The TSA Notification Card allows travelers with disabilities to notify security officials of any issues that may impact a security screening. For disabled travelers, it’s important to know what the card does, how to get it and when to use it.
The following looks at those issues. This information can help travelers with disabilities in understanding how to use the TSA Notification Card to make travel less difficult for them.
What It Does
The TSA Notification Card allows travelers with disabilities to discreetly inform airport security personnel about any medical conditions, disabilities, medical devices on their person or medications that might impact the screening process. It does not mean that travelers with disabilities who hold the card can skip the screening process, as this is still a requirement.
However, the card easily conveys essential information to security personnel. This provides a method for better, clearer communication about the details involving your particular medical situation.
Those with both a TSA Notification Card and a TSA Pre-Check designation may not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts or light jackets during screening.
How To Get It
The TSA provides the TSA Notification Cards to designated disability groups. They also have an online PDF that people can fill in with their specific medical issue, then print out. Some people couple the card with a note from their doctor explaining their condition or the need for a specific medical device.
According to the medical and disabilities page offered by TSA, the card can be used for many different situations. They include sections on:
- Alzheimer’s, dementia, aphasia or brain injury
- Autism or intellectual disabilities
- Blind or low vision
- Deaf or hard of hearing
- Use of external medical devices
- Implants or internal medical devices
- Mobility disabilities, aids, and devices
- Prostheses, casts, slings, braces or support appliances
- Radioactive medication and materials
- Respiratory equipment
- Use of service dogs and animals.
When To Use It
The TSA Notification Card should be taken to the airport and presented to a TSA official near the screening area. Again, this does not exclude you from going through screening. But it gives the security officer a quick rundown of whatever issues might come up during the screening.
This especially applies to any liquid medications or medical devices. If you do not wish to go through the screening process, airport officials may have to perform a pat-down that can include removal of shoes, belts or light jackets, according to the TSA.
They also may swab any medical equipment, mobility aids or “other external medical devices” to test for explosives.
In creating the TSA Notification Card, the government is taking steps to make travel easier for those with a disability. It’s a welcome step for those travelers with disabilities who might otherwise have a more challenging time getting through security.