The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now using its Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) system at South Bend International Airport (SBN) security checkpoints to confirm the validity of a traveler’s identification and confirm their flight information in near real time.
When travelers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to insert or scan their photo identification themselves using a CAT unit, and there is no need to provide a boarding pass to the TSA officer.
Through a secure internet connection, the unit verifies that the individual is ticketed for travel that day and whether they are eligible for TSA PreCheck or general security screening. Travelers still need to check-in with their airline and show their boarding pass to the airline gate agent before boarding their flight.
TSA says this development will enhance its detection capabilities for identifying fraudulent documents and those that have been tampered with. CAT units can authenticate several thousand types of identification including passports, state-issued driver licenses and identification cards, as well as US and foreign passports.
However, for the system to work, it is critical that travelers have a REAL ID-compliant driver licenses or other acceptable form of identification by the REAL ID enforcement deadline of October 1, 2021. CAT units will not accept a state-issued driver license after that date if it is not REAL ID-compliant.