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

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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
  • NEXUS
  • SENTRI
  • TSA PreCheck

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 $1,500+ in value from the card every year. For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, 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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20 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.

  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.

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