Redress Number: What Is It and Do I Need To Apply For One?

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TSA PreCheck and Global Entry are both very popular programs that can help you breeze through airport security checkpoints. You might have even heard of Mobile Passport or CLEAR — but have you heard of a Redress Number?

While a Redress Number won’t be necessary for the vast majority of travelers, it can be necessary to remove some of the stress of airport security for a select few.

Let’s take a look at all the things you need to know about the program so you can decide if it would be useful to you.

What Is a Redress Number?

A Redress Control Number, more commonly known as a Redress Number, is actually a case number. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) matches travelers to their case number via the Secure Flight program.

Occasionally, TSA’s Secure Flight program will misidentify travelers as a possible risk, which leads to additional security checks. If your name and information match that of another person who is on a watchlist, you might be misidentified.

A Redress Number can help prevent this from happening.

When Should You Get a Redress Number?

If you regularly have trouble getting through TSA security checkpoints or returning to the United States through Customs and Border Protection checkpoints, you should consider applying for a Redress Number.

While Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are great tools for travelers, they won’t prevent these inconveniences if your name is identified by Secure Flight for secondary screening measures.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) suggests a number of reasons why you should use the Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP):

Redress Number Reasons 1
If you face any of these scenarios, you might consider applying for a Redress Number through the Department of Homeland Security Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). Image Credit: USCBP

The scenarios you might face when flying include:

  • Denied or delayed boarding
  • Repeatedly being identified for secondary screening
  • Received SSSS on your boarding pass
  • Unable to print your boarding pass at home or an airport kiosk
  • Access your boarding pass on your mobile device
Redress Number Reasons 2
There are several other scenarios that could warrant getting a Redress Number as well. Image Credit: USCBP

Additionally, at ports of entry, immigration, customs, or border patrol, you might run into issues such as:

  • Additional screening when clearing Customs and Border Protection
  • Denied entry into the United States
  • Your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) application was denied
  • Unable to travel due to your status as a foreign student or exchange visitor

Fortunately, most travelers will not face these issues regularly, if at all. However, for those that do, a Redress Number could help provide a smoother travel experience.

Applying for a Redress Number

If you’ve decided that you might need a Redress Number, you can apply online or with a paper application.

Submitting an online application will be processed faster than an emailed or mailed application. If you plan to email or mail it, you must sign the document first. You can email the applications to [email protected] or mail it to:

DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP)
601 South 12th Street, TSA-901
Arlington, VA 20598-6901

It can take more than a month for DHS TRIP to process your application, so don’t hesitate to apply. DHS TRIP will notify you via email once they have received your application. This email will include your Redress Number in the subject line. Once a decision has been made, you will receive a letter in the mail.

Now, let’s go through the steps to apply. We’ll be using the paper application in this example, but you will need to provide the same information for the online application.

Step 1: Your Travel Experience

Redress Application Step 1
The DHS TRIP application asks for details of an incident to help process your request, but they are not required to submit your application. Image Credit: USCBP

The first step of the application is to select the scenarios that you have experienced during your travels. While you don’t have to provide specific flight details of the incident(s) (including dates, airport, airline, and flight number), it does help DHS TRIP process your request.

You are required to select each scenario that you have experienced.

Step 2: Incidents Related to Privacy

Redress Application Step 1
Step 2 is only necessary for those who felt their privacy was violated. Image Credit: USCBP

If you felt that your privacy was violated by an official or agent who exposed or inappropriately shared your personal information, this is the section to note that. If this is the case, you won’t need to provide more than your name.

Step 3: Incident Details

Redress Application Step 3
Step 3 is where you provide the details of the incidents. Image Credit: USCBP

In Step 3, you’ll need to explain any of the flight or privacy incidents for which you checked a box in Step 1 and Step 2. This section is required for DHS to review your application for a Redress Number.

Step 4: Personal Information

Redress Application Step 4
Step 4: Personal Information. Image Credit: USCBP

Step 4 is where you will provide all of your personal information including full name, birthdate, birthplace, and gender. You’ll also need to share your height, weight, hair color, eye color, and whether you’re a U.S. person (legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen).

Step 5: Contact Information

Redress Application Step 5
Step 5: Contact Information. Image Credit: USCBP

The contact information you need to provide is pretty simple. Just provide your mailing address and physical address (if different). You can also provide your email address, but this is optional. Providing your email address will make communication quicker if you choose to mail the application.

Step 6: Attorney/Representative Information (Required if Applicable)

Redress Application Step 6
Step 6: Attorney or Representative Information. Image Credit: USCBP

If you have an attorney or representative helping you with the DHS TRIP application, you can provide their name and contact information in Step 6. You will also need to authorize the release of information to this person. You can do this by completing the DHS Form 590 Authorization To Release Information To Another Person.

Step 7: Identity Documentation

Redress Application Step 7
Step 7: Identity Documentation. Image Credit: USCBP

If you have a passport (unexpired), you can provide a copy of it in Step 7. Other eligible documents (with a photo) for the application include:

  • Passport card
  • Driver’s license
  • Birth certificate (only for those under the age of 18)
  • Military ID card
  • Government ID card
  • Certificate of citizenship
  • Naturalization certificate
  • Immigrant/non-immigrant visa
  • Alien registration
  • FAST
  • Global Entry
  • Border crossing card
  • Additional supplemental documents

DHS TRIP specifically mentions that you should NOT provide copies of Social Security cards, tax information, or personal financial documents.

Step 8: Acknowledgement

Redress Application Step 8
Step 8: Acknowledgement. Image Credit: USCBP

If emailing or mailing your application, you will need to sign and date the application before sending; otherwise, your application cannot be processed.

Using Your Redress Number

Similar to how you use your Known Traveler Number for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, you can save your Redress Number to your frequent flyer accounts or add it your individual bookings

Unlike Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, using your Redress Number does not guarantee that you’ll be able to enjoy expedited security. However, you’ll at least be more likely to avoid getting SSSS on your boarding pass and being required to go through secondary screening.

Final Thoughts

Airport security is a hassle for everyone, but getting pulled for additional screening almost every time you travel can be a real inconvenience. While Global Entry and TSA PreCheck are fantastic tools to make the experience quicker, they won’t be able to help you if you repeatedly get the dreaded SSSS or are denied boarding.

If you regularly experience problems like those discussed above, applying for a Redress Number might be the right move for you. It doesn’t guarantee a quick security experience, but it certainly increases your chances.

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Redress Number Guide

Frequently asked questions

What's the difference between a Redress Number and a Known Traveler Number?

A Redress Number can help prevent you from being misidentified by the TSA’s Secure Flight program (which can lead to secondary screening, delayed boarding, or even denied boarding).

A Known Traveler Number (KTN) is your membership number (or PASSID) with a Trusted Program such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or TSA PreCheck.

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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  1. None of this helps if you’re on the Selectee list.


    • The idea behind applying for a redress number is to deal with being on the selectee list. If you’re on the list for a specific reason though, it of course won’t help 🙂 If it’s a mixup, the redress number app is your chance to fix it. It’s not a guarantee though.


  2. Mike Robinson October 6, 2018

    If I have a DHS Control Number do I need any other form of visa in addition to visit the USA


    • Mike,

      A DHS Control Number does not mean you can visit the USA anytime you want. It simply means that you’ve been identified as a person who, in their opinion, has been subject to extra security screening unnecessarily. You still need any visas or documents for visiting any countries you decide on.


    • Nik Carter March 10, 2019


      A VISA allows you to enter the countries,any country of your eligibility.
      TSA Precheck allows you to go thru security check point easier and faster.
      So, there are 2 different purpose you can’t mix it up or combined them.


  3. Cal O'Herlihy October 14, 2018

    What is the selectee list and is there a way to find out if you’re on it?


    • Thanks for the question, Cal. A selectee list is generated for individual flights based on FBI/TSA lists of suspected terrorists, unusual travel patterns, and randomly selected individuals. Those individuals are subjected to additional screening prior to boarding. You don’t have to be on a terrorist watch list to experience this extra screening so you won’t know if you’re on the selectee list in advance. If you often experience being a selectee, you should apply for a redress number.


  4. I have filled in and submitted the form online. It then says to send a signed copy of the completed form which I don’t have as I have submitted it online. What do I do here?


  5. Thanks for the intensive guide! I’ve filed mine too. Question though – if my DHS TRIP is still open (or case isn’t closed on the site), can I use the Redress number when booking flights? Or shall I wait until the case is closed?


  6. I am US person (Green Card Holder) and have traveled internationally quite a bit, going to Canada and Europe and never had any issues re-entering the country until recently.
    During the past two international trips, when returning to the country, I was admitted immediately, however, was sent to have my baggage X-rayed. The CBP officer did not return my passport but rather put it in a green folder and handed over to another officer whom I followed. It needs to be mentioned that in both cases I failed to present a filled CBP declaration form for my baggage.
    Should I apply for redress? It needs to be mentioned that I am an Iranian citizen (Having an Iranian Passport).


    • Hi Arad – was there a reason why you couldn’t fill in the CBP declaration form?


    • Nik Carter March 10, 2019

      Arad …
      Redress and CBP checkpoint are not the same. CBP checks to see anybody bring illegal things in the US like foods , plants, too much $$, and high price merchandises without declaration.
      No foods, No plants, No insects allowed in the US, you’ll be fined if you do.
      There are limitations on merchandise and money you are allowed to bring with you per person. You have to pay tax of the amount over the limit.
      That’s why your luggage got checked. CBP will look at your travel time and travel frequency plus the countries you visit
      They will know every places you go , all information will show on CBP screen.
      But as of today technology, most people can use electronics check in without stand in front of CBP official , if you have nothing to hide.
      Oh, if you have a Green Card , you are an alien not US citizen nor US person.
      Everybody in this country are people living in the US but not everyone is a US Citizen.


  7. Not helpful. I’m unable to find out how to get an online application.


  8. Does anyone know how to use a DHS redress control number when border crossing (driving in from Canada or Mexico) and ports of entry–like cruises?


    • Hello! If you have had multiple issues when crossing the border, you can choose to hand over your redress number at the same time you are supplying your passport/other identification.

      Many people choose to wait and see if they were first flagged by an agent for additional screening and then provide their redress information.

      Either way, your redress number should help you greatly expedite this process. Hope this helps!


  9. My cousin has several misdemeanor arrests that are now close to 44 years old. He has had no problems for decades. He always gets TSA PreCheck from the airlines when traveling domestically.

    Last month, he took his first international trip with no problems on the way out. Upon arrival to the US, after the CPB officer scanned his passport, he was taken in for secondary screening. He said the CPB officer could not have been nicer, but did ask him if he was arrested in the 70’s to which he replied “yes”. After asking him if he had a nice trip, the CPB officer stamped his passport and told him to have a nice day.
    Still, he was embarrassed and caught by surprise.

    Would a redress number prevent him for having this type of thing happen again, and will he be eligible for a redress number with 44 year old misdemeanors? Any input is appreciated.


    • Hi John, thanks for reading! To start, anyone can apply for a redress number. Sometimes additional screenings are completely random. Usually getting a redress number is something travelers do who have had multiple instances where they have been referred for additional screening or have issues getting through TSA.

      Since it’s free though, we certainly recommend your cousin documenting his experience and requesting a redress number! Check the details on how to do this in the article above. I will say that it doesn’t completely eliminate the chance that this will happen in the future, but it definitely increases the odds that it won’t.

      Hope this helps!


  10. I was arrested at seventeen for possession of two grams of cannibis. On my last two trips to the states I was questioned regarding this. I had my court date five days after my 18 birthday. Iam now 53 years old. On both occasions I was found to be admissible. But I know it’s just a matter of time before I come before a not so understanding border officer. I do not want to spend the money required for a waiver. Are there any other options for someone in my situation. I have my court records which clearly state I was seventeen upon arrest.


    • Hi John, having a redress number can definitely help you with TSA checkpoints or returning to the United States through Customs and Border Protection checkpoints.

      That being said, we’re absolutely not the experts when it comes to situations like the one you’re in. We would suggest contacting the Department of Homeland Security directly via their email address: [email protected] to figure out if a redress number will work for you.


  11. Does anyone know if I need to provide every single detail of an incident? The example is that I was refused entry and I was clearly was told it was because I couldn’t prove that I will come back to Canada. Do I still need to give all the detail of why they thought that etc? Don’t they already have a report on that already?

    Which way would be better for me, to make it simple and just refer to the incident and refusal date or provide detail?



    • Hi Lulu. I would recommend providing all of the information you know. For example, it sounds like you know the location and date that were refused entry along with the reason you were given. It doesn’t sound like you know why they thought that unless they provided you more information than you included in your comment above.

      We would suggest contacting the Department of Homeland Security directly via their email address: [email protected] to get the most accurate information.

      Hope this helps!


  12. Hi,
    I’ve requested a redress number a couple of days ago. Didn’t hear anything yet, but I just received an email saying that there is an update to my Esta. When I went online to check it now states Pending. I requested the ESTA in August 2019 and already used it once to travel to the US.
    Any one knows what is happening or had the same problem. I’m a Dutch Citizen.


  13. Vimi Milan Karnik July 28, 2021

    I was denied boarding the flight from Belgrade to New York. I have a tourist visa. I was advised by the airport authority to file a DHS TRIP form. I did that and got the Redress number from them and was asked to submit the signed form and a copy of my passport through email. As it is mentioned on the site we can check the status of our application. First, it was PENDING and after 3 days, it shows IN PROCESS. My question is can I travel to the USA without the case being closed?


    • Hi Vimi,

      I am not certain if that would be allowed. I would advise that you contact the DHS to see if you would be permitted to travel.


    • Get well soon, I experienced the same thing you experienced in August in Belgrade. I filled out the form and sent it to Dhs Trip. But the answer I received was that they could not reply before 3 months due to the intensity. I have work to do, I’m in a hurry. what did you do? were you able to find a solution? I would be glad if you share your information. Thanks.


Any thoughts or questions? Comment below!

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