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Applying for TSA PreCheck
For one low TSA PreCheck cost, travelers can enroll in this trusted traveler program to obtain five years of expedited airport security screening. The TSA PreCheck application process is simple, as customers can apply online through the website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In some cases, travelers will need to apply in person at a local enrollment center. In addition to completing a TSA application, travelers must undergo a criminal background check and an in-person interview.
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How to Get TSA PreCheck Benefits
To apply for TSA PreCheck, travelers may complete an online application through the website of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Travelers can typically complete the application in less than five minutes, making the enrollment process simple and convenient. After completing the application, customers must schedule their in-person interview and background check at a local TSA enrollment center.
More than 380 TSA PreCheck interview locations are available throughout the U.S., and applicants can use the administration's website to search for an office in their area.
Moreover, customers may visit a TSA PreCheck enrollment center to apply for the program in person if they cannot complete an online application. However, the walk-in application process will take longer, especially if applicants do not schedule an appointment beforehand.
When applying in person, customers must bring their identification, citizenship documents and payment for the non-refundable enrollment fee. When paying the fee, applicants may pay with a credit card, certified or company check, or by money order. Enrollment offices do not accept cash or personal checks as payment.
Learn more about the program benefits by downloading our comprehensive guide.
TSA PreCheck Application Documents
To sign up for TSA PreCheck, travelers must provide several pieces of personal information as part of the initial application process. For instance, applicants must provide their full legal name, gender, date of birth and preferred language. However, they must enter their name exactly as it appears on their identification and citizenship documents.
Additionally, they must provide their preferred method of contact, such as an email address or phone number. When completing the TSA application, travelers must also provide their:
- Citizenship information. Customers who complete the PreCheck application must provide their country and city of birth, as well as their country of citizenship.
- Identification information. Applicants must specify whether they have used any previous names, aliases or residential addresses. Additionally, travelers must specify whether their mailing and residential addresses are the same.
- Applicant information. Applicants must provide their current mailing address, height, weight, hair and eye color. If applicable, travelers must also provide their previous names and/or aliases.
- Eligibility information. Travelers must specify whether they are qualifying lawful permanent residents, U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals. Additionally, they must specify whether they have ever been convicted of a disqualifying offense.
- Documentation. Travelers must choose the type of photo identification and citizenship or immigration documents they wish to provide during their in-person interview. During the TSA appointment and background check, travelers must present these documents.
After completing the application, customers may enter their ZIP codes to find an enrollment center near them, as they will be able to schedule an in-person interview and background check at the end of the online application process. While TSA pre check walk in applications are also accepted, the administration gives priority to those with appointments.
TSA PreCheck Interview and Background Check
When visiting TSA PreCheck appointment locations to complete the in-person interview and background check, applicants must present their identification and citizenship documents, such as a driver's license and birth certificate or a U.S. passport.
As part of the background check, travelers must also provide their fingerprints and submit to a photograph. If applicants cannot provide fingerprints that comply with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) standards, the Bureau may use a different method to verify eligibility for the PreCheck program. In situations such as these, however, the PreCheck application could take up to four weeks longer to process.
During the interview, applicants must provide proof of identity through a photo identification and proof of U.S. citizenship status. After completing these steps, the TSA will determine whether applicants are eligible for PreCheck enrollment.
At TSA appointments for PreCheck enrollment, applicants may also need to answer questions about:
- Their criminal history.
- Their employment status.
- Their travel history.
- Their reasons for enrolling in the PreCheck program.
Moreover, most TSA PreCheck interviews only last 10 minutes, and TSA typically approves or denies PreCheck memberships within several days of conducting the in-person interview. However, PreCheck approvals or denials may take as long as three weeks in some cases.
Learn more about the interview process by downloading our in-depth guide.
TSA PreCheck Renewal
Travelers may apply for TSA PreCheck renewal if they are current program members and wish to renew their membership for another five years. In most cases, travelers may renew their program membership online through the TSA's website as far as six months in advance. However, applicants may need to renew in person at an enrollment center if their name has changed or they need to provide their fingerprints again.
As a reminder to sign up for TSA PreCheck renewal, officials send members a notice before their membership is set to expire. To receive these notices, members must keep their contact information current with the TSA. Moreover, members who change their name must contact the TSA's customer service department to report the update.
When renewing TSA PreCheck memberships, applicants must provide:
- Their names.
- Their Known Traveler Numbers (KTNs).
- Their date of birth.
After renewing, members will keep the same KTN, as long as they renew their membership within one year from the date in which their membership expired. If they do not, they will need to apply for this trusted traveler program as new members, rather than renewing their existing membership.
As part of the renewal process, applicants must also pay a renewal fee. The TSA PreCheck cost to renew is the same as the original application fee. After renewing a membership, the administration typically approves or denies applications within a few days to several weeks.