How to request a repair number (and how to know if you need one)

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When purchasing an airline ticket, you are asked to fill out a form with basic information such as your legal name, date of birth, and phone number. You may have also noticed another field on the booking forms, where you have the option to enter a Known Traveler Number (KTN) or a repair number.

Although you may know that the The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues KTN For those who have been approved for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, you may not be as familiar with repair numbers. Here’s what you need to know about this other type of government-issued number, including who needs it and how to apply for a compensation number.

What is a repair number?

First of all, repair numbers and Known Traveler Numbers are not the same, so they cannot be used interchangeably. While both numbers are issued by DHS and used by the TSA, KTNs can be issued to any air traveler who meets certain criteria and is able to pay the fee.

Repair numbers, on the other hand, are specifically for those who repeatedly have trouble with security checkpoints at transportation hubs like airports or border crossings. While that can happen for a variety of reasons (including profiling and discrimination), in this case it’s because the person has a name or other personal information similar to someone on the TSA watch list.

A person’s repair number is technically a case number that tells the TSA and the airlines that they’ve been through DHS. Travelers Compensation Consultation Program (TRIP), which confirmed that you are not the similar-sounding person on their watch list.

So who needs a repair number? According to DHSpeople who routinely experience one or more of these situations (as well as some others) you may consider requesting one:

  • Not being able to print a boarding pass from an airline ticketing kiosk or from the Internet
  • Being delayed or refused to board a plane
  • The airline ticket agent informing you that the federal government has not authorized you to travel
  • Being repeatedly referred for secondary review while passing through US Customs, or denied entry into the country

How to request a repair number

To apply for a repair number, you must go through DHS Travelers Compensation Consultation Program (TRIP). Once you’re in the websiteYou’ll be asked to answer a few quick questions about why you’re applying for a repair number to make sure you don’t waste your time in the process and find out you really need a different program:

Lost/Damaged Items or Personal Injury:

If you have suffered loss or damage to property or personal injury, submit a claim here.


If you believe you have been discriminated against: File a claim with Civil Rights and Liberties.

Medical and disability assistance:

Learn what to expect at the checkpoint and request assistance screening travelers with disabilities, medical conditions, and other circumstances. here.

If it turns out you’re in the right place, you’ll need to create a DHS account (if you don’t already have one) before starting the repair request. Once you log in, DHS will send you a login to a repair file, where you will be asked to provide identification documents (such as a passport or driver’s license) as well as information about the incidents you are reporting. —including datestimes, and locations.

From there, you can log in to the DHS Travel Portal, then click on “My Cases” to check the status of your application:

  • “In progress” means that it has been received and under review.
  • “Needed information” it means something is missing in your application. Find out what else they need and submit your response and additional information by clicking “My Tasks” on the DHS TRIP portal home page. You have 30 days to respond before DHS automatically closes your application.
  • “Closed” it means that DHS has made a decision about your application. You can read and download your determination letter through the “My Files” or “My Cases” sections of the portal.

If DHS decided to issue you a repair number, it should be included in that letter. The agency recommends that you use it when making airline reservations.

It is not clear how long the process takes, but aaccording to DHS“The length of the review varies depending on the concerns raised in the repair request.”

And finally, if you were ever issued a repair number but have since lost it, you can email [email protected] to fix that.

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