Known Traveler Number: Here’s What You Need to Know

Global Entry Kiosk at Newark Liberty International

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When booking flights, you’ve probably noticed that there is a box where you can enter your Known Traveler Number (KTN).

If you’re new to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you may be wondering what a Known Traveler Number is, how it works, and why there isn’t a box for your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry number.

What Is a Known Traveler Number?

Your Known Traveler Number is your membership number with a Trusted Traveler Program. This number is what allows you to access TSA PreCheck security lanes and Global Entry lanes (depending on which Trusted Traveler Program you join).

How to Get a Known Traveler Number

To acquire a Known Traveler Number, you must participate in one of the Trusted Traveler Programs. These are:

Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are by far the most popular options in the United States. The NEXUS and SENTRI programs also provide a Known Traveler Number, though these programs are much less commonly used in the United States.

In fact, many premium credit cards will reimburse you for the application fee for either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (including American Express, Chase, and Citi, who each provide cards that offer an application fee reimbursement).

The Platinum Card® from American Express - Be sure to make use of the $100 fee credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck. There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months.

This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a HUGE welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points.

Like with the Amex Platinum (personal card), you'll also get a $100 fee credit for Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - This is a premium travel rewards card with a higher annual fee, but it'll get you into a lot of airport lounges. Also included is a $100 fee credit for Global Entry (or $85 for TSA PreCheck) as well as a $300 travel credit per year. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points, worth $750.

Since several cards offer this benefit, make sure you consider the other benefits of your credit card options, such as the points they earn, trip delay protection, purchase protection, elite status, or airport lounge access.

If your priority is earning tons of valuable and transferable points on a daily basis, you might choose the Chase Sapphire Reserve® — it earns 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on dining and travel purchases, and it comes with a Priority Pass Select membership for lounge access.

You’ll also receive a $300 travel credit that is automatically applied to your first $300 in travel purchases each cardmember year (this includes taxis, Uber, Lyft, train tickets, flights, hotels, and more).

If airport lounge access and elite status are your top priorities, The Platinum® Card from American Express provides access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) on top of a Priority Pass Select membership.

Additionally, cardholders also receive Gold elite status with both Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy. To top it off, you can earn 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar when booking flights directly with an airline.

Whichever card you choose, all you have to do is use it to pay for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, and you’ll automatically be reimbursed.

How to Find Your Known Traveler Number

Hot Tip: You can find your PASSID (also known as your Known Traveler Number) on the back of your Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI card.

If you only have TSA PreCheck, log in to the Trusted Traveler Program website to access your PASSID/Known Traveler Number. If you lose your Global Entry, NEXUS, or SENTRI card, you can use the Trusted Traveler Program site to find the number.

How to Add Your Known Traveler Number to Bookings

Delta Known Traveler Number
Once you’ve selected your flights on an airline such as Delta, you can enter your Known Traveler Number along with other passenger details.

While it might not be clear at first, you’ll be happy to know that your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry number is, in fact, your Known Traveler Number. Simply enter your Known Traveler Number in the appropriate field when booking your flight. This can also be done later — even at the check-in desk at the airport.

You do not need to carry your Global Entry card to access TSA PreCheck or Global Entry lanes at the airport.

Hot Tip: Unlike when returning from most countries, if you want to access Global Entry lanes when returning from Canada, you will need your physical Global Entry card with you.

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Which One Is Right for You?

As anyone who’s been through airport security knows, it can be a frustrating hassle. To expedite the screening process at many U.S. airports, TSA PreCheck access provides a much better experience. If you are returning to the U.S. from an international destination, Global Entry can make getting through customs a breeze.

If you mostly travel within the United States, you might think that you only need to get TSA PreCheck — this is understandable, considering the fee is $85 compared to $100 for Global Entry.

However, a Global Entry membership also provides access to TSA PreCheck. When you take into account the application fee reimbursement offered by several credit cards, why wouldn’t you go ahead and get Global Entry? With the right card, the impact on your wallet is the same — neither should cost you a dime!

By getting Global Entry, you can enjoy a quicker security experience when boarding flights in the U.S….and just in case you decide to travel abroad, you can take comfort in the fact that returning to the U.S. will be easy.

Hot Tip: If you have additional questions, don’t miss our piece on the top Global Entry FAQs

Final Thoughts

Airports are becoming busier by the year, so having access to TSA PreCheck and Global Entry is vital for quicker and smoother security screenings. With so many credit cards offering to reimburse your for the application fee, there really is no excuse not to have a Known Traveler Number.

Whether you get TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you’ll be all set for a better airport experience — just enter your PASSID/Known Traveler Number when booking your flight.


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Known Traveler Number


FAQ

How do I know if I have a Known Traveler Number?

If you have applied for and been approved for Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, or TSA PreCheck, you have a Known Traveler Number. It is simply your membership number from one of these Trusted Traveler Programs.

Can you add a Known Traveler Number after booking your flight?

Yes. If you forget to add your Known Traveler Number at the time of booking, you can add it later. This can be done online or at the check-in desk at the airport. We recommend doing it online before checking in.

Why isn't my Known Traveler Number working?

If your Known Traveler Number isn’t working, the likely causes are:

  • You, a travel agent, or reservations agent entered the number incorrectly
  • Your name doesn’t match what is on your Trusted Traveler Program profile

Where do I find my Known Traveler Number on my Global Entry card?

Your Known Traveler Number can be found on the back of your Global Entry card. It is your PASSID number.

If you have NEXUS or SENTRI, your PASSID number will also be found on the back of your card.

How long is a Known Traveler Number good for?

Your membership with a Trusted Traveler Program lasts 5 years. At this point, you will need to renew your membership and pay another $100 fee. Don’t forget to use a credit card that will reimburse you for the fee!

Spencer Howard

About Spencer Howard

Always a fan of flying, it was only natural that Spencer was drawn to finding a way to improve the travel experience. Like many, he started this journey searching for cheap flights to take him around the world. This was fun for a while, but Spencer was intrigued by the idea of flying in business and first class! Throwing himself into what became an extensive research project, Spencer spent 3-4 hours per night learning everything he could about frequent flyer miles over the course of several months (he thinks this is normal).

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41 comments

  1. Susan Hamre · March 25, 2019 · Reply

    How do I renew my KT number? It suddenly stopped working and I am not sure if the five years are up or not???

  2. Rhonda Griffin · April 1, 2019 · Reply

    I have the TSA precheck and Known Traveler Number and have loved using it. I have married and now have a different last name (Jendrzey). How do I go about changing my last name? All my legal documents are being updated with my new last name. Thank you.

    • Hi Rhonda, please see TSA’s page here on personal information changes… should be easy enough!

    • I interviewed and was approved for Global Entry on August 25th. I was sent an email with my approval and Known Traveler Number almost immediately but I have yet to receive my actual Global Entry card. Is this a normal wait time anyone else has experienced or should I be concerned?

      • Hi Luci,

        It probably isn’t a cause for concern but I would follow up with the office you interviewed at and ask when you can expect to receive your card. Truthfully, as long as you have the KTN, you don’t really need the card to receive the TSA PreCheck and Global Entry benefits.

        Thanks for reading!

  3. John Ongman · April 27, 2019 · Reply

    I have had a KTN issued through Pre Check. Today I had my interview for Global Entry. I understood from the customs agent that when I receive my KTN for that program it will supersede the KTN for PreCheck and that I should use the KTN issued through Global Entry going forward when I travel domestically rather than the one issued previously through Pre Check. Is this correct?

    • Christy Rodriguez · April 27, 2019 · Reply

      Hi John! So yes, as the customs agent noted, your KTN received from Global Entry also gives you access to TSA Precheck as well. It is more versatile than TSA Precheck alone, so can be used both domestically and internationally. Congrats on getting Global Entry!

  4. Sara Garmel · May 4, 2019 · Reply

    Can my 17 yo daughter sign up for a known traveler number without my husband or me with her?

    • Christy Rodriguez · May 5, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Sara, yes she absolutely can! There a no age limitations to obtaining a known traveler number. Have a great day!

  5. Susan Cannon · May 9, 2019 · Reply

    I first got Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check 5 years ago. It expired without any notification. I have applied to renew my Global Entry. When I try to renew TSA Pre-Check, it requires my KTN. I have my trusted traveler number, a series of numbers. It is on my Global Entry ID card. But the “find your KTN” site says that my KTN has to start with TT. Mine never has. Is a KTN the same thing as a Trusted Traveler number? If so, why doesn’t my numerical sequence work? I copied and pasted right from the Global Entry website, so it was NOT mistyped.

    Since Global Entry includes TSA Precheck, I presume I do not need to renew TSA Precheck separately. So should I just concentrate on Global Entry then? I’m so confused!

    And why wasn’t I alerted that my Global Entry was about to expire? I would have renewed immediately. 🙁

    Thank you
    Susan

    • Christy Rodriguez · May 9, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Susan, Global Entry does expire in 5 years. Unfortunately, I do not believe U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) send out any notifications. The 5 year time frame was probably on the information you received when you originally obtained it, but I definitely understand your frustration at the lack of notification from them!

      You said you had already applied for Global Entry. As you noted, you do NOT need to renew TSA PreCheck separately as you will receive it automatically upon your renewal of Global Entry. Sounds like it’s just a waiting game at this point for your Global Entry to be processed. Best of luck!

  6. Erin Hill · June 11, 2019 · Reply

    Hi Spencer and Christy,

    I’m trying to renew my boss’ TSA PreCheck membership. He has both Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. He thinks he got TSA Pre before the Global Entry. His Global Entry doesn’t expire until next year. I’m trying to figure out if his TSA PreCheck will run out ahead of that, or if it’s truly tied to the Global Entry. I don’t want it to expire ahead of time. I get the same “KTN doesn’t have a TT ahead of it” message as your user above, therefore cannot login to his account. I cannot get through on the help line and it’s 10-15 days to get an email reply from TSA/GE. Just thought it was worth asking you in case you know the answer. Good grief .gov! 😉 Thanks in advance!

    Erin

    • Christy Rodriguez · June 11, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Erin!

      With the information that you’ve given, it sounds like your boss’s Global Entry membership is the expiration date to be aware of. Global Entry ALSO grants TSA PreCheck, so as long as that isn’t expired, he should be good. You can always double check with his Global Entry login as well. The website for this is the same for all Trusted Traveler programs: https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/

      As a quick note though, the website has been updated recently. If he hasn’t created a new login in the past year or so, his old GOES userID and password won’t work. This may be part of the problem you’re having logging in to his account as well.

      Hope this helps and thanks for reading Erin!

  7. Holly Forsyth · July 3, 2019 · Reply

    I applied for pre-check over 3 years ago and was declined. (Misdemeanor speeding- long story…) Told me to reapply but I waited until April 2019 so the ticket was off my record, over 10 years, which is 2 more than the allotted time. I applied over 12 weeks ago and still have heard nothing- though they have all my info, I am STILL waiting for an appointment. I can fly anywhere- I talked to some people that had waited for their interview and they waited less than 6 to 8 weeks. My husband and my son have pre-check (3 years now) and GE, and I fly frequently for work. Is there something I can do to alter the speed at which this is taking? I don’t want to call but I fly at least every 3 weeks for work and I am going to France and Europe twice in Sept and Oct- holding my family back during those trips isn’t very fair to them but the 3 hour waits are killing me.

    • Christy Rodriguez · July 3, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Holly! I’m not sure if you applied for Global Entry (which includes TSA PreCheck) or just TSA PreCheck on it’s own. Based on the fact that you’re waiting to schedule your appointment though, I’m going to assume Global Entry?

      CBP notes that it can take “up to a few months” to be granted conditional approval for Global Entry. The website currently notes that “The extended partial government shutdown has resulted in a substantial backlog of CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) applications and renewals.” so that may be part of the reason that it’s taking a bit longer as well.

      Have you tried logging in to your Trusted Traveler profile here https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/? From there, you can log in and see the status.
      You can always contact them directly without calling at this website: https://help.cbp.gov/app/ask

      Hope this helps!

  8. Janine · July 12, 2019 · Reply

    Good day,

    We are based in South Africa wishing to book a Canadian flight for a client. Where do we enter this Nexus Known Traveller number on a flight booking in South Africa if this programme is not offered in SA?

    Many thanks!
    Janine

    • Hi Janine,

      The Known Traveler Number is usually in reference to anyone who has TSA Pre✓, which provides expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from U.S. Airports, or Global Entry, which provides the TSA Pre✓ benefit plus expedited US customs screening for international air travelers when entering the United States.

      Seeing as they are strictly U.S. based programs, that is why there is no place to include it during a booking with a South African airline booking, so it is impossible to do so.

  9. Marnie R Williams · July 17, 2019 · Reply

    Do kids go through without the tsa pre check on their ticket? Or do I put my KTN?

    • Christy Rodriguez · July 17, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Marnie! Children ages 12 and younger can use the TSA PreCheck lane when traveling with a parent or guardian who has the indicator on their boarding pass. You wouldn’t need to attach your KTN with their ticket for them to get this perk.

      However, kids 13 and older who do not have a TSA PreCheck would have to use the standard security lanes or apply for their own KTN.

      Thanks for reading.

  10. Bill Nabil Hajjar · July 18, 2019 · Reply

    I would like to apply for a Known Travel Number.

  11. I recently flew on Sun Country for the first time. I had my boarding pass printed by the Sun Country agent at the airport after checking in on line. I didn’t notice until I got to the security gate that TSA Pre wasn’t stamped on my boarding pass. I showed my Global Entry card to the agent at security and she refused to let me go through the TSA Pre line. Shouldn’t the Global Entry card permit me to pass through security even though it wasn’t printed on my boarding pass?

    • Christy Rodriguez · July 25, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Nancy, unfortunately – no. While you are granted TSA PreCheck when you get Global Entry, they are two completely separate products – one managed by TSA and the other by Customs and Border Protection.

      Per the TSA website, “Your trusted traveler card will not grant you access to TSA PreCheck lanes. The TSA PreCheck indicator must be printed and embedded in the barcode of your boarding pass in order to receive expedited screening benefits.”

      Make sure that you include your KTN in your reservation each time you fly as this isn’t done automatically. This is especially true if you’re flying with a new airline or don’t have a loyalty number (that saves it your account) with an airline. Sorry for your experience, but hope this helps!

  12. Juan L. Rodriguez · August 16, 2019 · Reply

    How can I find my travel number? I can not find it in my file.

    • Hi Juan,

      If you have Global Entry then your Known Traveler Number will be located on the back of your Global Entry card. If you have TSA PreCheck, you need to log in to the Trusted Traveler Program website to access your PASSID/Known Traveler Number.

      Thanks for reading!

  13. Juan L. Rodriguez · August 16, 2019 · Reply

    I have never had a global entrance card.

  14. Dave Essen · August 21, 2019 · Reply

    Hi,
    My question is on the PASSID number of Global Entry.
    There is a 9 digit number on the card and a space and another set of numbers start with 2 letters (SC) and 3 digit number!
    Do we use the 9 digit numerical number only or 14 digit combo alltogether.
    Thank you very much.

  15. John Souza · September 6, 2019 · Reply

    Hi, just renewed my Passport and have an existing KTN. How do I update my KTN with the new Passport number?
    Thank you
    John

    • Christy Rodriguez · September 6, 2019 · Reply

      Hi John, if you have any frequent flyer programs that you are a member of, you can log on to their websites individually and update your KTN there. In addition, be sure to put in your new KTN on any new air reservations you might make.

      If you’re referring to your Trusted Traveler profile, you can update your passport number through your TTP account at http://www.ttp.dhs.gov/.

  16. Michael Joseph · September 7, 2019 · Reply

    I have applied for and paid for a renewal of my Global Entry and have now waited over 100 days. I contacted the CBP Customer Helpdesk and they said they would escalate my renewal. I then got an email saying I need to wait another 3-8 weeks. I have 2 questions. #1 Is this really normal to wait for a renewal? #2 Can I use my KTN when entering the US at a Global Entry Kisok with my fingerprints ? (I have a new passport number since trying to renew Global Entry and can’t be linked to my KTN until I am renewed.

    • Christy Rodriguez · September 7, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Michael – first off, you’re not alone. We’re hearing reports of extended wait times from a lot of people out there.

      The good news is that your Global Entry is still valid 6 months after it expires as long as you have sent in your renewal (which you have). In order to update your passport information, you can actually log on to your Trusted Traveler profile and update it there. Here’s the link to access that.

      Best of luck to you!

      • Joy Smith · September 12, 2019 · Reply

        Christy,

        My husband is in the same predicament as Michael Joseph.

        However, you said you could update Global Entry with your new passport number, and this is incorrect if you have a renewal application for Global Entry in process.

        Given that my husband’s Global Entry currently has the old password number associated with it, and we will be making an international flight soon with the new passport, can he use the GE kiosk ?

        Thank you.

        • Christy Rodriguez · September 12, 2019 · Reply

          Hi Joy, I’m sorry your husband is having problems. I know I was personally able to update my new passport number for Global Entry account on the Trusted Traveler site – even while my Global Entry was in the process of renewing. Did his Global Entry expire? Also, the website has migrated from GOES to TTP – https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/. He might need to create a new user name/password in order to access it.

          It might be best to contact CBP directly if you’re having problems since he will need to have his new passport number tied to his account in order to use a Global Entry kiosk. Here is a good place to start: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1208/

          Best of luck to you!

  17. Charles Alexander · September 15, 2019 · Reply

    I just recently got my Global Entry PASSID card #.
    How & where do I update my TSA Pre-Check (previous KTN) to my new GE PASSID #?
    Ty!!

    • Christy Rodriguez · September 15, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Charles – you will need to make sure that you put the Known Traveler Number associated with your new Global Entry card into any bookings you have previously made. In addition, you should also update your profiles for any airlines that you have a membership number with. You would have to do this individually on the airline’s websites – there isn’t one central place to do this.

      Hope this helps!

      • Charles Alexander · September 15, 2019 · Reply

        Ty!
        So I don’t need to go to TSA site & update with new PASSID, just airlines & travel profile/websites?
        Thought I remember the Customs Officier saying I needed to update TSA so that my $100 (for 5 year) Global Entry Membership also covered the $85 TSA fee, as opposed to being charged for both renewing.

        • Christy Rodriguez · September 15, 2019 · Reply

          Hi Charles – no, your Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck, so this is automatically granted to you. If you like, you can always log on to your Trusted Traveler Profile online to verify.

          Neither TSA PreCheck or Global Entry automatically renew though so you shouldn’t have to worry about being double-charged!

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