete a background check, in-person interview and fingerprint scan.

After completing the necessary application steps, approved TSA PreCheck members are given what’s called a Known Traveler Number, or KTN.

What is a Known Traveler Number?

TSA PreCheck members aren’t given identification cards like members of other Trusted Traveler Programs (e.g., Global Entry, Nexus, SENTRI).

Instead, the KTN is the primary identifier and effectively serves as your TSA number. Travelers are wise to keep this number handy, as it must be input into every eligible flight booking to take advantage of screening benefits.

How to get a Known Traveler Number

Any U.S. citizen, U.S. national and legal permanent resident — without a criminal history — is eligible for preapproval for the TSA PreCheck membership program. Immigrants can learn more about the necessary application materials on the Department of Homeland Security website.

You can apply online quickly. Then, you’ll need to schedule an in-person TSA PreCheck interview appointment at an enrollment center. The interview process is fairly straightforward; most importantly, you will need to bring several documents and proof of identity to your appointment. Examples of approved unexpired U.S. government-issued photo identifications include your passport, driver’s license or birth certificate.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Children 12 and younger don’t need their own TSA PreCheck membership. As long as they are traveling with an adult who is a member, they can use the TSA Security lanes, too.

You can find out more about applying for TSA PreCheck to get a Known Traveler Number in our full article on

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