Frequently Asked Questions

Most Popular

What is PBS Passport?
PBS Passport is a member benefit from participating PBS stations that gives eligible donors and supporters extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming online.  The PBS Passport library features episodes from popular programs, including American Experience, American Masters, Antiques Roadshow, Nature, NOVA, and Masterpiece — including all six seasons of Downton Abbey. In addition to these signature series, the library is full of public television’s acclaimed arts, science, history, and lifestyle programs; including How We Got to Now, Earth a New Wild, Austin City Limits, and a rotating selection of films from Ken Burns.  Local stations give the Passport benefit to their supporters who qualify for their Passport membership benefit. Each station can set their own qualifications for Passport, but most stations give the benefit to members who donate at least $60 a year, or $5 Sustainer/Ongoing-monthly gifts. For the most accurate information, please contact your local station or visit their website. If you are interested in receiving the Passport membership benefit or are already a contributor with your local station, please contact your local station and ask about their eligibility requirements and membership activation. If you have additional questions about the Passport membership benefit, please check the list of related questions below or use the search bar above to find additional answers on our PBS Help site. 
Fri, 20 Jul, 2018 at 12:41 PM
Check Your Passport Status
Passport Lookup Tool Click the link above to open the Passport Lookup Tool and check on the status of your Passport membership benefit. The Passport Lookup Tool can help you quickly find the status of your Passport membership benefit. Simply enter your contact email address you provided to your station and click the green "Find Member" button to search for your Passport benefit. Your search can return five possible results: 1. Member Found You have already activated your Passport benefit. Sign in with the PBS account you originally linked to your benefit. (Note: Your login account may use a different email than the contact email you entered into this tool.) 2. Account Activation Needed You have not yet activated your Passport benefit. An email will be sent to the contact email address you entered with an activation code and a link to the activation site. 3. Passport Expired Your Passport benefit has expired. If this is incorrect, and you are still a qualifying member with your local station, please contact them directly to inquire about your membership status with them and request they update the expiration date on your Passport benefit. 4. Passport Disabled Your Passport benefit has been disabled by your local station. Please contact them directly to inquire about your membership status with them and request they update the status on your Passport benefit. 5. Member Not Found There is no Passport benefit in the system associated with the contact email address you searched for. Your station may not have set up a benefit for your membership yet, they may have set one up under a different contact email address, or they may not have a contact email address for you. Please contact them directly to inquire about your membership status with them and the status of your Passport benefit.
Mon, 1 Oct, 2018 at 3:50 PM
How do I cancel my Passport member benefit?
Passport is a membership benefit provided by your local station. For security purposes, only your station has access to your membership information and billing. Because memberships are retained at a local level, you must email or call your local station in order to cancel your Passport member benefit. Most stations have a way to update your information or contact them at their website, so we suggest looking at your local station's website for more information. You can also use the below link to find contact information for your station to email or call them with. Find your local station contact information. If your station sent you an email confirmation thanking you for your gift, this email also should have had information on how to contact your station.
Fri, 4 May, 2018 at 10:17 AM
How do I activate Passport?
The following steps illustrate the Passport activation process from beginning to end. You can activate your PBS Passport account from your desktop computer or laptop using the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. After you have received an email from PBS or your local station with your Passport activation code and instructions, click Click Here to Activate Now (Figure 1). Alternatively, if you have your four-word activation code, you can go directly to http://www.pbs.org/passport without needing to go through the email invitation. Figure 1 After following the link or entering your activation code, you are directed to an activation screen where you should see the logo of the local station you are a member with. On the right side, it will ask you to sign in through Facebook, Google, or a PBS account. If you already have one of those three accounts, you can click the respective option and sign in with your account. If you are not sure if you have an account, or would like to set one up, you can click the option to Create a PBS Account further down on the right side of the page. After signing in, you will see the below screen asking you to confirm the account for Passport (Figure 2). Click the checkbox stating that you allow PBS to share your viewing history (Figure 2). * Please note that you must check this box to continue with the Passport activation process. Why do PBS and my station ask for this? Figure 2 Click Confirm (Figure 3). Figure 3 Your activation is complete. Click Get Started to begin watching Passport content (Figure 4). Figure 4 Passport content is designated by a blue "compass rose" icon. The icon also appears next to your name, indicating that you are logged in and can view Passport videos. If you do not see the blue Passport icon () next to your name, you have not completed the activation process or you have not signed in with the same email address you used when you activated your Passport member benefit. Think of any other email addresses you may have used and try signing in with those until you see the blue Passport icon next to your name.  Figure 5 Because the Passport benefit is a one-time activation, you will not need your activation code in the future. All you need to access Passport is the email address and personal password of your login account you signed into earlier in the activation process. Below are additional links with instructions on how to sign in to your Passport account on our apps on supported streaming devices: Activate on Roku Activate on Apple TV Activate on Apple TV 4th Generation Activate on Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, or Android Smart TV
Fri, 4 May, 2018 at 10:16 AM
How to Reset Your Access for Your Passport Benefit
The Passport benefit can only be linked to one PBS account at a time. You can create multiple PBS accounts with different email addresses, but only the account you originally linked to your Passport benefit will grant you access to Passport videos.  PBS offers two ways to change the email address you use with your Passport benefit. If you would like to simply update the email address of your PBS account, you can make this change through your account's User Profile. Please visit this help page for instructions. Note: You will only be able to update the email address of your PBS account if you have not previously created a new PBS account with the updated email address. Please use the below tool if you have multiple PBS accounts. If you would like to switch the PBS account you use to log in to watch Passport videos, you can reactivate your Passport benefit with a new account through the Passport Reset Tool.  Resetting your Passport benefit is easy and only takes a few minutes.  1. Open the Passport Reset Tool page. You will see a prompt to sign in with the PBS account linked to your Passport benefit. Click "Sign In" and you will see a login prompt appear. If you do not remember the PBS account linked to your Passport benefit and have multiple PBS accounts, try signing into each account one at a time. Once you sign in, you will receive a message confirming if the PBS account is linked to your Passport benefit or if you need to try another account. 2. Log in with your PBS account. Choose one of the three login options (PBS Account, Google, or Facebook) and enter the email address and personal password for your account. This will be a PBS account you previously created to originally activate your Passport benefit. Don't remember your password or receive an invalid login error message? Reset your PBS account password here. 3. Confirm your Passport benefit reset. We will also send you an email confirming your Passport benefit has been reset, as well as a link to reactivate your benefit at a later time if you have to step away from your computer before you can reactivate your benefit. When you originally donated with your local station, you may have provided an email address to contact you at and we will ask you to confirm if you would still like to use this email address. If you would like to use this email address, select that email address. If you would instead like to use a new email address, select "A different email address" and enter the email address you would prefer to use. Once you have selected your preferred email address, select the "Reset My Passport Access and Send My Activation Email" button below to continue. 4. Reactivate your Passport benefit. Your Passport benefit has been reset and you can now reactivate it with a different PBS account. Select "Reactivate My Benefit" to continue. If you need help with the Passport activation process, please visit this help page with instructions and images on how to activate your benefit. Once your benefit has been successfully reactivated with your new PBS account, you will see the below "Activation Complete" screen and can begin watching Passport videos again. Common Issues and Solutions No Passport Membership Benefits The message means you have signed into the Passport Reset Tool with a PBS account that is not linked to an active Passport benefit. We recommend signing out and signing back in with another PBS account you or someone in your household may use. You may have set up an older PBS account in the past when you originally activated your Passport benefit. *This message does not always mean you are not a member with your local station or that you do not have the Passport benefit. Your Passport benefit likely exists, but is linked to a different PBS account or has not yet been activated. Passport Benefit Expired The PBS account you signed in with is linked to a Passport benefit, however the expiration date of the Passport benefit has passed. Please contact your local station to inquire about your membership and billing, and either renew your membership or request they update the expiration date of your Passport benefit. Unable to sign into my PBS account If you are unable to sign into your PBS account because you have forgotten your password, or because you previously used a Facebook or Google login option which you no longer have access through, please reset your password for your PBS account.  Once you have reset your password for your PBS account, return to the Passport Reset Tool and log in with your email address and new password. If you are unable to reset your password for your PBS account because you no longer have access to the email inbox for your email address of your PBS account, please send our support team a message with the email address of your previous PBS account and the email address you currently use. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers What information do I need to provide in order to use this tool? You will need the email address and personal password of the PBS account you originally linked to your Passport benefit. If you do not remember the personal password for this PBS account, you can reset the password for the PBS account at this page. If you no longer have access to the inbox for this email address, please submit a message to us at the bottom of this site requesting that your benefit be reset. Do I need to make a new donation when my Passport benefit is reset? You will not need to make a new donation, or make any updates to your billing information. If you ever need to update your billing information, or would like to renew or cancel your recurring donation, please contact your local station. What will happen to my saved Favorites and Watchlist on my PBS account if I use this tool? This tool does not delete your original PBS account, however saved videos and shows will remain on your original PBS account. When you reactivate your benefit with a different PBS account, the new PBS account will not share the same saved videos and shows. Can I update the email address on my PBS account without using this tool? You can update the email address for your PBS account by signing in to your User Profile and selecting "Edit" or "Update Personal Information." However, you will only be able to update your account to an email address that is not already in use - if you have set up multiple PBS accounts already, then you cannot use the same email address for two PBS accounts.
Thu, 1 Nov, 2018 at 2:10 PM
What shows are available with PBS Passport?
The PBS Passport library currently offers members more than 1,000 episodes from popular shows like American Experience, American Masters, Antiques Roadshow, Nature, NOVA, and Masterpiece — including all six seasons of Downton Abbey. In addition to these signature series, the library is full of public television’s acclaimed arts, science, history, and lifestyle programs; including How We Got to Now, Earth a New Wild, Austin City Limits, and a rotating selection of series from Ken Burns - currently Ken Burns' Jazz is available. More shows are being added all the time. Due to streaming rights and legal issues, PBS is unable to distribute a list of Passport shows. If you are interested in seeing if a specific program is available for online streaming, enter the program's title in the Search Term box at this page: http://www.pbs.org/search/ Not a PBS Passport member? Contact your local station to inquire. Passport videos are designated by a blue "compass rose" icon as shown in the image below:
Thu, 17 May, 2018 at 10:50 AM
Is Passport available outside the U.S.?
Most PBS streaming video – including PBS Passport – is available only within the United States.  PBS is not a producer, but rather a distributor of programming. Our distribution rights are fairly limited and are generally confined to dissemination within the United States. While over-the-air broadcasts reach beyond U.S. borders, online video is subject to geo-filtering, which restricts the areas that can view PBS content. PBS is legally obligated to ensure each program does not exceed its granted rights, which unfortunately eliminates international streaming ability for PBS programs outside the US. We regret not being able to offer all our content online to our supporters.
Tue, 1 May, 2018 at 2:14 PM
I donated but haven't received my activation code. What can I do?
Please begin by checking your email spam folder. If the email is not there, please contact your local station or view this list of possible reasons.  Be sure you are checking the same email account you used when you registered for PBS Passport. Also, please note that after you donate, it can take up to two business days to receive your activation code. Please keep in mind that often if you are already on PBS.org and you clicked a link to activate your Passport membership, no other action is required.  To confirm that you have activated your Passport account, go to http://www.pbs.org/, change your local station if it is not showing, and sign in as you did during activation. If your Passport is activated properly, you will see a small blue and white compass rose symbol by your name in the upper left portion of the screen. When you search through the site, any video bearing that same blue and white compass rose symbol are videos available to Passport members. If you do not see the blue Passport icon () next to your name, you have not completed the activation process or you have not signed in with the same email address you used when you activated your Passport member benefit. Think of any other email addresses you may have used and try signing in with those until you see the blue Passport icon next to your name. If you are still having trouble, email support.
Thu, 3 May, 2018 at 11:17 AM
What are the system requirements to view PBS Video content?
Supported desktop browsers: Chrome*, Internet Explorer*, Firefox*, Safari*  Mobile devices running: Apple iOS, Android 2.3 and Android 4+  Support for Flash + HTML5 on desktops (auto-detected), HTML5 on devices  Connection speed: Broadband Required (Minimum bandwidth speed of 500kbps)  * Latest, or most widely used version.
Thu, 3 May, 2018 at 11:18 AM
I want to watch a PBS program that was broadcast but is not yet available online. What are my options?
Many of our programs have some lag time between broadcast and streaming availability. Typically, shows are available for streaming the day after they are broadcast on television and are usually available online for up to two weeks after. We suggest that you search the PBS.org website the day after a show is broadcast and see if it is available for streaming.
Mon, 23 Apr, 2018 at 1:15 PM