As thoughts of spring break and summer vacation plans become more top of mind, TSA reminds travelers to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel guidance as well as local and state advisories regarding COVID-19. All airline travelers must also wear a face mask throughout the travel experience and will be asked to adjust the mask for ID verification or if it alarms the security screening equipment.
While security is TSA’s top priority, the health and safety of our employees and the traveling public is of utmost importance. View the TSA: What to Know Before You Go infographic to see the adjustments TSA has made at security checkpoints to make the security screening process safer. Some additional changes include:
Medical Exemption for Hand Sanitizer
As a temporary exemption from the 3-1-1 rule, TSA is allowing one oversized liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags. Since these containers exceed the standard allowance typically permitted through a checkpoint, they will need to be screened separately. This will add some time to your checkpoint screening experience. Please keep in mind that all other liquids, gels and aerosols brought to a checkpoint continue to be limited to 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters carried in a one quart-size bag.
New technology continues to be a major priority for TSA. Here are just a few examples of technologies that are changing the way we do business:
- Computed Tomography (CT) produces high-quality, 3-D images for a more thorough visual analysis of a bag’s contents.
- Enhanced Advanced Imaging Technology (eAIT) safely screens passengers without physical contact for threats such as weapons and explosives, which may be hidden under a passenger’s clothing.
- Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) machines automatically verify identification documents presented by passengers during the security screening process.
Expired Driver’s License and REAL ID Extension
If your driver's license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration.
A U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Photo ID, including IDs issued to dependents, is also an acceptable alternative forms of identification to board aircraft, in case your driver’s license is not REAL ID compliant. The new deadline for enforcement is October 1, 2021 and to learn more, visit TSA’s REAL ID webpage.
TSA PreCheck® Benefits for DoD Employees
TSA PreCheck® benefits are even more valuable in today’s travel climate. Enrolled members spend less time waiting in line and keep shoes, belts and jackets on during screening and laptops, 3-1-1 liquids and food in their carry-ons, reducing overall contact during screening.
TSA offers TSA PreCheck® expedited screening benefits to U.S. DoD and Federal Civilian employees and all Active Duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, including those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, and cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy, and Air Force Academy.
To ensure the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on your boarding pass, enter the 10-digit DoD ID number located on the back of the Common Access Card (CAC) in the “Known Travel Number” (KTN) field number when making flight reservations or when updating your Defense Travel System profile for official travel.
If you are a Federal Civilian employee, to participate you must first opt in at milConnect to activate your benefit. To ensure future airline reservations automatically include your DoD ID number, save it in your DTS profile. You may also save your DoD ID number in any frequent flyer program profiles of the participating airlines. U.S. Armed Forces members do not need to be in uniform and may enjoy TSA PreCheck while on personal or official travel.
Be aware that TSA PreCheck benefits only apply to the service member while they are active, so those departing service and traveling spouses or companions are encouraged to enroll directly. Many credit cards and loyalty programs cover the costs of enrollment, so check out our website to see if yours participates.
Leaving the Service?
If you’re planning on separating from DoD, you may want to consider working for TSA. We recently announced the hiring of over 6,000 Transportation Security Officers – or TSOs, for short – in anticipation of travel trends in 2021. TSOs are the backbone of TSA and they play a vital role in keeping air travel safe.
If you’re interested in a career that offers benefits like health care and retirement, and where you work alongside a diverse and inclusive team, the TSO position offers a great first step in your federal career. To view open positions for TSOs around the country, visit TSA.gov/TSO
Need more information?
Visit tsa.gov for the latest travel updates, reach out to our call center at (866) 289-9673 or contact our @AskTSA team on Facebook or Twitter. Representatives are available 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. EST on weekdays; 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST on weekends and holidays.