This 7-digit Code Could Save You From Extra Airport Security Screenings on Every Trip

No, not every traveler needs one — but here's how to find out if you do.

<p>Carlina Teteris/Getty Images</p>

Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

When you book a flight online, there's quite a bit of information you need to provide, from your email and phone number to your frequent flier number if you have one to your credit card details. It's fairly obvious as to what most of this is, but there's one piece that sometimes confuses travelers: a redress number. So, what is a redress number, and do you need one to travel? Here's what you need to know.

What is a redress number?

A redress number, formally called a Redress Control Number, is issued to travelers who are part of the Department of Homeland Security's Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). It's used to help travelers alleviate recurring security issues, whether they're regularly selected for secondary screening or have issues at the U.S. border. A redress number alerts the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that a traveler may be incorrectly added to a security watch list, which happens on occasion.

Do you need a redress number to travel?

No, travelers do not need a redress number to travel. But if you find yourself frequently having security issues when flying or crossing the U.S. border, you may want to apply to DHS TRIP to smooth out the travel process. According to the DHS, "People who have been denied or delayed airline boarding; have been denied or delayed entry into or exit from the U.S. at a port of entry or border crossing; or have been repeatedly referred to additional (secondary) screening can file an inquiry to seek redress."

How do you get a redress number?

You can apply for a redress number at The website also has a helpful quiz to help you determine whether or not you need a redress number. Keep in mind you may be rejected based on your application.

Is a redress number different from a Known Traveler Number (KTN)?

On booking forms, spaces for redress numbers and KTNs are usually located near one another — or sometimes even on the same line — but they're not the same and used for different purposes. While redress numbers are used for travelers who have successfully applied to DHS TRIP, KTNs are part of the Global Entry and TSA PreCheck programs, which expedite entry at U.S. borders and TSA airport security, respectively. More travelers have KTNs than redress numbers, but it's possible to have both.

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