Traveler Verification Service


Traveler Verification Service (TVS) biometric is a biometric "entry-exit" system which includes several Government Data Stores for international flights at airports throughout the United States.

Traveler Verification Service cloud-based matching service to compare international travelers' photos captured by CBP against previously-captured photos.

Traveler Verification Service is similar to the Departure Verification System (DVS) and uses facial matching to verify the identities of travelers on select flights, but uses a cloud environment for facial matching

Traveler Verification Service is operated by United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in partnership with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Traveler Verification Service deploys a Facial recognition camera in close proximity to the airline boarding pass reader which matches live images with existing photo templates based from passenger travel documents for those who are scheduled to board the upcoming flight from least the following Government Data Stores:

to build a flight-specific gallery housed in the Automated Targeting System (ATS).

At the gate, an airline operator scans the traveler’s boarding pass, and the camera takes a photo of the traveler.

Identity Correlation#

It is known that this data is shared with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and Next Generation Identification (NGI)

No Match Suspects#

The CBP Officer uses a wireless handheld device to verify the traveler’s identity using either fingerprints for aliens, via a query in the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT), or by conducting an inspection to ensure the traveler is holding valid travel documents. If the CBP Officer is unable to locate a record of the traveler’s fingerprints in IDENT, the officer runs a separate criminal history check in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS) and enrolls the fingerprints in IDENT.

Known Data Retention#

CBP retains Facial recognition images of non-immigrant aliens, lawful permanent residents, and United States citizens for no more than two weeks for confirmation of travelers’ identities, evaluation of the technology, assurance of accuracy of the algorithms, and system audits.

CBP retains biographic exit records from the boarding pass for 15 years for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents and 75 years for non-immigrant aliens.

Retention policies follow the Border Crossing Information (BCI) System of Records Notice (SORN) for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents and the Nonimmigrant Information System (NIIS) SORN for non-immigrant aliens. However, records retained in association with a law enforcement action are retained for 75 years, consistent with the TECS SORN.19

Privacy Considerations#

Traveler Verification Service is designed to biometrically scan all travelers leaving the United States, despite United States Congress never authorizing scanning of United States citizens at the U.S. border.


Government Surveillance

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: