In June 2023, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will launch a new program called Verified Travellers, which will provide eligible travellers with a better security-screening experience at select airports across Canada.
Hopefully, this will expedite things for the coming summer season, but it is still recommended to get to the airport early and enjoy some time in VIP lounges instead of in security lines!
Verified Traveller - Benefits
Eligible travellers will be able to benefit from these advantages:
- Keep liquids, aerosols, and gels in your carry-on.
- Keep laptop computers and electronics in your carry-on.
- Wear shoes, belts, light jackets, and hats.
- Keep small valuable items in your pockets.
- You may be accompanied by co-travellers who are 17 years old or younger or 75 years old or older.
Passengers wearing headwear, including religious or cultural head coverings, may continue to wear them. However, you may be required to remove your headwear or head covering for a physical search.
The Verified Traveller program will be available at the following airports, with their respective launch dates:
|Airport||Launch Date||Flight Type|
|Calgary International Airport – C||June 20, 2023||Domestic|
|Edmonton International Airport||June 20, 2023||Domestic/Int’l|
|Montréal-Trudeau International Airport||June 14, 2023||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Toronto Pearson International Airport – T1 and T3||June 20, 2023||Domestic/Transborder|
|Vancouver International Airport – Domestic North||June 13, 2023||Domestic|
|Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport||June 20, 2023||Domestic/Int’l|
|Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport||August 23, 2023||Domestic/Int’l|
|Halifax Stanfield International Airport||August 23, 2023||Domestic/Int’l|
Verified Traveller - Transborder Benefits
Verified travellers on transborder flights (towards the United States) will receive similar benefits, such as keeping permitted liquids in their carry-on, wearing shoes, belts, light jackets, and headwear, and storing small items in pockets. Co-travellers can also accompany verified Travellers during the screening process, regardless of age.
These transborder benefits only apply at Montreal-Trudeau and Toronto-Pearson airports.
Verified Traveller - Front-of-the-Line Benefits
Additionally, Verified Travellers will receive front-of-the-line service at specific airports.
The participating airports for this benefit include:
|Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport||Domestic/Transborder|
|Calgary International Airport—Concourse A—D—E||Transborder|
|Edmonton International Airport||Transborder|
|Greater Moncton Roméo Leblanc Int’l Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Halifax Stanfield International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Kelowna International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Ottawa International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Québec City Jean Lesage Int’l Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Regina International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Saskatoon International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|St. John’s International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Toronto Pearson International Airport—T1—T3||Int’l/Transborder|
|Vancouver International Airport||Domestic South/Int’l/Transborder|
|Victoria International Airport||Domestic/Int’l/Transborder|
|Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson Airport||Transborder|
Verified Traveller - Eligibility and Membership
To become a Verified Traveller, individuals must meet specific eligibility criteria.
Verified Traveller membership is available to:
- NEXUS Members: NEXUS is a Canada Border Services Agency program that expedites border crossings between Canada and the United States for eligible travellers. For more information on obtaining a NEXUS card, see our guide here.
- Global Entry Members: Global Entry is a US Customs and Border Protection program that expedites clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travellers arriving in the US.
- Military Personnel: Members of the Canadian Armed Forces and the United States military, including reservists, who have valid identification.
- Aircrew and Airport Workers: Canadian aircrew in uniform and airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Cards (RAICs), as well as international aircrew with valid airline ID.
- RCMP/Police Officers: Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Canadian police officers, and constables who have proper photo identification and badges issued by their respective organizations.
Given that several credit cards offer NEXUS credit, such as the TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, you can become a Verified Traveller for free if you have the right credit card. If you do not already have one, you can sign up for one to take advantage of this as well as a generous welcome bonus.
In addition, because of the appointment backlog for NEXUS interviews despite new options, this is very useful if parents have NEXUS while the children do not. While families travelling with young children can usually access an expedited line, it is not the case when travelling with teenagers.
What is the Verified Traveller program?
Passengers who have undergone extensive background checks are eligible for benefits under the Verified Traveller program at select security checkpoints in Canada.
What security screening benefits are available to verified travellers?
Verified Traveller program benefits include keeping liquids and electronics in carry-on, wearing shoes and jackets, and allowing co-travellers who are 17 or younger or 75 or older.
How will verified travellers know if there is a Verified Traveller line available to them?
Signs at the select checkpoints will indicate the availability of a Verified Traveller service and its associated benefits.
When will the new Verified Traveller program launch?
The Verified Traveller program is expected to launch by June 21, 2023, depending on each checkpoint.
Why did CATSA create the Verified Traveller program?
CATSA aims to improve the security screening experience for verified travellers as part of its ongoing operational enhancements.
Can friends and family members use the Verified Traveller lines?
Co-travellers aged 17 and under or 75 and older can use the Verified Traveller lines when flying with a verified traveller on the same flight. No age restrictions apply at Transborder checkpoints or checkpoints with front-of-the-line service.
Who is eligible for the Verified Traveller lines?
Eligible verified travellers include NEXUS and Global Entry members, serving Canadian Armed Forces and U.S. military members, Canadian aircrew and airport workers with RAICs, international aircrew in uniform with valid airline ID, and RCMP officers and Canadian police officers with proper identification.
How do I apply to become a verified traveller?
NEXUS members are automatically recognized as verified travellers. You can benefit from a free membership with select credit cards.
What are the operating hours of Verified Traveller lines?
Operating hours may vary, but if a checkpoint is open, all Verified Traveller services will be available.
Will the new program reduce security wait times?
While the new Verified Traveller program aims to improve the security screening experience, wait times may vary due to factors like passenger volume. CATSA advises arriving two hours before domestic flights and three hours before US and international flights.