If you travel frequently, you’ve probably heard of TSA-Precheck. But what exactly is it? TSA-Precheck is a government program that allows low-risk travelers to enjoy expedited security screening at airports. Participants go through a pre-screening process, which includes providing biographical information and fingerprints, and then they are granted access to a special lane at airport security checkpoints. This can save time and hassle for frequent travelers. If you’re considering signing up for TSA-Precheck, read more about the program and how it works.


What is TSA-Precheck, and What Are the Benefits of Having It?

TSA-Precheck is an expedited security screening program for certain frequent travelers in the United States. Members of the program can avoid long lines at TSA checkpoints and receive special screening privileges, which include access to dedicated lanes with shorter wait times, along with leaving on their shoes, laptops, belts, 3-1-1 liquid compliant bag, and light outerwear while at the checkpoint. Although a fee is associated with registering for the program, it can be a great time saver if you travel frequently.

International travelers departing or arriving in American airports registered in TSA-Precheck can take advantage of the Global Entry program – although there is an additional cost – to quickly pass through customs when arriving or departing in the U.S. Overall, having TSA-Precheck makes traveling much easier and quicker!

How Do You Qualify for TSA-Precheck?

Following individuals are eligible for TSA PreCheck:

  • Should be a law-abiding U.S. citizen above 18 years of age
  • Global Entry Member
  • Members of SENTRI.
  • U.S. citizens and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS.
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Government employees of selected agencies
  • Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military, Naval, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Merchant Marine Academy.
  • Passengers under the age of 12 and traveling with an eligible adult passenger.
  • Passengers selected using existing SFS requirements while traveling on participating airlines.

What Does the Application Process Involve?

You can register yourself or your family members for TSA-Precheck on TSA’s official website. The application fee is $78(price may vary), valid for five years. Once you have completed the application, you can schedule an appointment at a local enrollment center and submit your fingerprints for a background check. Generally, applicants obtain their KTN (Known Traveler Number) within 3-5 days; however, in rare cases, it may take up to two months.

Once your application is approved, you will receive your KTN via email, text, or phone, or you can manually check it online. You can use your KTN when booking flights and checking in at the airport. It will also be printed on your boarding pass, so you know it’s valid when you go through security. Keep in mind that members of TSA-Precheck are still subject to random security screening checks.

Documents Required for TSA-Precheck Application

To complete the application process for TSA-Precheck, you will need to provide certain documents. Following are the documents you will need to submit:

You need to take at least one document at the time of application.

  • Passport of U.S. Nationality
  • Tribal Card
  • FAST Card
  • Driver’s License of U.S. Nationality
  • Green Card
  • Immigrant Visa 
  • Return Permit

Valid Photo ID

  • Permanent Driving License
  • Temporary driver’s license 
  • Photo I.D. issued by the government
  • Military I.D. card of U.S. Nationality
  • Retired military I.D. card of U.S. Nationality
  • Military dependent’s card of U.S. Nationality
  • Tribal document with photo
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) 
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)
  • Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)

Valid Proof of Citizenship

  • Birth Certificate issued by the U.S. Government
  • Certificate of Citizenship of U.S. Nationality
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Identification Card issued by the U.S. Government
  • Birth Certificate issued by the U.S. Government
  • Non-expired U.S. passport

TSA-Precheck Validity and Renewal

TSA-Precheck is valid for five years before it needs to be renewed. The price for renewing your TSA PreCheck membership may differ depending on which method you use for the renewal process. If you prefer to renew your TSA Pre-Check online, it will cost $70 – a non-refundable fee. However, if you visit an enrollment center in person to renew your Pre-Check membership, the price increases slightly with a non-refundable fee of $78. It is important to note that identification used to enroll in the program must still be valid upon renewal, and trip details must remain accurate; otherwise, travelers are ineligible to use their existing Pre-check number.

TSA Pre-Check for Children

U.S. citizens and permanent residents of any age can register for TSA Precheck. Children, U.S. citizens under 12 years old, can travel with an adult with a TSA Precheck status without needing to apply on their behalf, as long as they are traveling domestically with the same airline carrier that the adult is booked on.

Teenagers aged 13 to 17 traveling with their enrolled parent or guardian may access the TSA PreCheck lanes if they have the required indicator on their boarding pass. However, there may be a possibility that children under this age bracket might be randomly excluded and must then go through standard security screening instead.

TSA Pre-Check for Active Duty Military and DOD Civilians

All U.S. service members and DoD Federal civilians can benefit from the TSA PreCheck program, regardless of whether they travel for work or personal. Make sure to update all travel reservations by including your DoD ID number as the Known Traveler Number to utilize TSA-Precheck.

U.S. Military Academy at West Point, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and U.S. Coast Guard cadets are privileged to access complimentary TSA PreCheck benefits! Individuals need to input their Department of Defense (DoD) I.D. number when booking a flight in the ‘Known Traveler Number’ field to take advantage of the TSA-Precheck feature.

TSA Pre-Check for Citizens with Medical Conditions and Disabilities

Citizens with disability and medical conditions are not exempted or given special treatment regarding airport security and travel. However, if individuals with a disability or medical condition face difficulty getting through the standard security process due to their condition, they can request a TSA Cares helpline. You should contact the helpline 72 hours before departure for necessary assistance.

Individuals with disabilities and medical conditions who would like to apply for TSA PreCheck will have to go through the same steps as other travelers. They must visit an application center, provide the necessary documentation and pay the applicable fee. Once approved, they can use their Known Traveler Number when booking a flight to enjoy all the benefits of TSA PreCheck!

TSA Pre-Check for Global Entry

Global Entry members benefit from TSA PreCheck and expedited clearance through U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when they enter the country. Global Entry member can use their Known Traveler Number when booking a flight to get pre-approved for TSA PreCheck benefits.

To provide CBP with Global Entry members’ biometric information, individuals should submit a processed fingerprint at least 24 hours before their scheduled travel to use TSA PreCheck without difficulty.