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Passengers Who Cannot Remove Their Shoes

Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions

A passenger should inform a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) before screening begins if he or she cannot remove his or her shoes due to a disability or medical condition. Passengers can use TSA’s Notification Card to communicate discreetly with security officers. However, showing this card or other medical documentation will not exempt a passenger from additional screening when necessary.

Passengers who cannot remove their shoes can be screened using imaging technology, metal detector, or a thorough patdown. If a passenger cannot or chooses not to be screened by imaging technology or a walk-through metal detector, the passenger will be screened using a thorough patdown procedure instead. A patdown procedure also is used to resolve any alarms of a metal detector or anomalies identified by imaging technology.

Regardless of whether a passenger is screened by a metal detector, imaging technology, or a patdown, his or her shoes are subject to additional screening, which may include explosive trace detection. If explosive material is detected, the passenger will have to undergo additional screening.

A passenger can request to be seated during this additional screening and may need to lift the bottom hem of his or her pants.


Please click on the links below for specific information about screening for passengers with disabilities or medical conditions:

Latest revision: 24 April 2014