TSA PreCheck Presents New Options for Travelers

This fall, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will open its PreCheck security program to all travelers. Created in 2011, the TSA PreCheck program was previously available only to members of select frequent flier programs. The program has more than 15 million members to date.

What is TSA PreCheck?

The PreCheck program allows pre-screened travelers to pass through security with less hassle. PreCheck clearance will allow you to bypass some of the more bothersome security procedures put in place after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

With PreCheck you will not be required to remove the following items from your bags or person:

  • Shoes
  • Belts
  • Jackets
  • Laptops
  • 3-1-1 Bags

Signing Up for the PreCheck Program

Currently, PreCheck is only available in 40 airports, but TSA hopes to increase this number to 100 airports by the end of 2013. To see a full list of participating airports, click here.

To register for PreCheck you will need to submit your information on TSA’s website. The Transportation Security Administration will then contact you to set up an interview, during which they will obtain fingerprints from you. There is an $85 fee to register for PreCheck, but you will be eligible for benefits for 5 years. The application process may take 2-3 weeks to finalize, after which participants will be issued notification in writing as well an assigned number to use during booking.

TSA is also including an option to sign up for PreCheck with the issuance of new passports. You will find a sales brochure inside your new passport as well as an option to join the Global Entry program. Similar to PreCheck, TSA’s Global Entry has the same benefits with additional options for international travel. TSA claims that Global Entry (with a $100 registration fee) will speed up the tiresome process of border checks and customs.

To learn more about the PreCheck program, please visit TSA’s website.