What is a Known Traveller Number & Why They’re So Useful

What is a known traveller number?

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In the world of travel, convenience and efficiency are highly valued, and to achieve these goals, the Known Traveller Number (KTN) has emerged as a valuable tool. 

But exactly what is a Known Traveller Number, and how does it function? 

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this distinct identification system, its primary purpose, and the advantages and limitations it presents to travellers. 

By understanding the essence of the Known Traveller Number, you will gain insight into how it can streamline your travel experience. 

Whether you’re a frequent flyer or an occasional traveller, the KTN has the potential to simplify your journey while ensuring security and facilitating seamless processes. 

Join us as we uncover what is Known Traveller Number and explore its impact on modern travel.

What is a Known Traveller Number?

Answering what is a Known Traveller Number is a surprisingly simple affair. They are an exclusive identifier allocated to pre-approved travellers deemed low-risk by government authorities or trusted travel programs. 

It acts as proof of their eligibility for expedited security screening and simplified travel procedures. 

A known traveller number can help you skip over some airport security
A Known Traveller Number can help you skip over some airport security

Composed of alphanumeric characters, the KTN is associated with the individual’s personal and background details, ensuring a seamless travel experience. 

With a Known Traveller Number, passengers can enjoy the benefits of enhanced security clearance and reduced wait times at airports. 

This unique code streamlines the verification process and facilitates a more efficient journey for eligible travellers. 

By understanding the essence and significance of the Known Traveller Number, individuals can take advantage of the privileges it offers and make their travel experience smoother and hassle-free.

What is a Known Traveller Number Used For?

A Known Traveller Number (KTN) serves as a key tool in streamlining and expediting the airport security screening process. 

By inputting their KTN during reservation or check-in, travellers unlock access to expedited security lanes like TSA PreCheck in the United States or Nexus in Canada. 

These designated lanes enable passengers to bypass certain time-consuming procedures such as removing shoes, belts, and laptops or undergoing full-body scans. 

This significantly enhances the efficiency and speed of the journey through security checkpoints. 

With a Known Traveller Number, travellers can enjoy the convenience of a more seamless and hassle-free airport experience, saving precious time and reducing stress levels. 

By leveraging this unique identification code, individuals can navigate security procedures swiftly and focus on enjoying their travel with minimal disruptions.

How Can You Get a Known Traveller Number?

Acquiring a Known Traveller Number involves the application and approval process of a trusted traveller program. 

These programs, managed by government agencies or private entities, vary from country to country. 

The eligibility criteria and application procedures differ depending on the specific program. Typically, applicants undergo a thorough background check, provide biometric information like fingerprints or iris scans, and pay a participation fee. 

Having a known traveller numbers means you are lower risk to security
Having a Known Traveller Number means you are lower risk to airport security

These measures ensure that only individuals who meet the established security standards are granted a Known Traveller Number. 

By meeting the requirements and successfully completing the application process, travellers can enjoy the benefits of expedited security screening and a more streamlined travel experience.

What Countries Offer a Known Traveller Number?

The Known Traveller Number system is implemented in various countries around the world, each with its own trusted traveller program. 

The most well-known programs include TSA PreCheck in the United States, Nexus in Canada, Global Entry in the United States, Australia, and other countries, and Registered Traveller in the United Kingdom. 

These programs enable travellers to enjoy expedited security screening and other benefits when travelling within their respective countries.

How to Find Your Known Traveller Number?

Once approved for a trusted traveller program, travellers are assigned a Known Traveller Number. 

This number is typically provided in a confirmation email or letter from the program administrator. 

Travellers should keep this number readily accessible, either by saving it in a secure digital file or carrying a physical copy, as they will need to provide it when making travel reservations or during the check-in process.

How Do I Use a Known Traveller Number?

Using a Known Traveller Number is a simple process. 

When making a flight reservation, travellers have the option to input their KTN in the appropriate field provided by the airline or travel agent. 

security checkpoints can be time-consuming for travellers
Airport security checkpoints can be time-consuming for travellers, so having a Known Traveller Number can be a huge advantage

The number is then transmitted to the relevant government agency or trusted travel program, which verifies the individual’s eligibility and grants access to expedited security screening. 

At the airport, travellers must ensure that their KTN is printed on their boarding pass to enjoy the benefits of expedited screening.

What Airlines Accept a Known Traveller Number?

Known Traveller Numbers are widely accepted by various airlines worldwide. 

Major carriers and smaller regional airlines participate in trusted traveller programs and recognize the importance of expedited security screening for their passengers. Fr example, the full list of airlines that accept the TSA PreCheck can be found here.

However, it’s important to note that not all airlines may offer expedited screening options or participate in every trusted traveller program. 

Travellers should check with their airline or travel agent to ensure that their Known Traveller Number will be recognized and honoured.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Known Traveller Number?

The cost of obtaining a Known Traveller Number varies depending on the trusted traveller program and the country of application, for example the TSA PreCheck is $78 for 5 years.

Fees may cover the administrative costs associated with the application process, background checks, and program maintenance. 

It is important to research the specific program requirements and associated fees before applying. 

Some countries may offer combined programs that include multiple benefits, such as expedited immigration clearance and access to automated border control gates, in addition to expedited security screening.

What are the Advantages of a Known Traveller Number?

Having a Known Traveller Number offers several advantages to travellers. 

The most significant benefit is the ability to enjoy expedited security screening, which saves time and reduces the hassle of going through extensive security procedures. 

Travellers with a KTN can avoid the need to remove shoes, belts, and laptops, and may be able to bypass long queues, resulting in a more seamless travel experience. 

Additionally, participating in a trusted traveller program often grants access to expedited immigration clearance, making international travel more convenient.

What are the Disadvantages of a Known Traveller Number?

While a Known Traveller Number offers numerous benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. 

Firstly, the application process for trusted traveller programs can be time-consuming and may require applicants to undergo a thorough background check. 

Additionally, not all airports or airlines participate in these programs, limiting the availability of expedited screening options. 

Travellers should also be aware that a Known Traveller Number does not guarantee expedited screening at all times, as security protocols may vary or change based on factors such as airport capacity or threat levels.


Hopefully this has answered the question of what is a Known Traveller Number, and how it is is a unique identification code that grants pre-approved travellers access to expedited security screening at airports. 

Obtained through trusted traveller programs, a KTN simplifies the travel experience by saving time, reducing hassle, and providing a more seamless journey through security checkpoints. 

While the application process and availability of expedited screening options may vary, the overall advantages make the use of a Known Traveller Number a valuable tool for frequent travellers seeking efficiency and convenience in their journeys.

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