Thank you for your e-mail regarding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy for screening transgender travelers.
TSA develops requirements and policies for the security of the Nation's transportation systems. The primary purpose of passenger screening is to prevent or deter the introduction of deadly or dangerous items into an airport secured area or onboard an aircraft. TSA policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with respect and courtesy and every Federal screener receives training on professional conduct. In addition, TSA's Office of Civil Rights and Liberties ensures that TSA screens all traveling persons equally, without regard to a person's race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender.
Passengers may be directed for additional screening if the information on their identification (ID) does not match their appearance; if the name on their boarding pass does not match a valid, Government-issued ID; if their clothing is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items; or if the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) cannot reasonably determine that clothing is free of any detectable threats. Passenger may also be chosen for additional screening on a random basis.
Passengers may wear whatever clothing they choose when approaching the screening checkpoint, but enhanced security measures require that all passengers remove outer coats and jackets for x-ray before proceeding through metal detectors. Passengers that alarm the metal detector will be required to undergo additional screening. Passengers directed for additional screening may undergo hand-wand screening and/or pat-down inspections. Passengers may request the screening be performed in a private screening area at anytime. TSOs are instructed to honor a passenger's request.
If additional screening is merited, the transgender passenger will receive screening by a TSO of the same gender as what the passenger presents himself or herself to be. If a passenger chooses to have additional screening done in a private screening area, a traveling companion is permitted to accompany the passenger during the private screening. If the passenger refuses additional screening, they will be denied access to the secured area.
For more information on the screening process, we recommend that you visit our "For Travelers" section located on our website at www.tsa.gov. This information is updated periodically.
Thank you for contacting us.
TSA Contact Center
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
I received a response from the TSA today; however, they completely dodged my question about their proposed SecureFlight system supposed to roll out on November 1: