TSA offers automated photo ID and flight verification at all LAS security screening checkpoints

Local Press Release
Wednesday, December 8, 2021

LAS VEGAS – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) this week completed installation of touchless, automated photo identification scanners at all of the airport's security screening checkpoints, making it one of a few airports to be fully outfitted with this technology.

When CAT is in use, a traveler’s photo identification is scanned into the unit. Through a secure Internet connection, CAT confirms the traveler’s identity on-screen and verifies the traveler is ticketed for travel that day. Because CAT is linked to the Secure Flight database, it also displays the pre-screening status (such as TSA PreCheck®) the traveler is eligible for, all without the traveler presenting a boarding pass to the TSA officer.

CAT also improves a TSA officer’s ability to accurately authenticate passenger identification while addressing the vulnerabilities associated with photo identification and boarding pass fraud. CAT also provides enhanced fraudulent document detection capabilities.

The use of CAT at LAS is not new. In August 2021, a TSA officer (TSO) was using CAT while conducting travel document checking duties when a traveler’s photo identification was flagged as invalid. Airport police responded and detained the traveler after he became verbally disruptive when questioned about the fraudulent credential. The traveler was later arrested on an outstanding warrant. Last week, the TSO was recognized by Clark County (Nevada) and law enforcement for her work.  

“Any time we can use technology to supplement the work of our security screening force it is a win – win for TSA and travelers,” said TSA Federal Security Director for Nevada Karen Burke. “We are extremely pleased that LAS has reached the milestone of having CAT deployed throughout the airport. We continue to set the bar high for the use of this type of technology, which streamlines the passenger travel experience and enhances security.”

At LAS, there are 58 CAT units installed in the security checkpoints throughout the airport. Travelers departing LAS can expect to see CAT in use when going through the travel document checking process.

Travelers under the age of 18 will still need to provide an electronic or paper boarding pass to the TSA officer. In addition, all travelers will need to check in with their airline and show their boarding pass to the airline gate agent before boarding their flight.

TSA currently has deployed more than 1,350 CAT units at 155 airports nationwide. CAT units can authenticate several thousand types of identification including passports, state-issued driver licenses and identification cards, as well as U.S. and foreign passports.