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Is A Known Traveler Number The Same As TSA PreCheck?

One of the most common questions concerning PreCheck is, “Is PreCheck the same as a KTN (Known Traveler Number?”

It’s not quite that simple, but it’s not exactly complex either, so let’s jump into it.

The short answer to this question is that when your airline asks for a Known Traveler Number (KTN) you can give them your KTN in order to qualify for PreCheck on your upcoming flight.

So, in a manner of speaking, yes, a Known Traveler Number is the same as PreCheck because when you did you PreCheck application, the result was getting a KTN.

The longer answer is, no, PreCheck is not the same as a KTN. A Known Traveler Number is governmental ID number that can be used to identify travelers for security purposes. The Known Traveler program can use the TSA-issued PreCheck program to get your a KTN, but it’s not the only way to get a KTN. Other methods are:

  • A TWIC card
  • Global Entry
  • Free and Secure Trade¬†(FAST)
  • NEXUS
  • SENTRI

PreCheck is the simplest, cheapest, and most common way for most travelers to get a KTN, but it’s not the only way. These are all parts of the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler program.

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