Government of Canada to Revamp Trusted Traveller Program

On Tuesday, May 23, the Government of Canada announced that the current Trusted Traveller Program will be replaced by a new Verified Traveller Program. The intention behind the move is to improve the security screening experience while still maintaining high standards.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) will debut the new Verified Traveller Program in select airports by June 21, 2023, right in time for the busy summer travel season.

The New Verified Traveller Program

The new Verified Traveller Program will offer eligible travellers a number of benefits at security screening checkpoints. When making the rounds through security, Verified Travellers can keep laptops, large electronics, and compliant liquids and gels in their carry-on baggage.

When passing through a metal detector or other security device, Verified Travellers may keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on, too. 

Passengers who are eligible for membership in the Verified Traveller Program are as follows:

  • Members of NEXUS and Global Entry
  • Active members of the Canadian Armed Forces and US military, including reservists, with valid ID
  • Canadian aircrew and airport workers with Restricted Area Identification Cards
  • International aircrew (in uniform) with valid airline ID
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers, Canadian police officers and constables with a badge and proper photo identification issued by their respective organizations

Children who are 17 and under, and adults who are 75 and older, will be allowed to accompany Verified Travellers through CATSA Verified Traveller screening, as long as they’re on the same reservation.

Between June 7 and June 21, 2023, dedicated Verified Traveller screening lines will be available at a number of domestic and international checkpoints at the following airports:

At the following airports, Verified Travellers will receive front-of-the-line access at security, and may be accompanied by co-travellers of any age booked on the same reservation:

  • Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) 
  • Greater Moncton Roméo Leblanc International Airport (YQM)
  • Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ)
  • Kelowna International Airport (YLW) 
  • Ottawa International Airport (YOW) 
  • Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)
  • Regina International Airport (YQR)
  • Saskatoon International Airport (YXE)
  • St. John’s International Airport (YYT)
  • Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
  • Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport (YWG) – Transborder

The press release also noted that several airports will extend select Verified Traveller benefits at transborder checkpoints, too.

Passengers on transborder flights will be able to leave permitted gels, liquids, and aerosols in their carry-on luggage, keep small items in their pockets, and keep shoes, belts, headwear, and light jackets on at the following airports:

  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) – Terminal 1
  • Montreal Trudeau International Airport (YUL)

It’s worth noting that Verified Travellers must still remove laptops and large electronics from their bags at transborder security checkpoints, and that there are no age restrictions to co-travellers at transborder checkpoints.

The Government of Canada believes that the new Verified Traveller program will help ease congestion at security checkpoints over time as its use increases.

Will Verified Traveller Help Ease Congestion at Canadian Airports?

As passengers returned to Canadian airports following the pandemic, there have been a number of issues during peak travel periods. The entire travel experience has been affected, from numerous flight schedule changes, delays, and cancellations, to long lines at every point along the journey.

The new Verified Traveller program certainly won’t hinder efforts to ease congestion, but it’s unclear if it will result in meaningful change ahead of the busy travel season. 

Will the Verified Traveller program have a meaningful impact to airport congestion?

NEXUS enrolment centres at Canadian airports have reopened in full, and it’s likely that the offices are busy clearing the backlog of applications that formed during the pandemic.

To benefit from the Verified Traveller program, the vast majority of Canadians would have to qualify through NEXUS. Getting everyone through the application process could take a very long time, although it’s clear that it’s well worth the effort for frequent travellers.

For passengers that qualify for the program, the security process will likely take a few less moments than it has in the past, which is at least a positive development. 


The Government of Canada announced the upcoming rollout of the Verified Traveller program by the Canadian Air Transport Security Agency (CATSA), which will replace the current Trusted Traveller program.

Between June 7 and 21, 2023, dedicated lines will be available at select airports, and eligible passengers will enjoy a streamlined security screening process. For airports without Verified Traveller lanes, there will be front-of-the-line access for members of the program.

Verified Travellers may be accompanied by co-travellers on flights to the United States and at airports that only offer front-of-the-line access; however, at CATSA Verified Traveller checkpoints, co-travellers must be under 17 or over 75.

This is the latest measure being taken by the Government of Canada to alleviate congestion at airports; however, it’s unclear if it will have a major effect for Summer 2023.