How does TSA PreCheck work?

traveler in airport

For frequent travelers, TSA PreCheck is a great thing. You’ll save time at the airport, and you’ll always know in advance if there are any issues with your flight. But getting TSA PreCheck isn’t easy or cheap. In this article, we’ll take a look at how it works and what it costs to enroll in the program. We’ll also help you understand why some people don’t get approved for TSA PreCheck while others do—and how that could affect your travel plans!

TSA PreCheck is a government program that allows travelers to pass more quickly through airport security

While the TSA PreCheck program has been in place since 2011, it’s a relatively new concept for many travelers. Many people are unsure of how to actually use this service or why they should choose to do so.

Why is TSA PreCheck a good idea?

The biggest benefit of getting TSA PreCheck is that it allows passengers to pass through airport security more quickly. The whole process can take as little as five minutes, rather than 10-20 minutes with regular screening procedures (and even longer if you have bags). This is especially important when departing on an international flight or when trying to catch a connecting flight at the last minute—in either situation, waiting around for several minutes can put stress on your travel plans and cause some serious frustration.

To enroll in the program, you pay $85 and provide biographical data, fingerprints and identification documents.

To enroll in the program, you pay $85 and provide biographical data, fingerprints and identification documents.

You can pay for TSA PreCheck by credit card or cash at any of the enrollment centers located around the country.

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Once you’ve paid your enrollment fee and submitted your application, you’ll receive an appointment with the nearest enrollment center.

If you’re ready to dive into TSA PreCheck, the first thing you’ll want to do is pay the enrollment fee. The fee is $85, and it covers a five-year period. Once you pay your fee and submit your application, you’ll receive an appointment at the nearest enrollment center. There are about 380 locations across the country where you can apply for TSA PreCheck—so not only will there be one near your home or office, but there will also likely be one close by when visiting family or friends who live far away from where they live now (and vice versa).

There are about 380 locations across the country where you can get fingerprinted.

You can get fingerprinted at 380 locations across the country. You can find a location near you on the TSA website, but be sure to check ahead of time that there is space available and what ID you need to bring. You’ll need a valid government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport and your prints taken at an approved location. Payment options vary by location; some accept cash only, while others accept credit cards or checks.

You’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck for five years from the date of your enrollment.

You’ll be able to use TSA PreCheck for five years from the date of your enrollment. You’ll receive a letter confirming your enrollment and you can renew your membership if you want to.

If you’re approved, passengers with TSA PreCheck will have access to a dedicated security lane that doesn’t require removing shoes, laptops, liquids, belts or light jackets.

You may have heard the term TSA PreCheck before, but are you wondering what it is and how you can get it? Well, let us explain.

TSA PreCheck is a program that gives certain passengers an expedited security experience at airports across the country. If you’re approved to participate in the program, then when you check in for your flight at an airport with a TSA PreCheck lane—and depending on the airport—you will be eligible to use a dedicated security lane where you won’t need to remove shoes or light jackets, laptops, liquids (small containers) or belts. You’ll also have access to shorter wait times because there won’t be nearly as many people going through these lanes as there would be if everyone had to go through regular screening.* If approved for TSA PreCheck, passengers will receive an application via mail from TSA which includes instructions on how best prepare for their interview and what documents they need ready beforehand.*

Have questions about getting on board with TSA PreCheck? Let’s answer them!

TSA PreCheck enrollment centers are generally open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 5 pm.

Most TSA PreCheck enrollment centers are open Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, but it’s best to call ahead before you make a special trip. Some centers might be closed on certain days or have extended hours during the summer. Call ahead to confirm hours of operation before you visit an enrollment center.

In addition, many locations offer walk-in appointments in addition to online appointments and phone booking. If you’re in Houston, for example, travelers can go directly to the Southwest Airlines ticket counter at Hobby Airport where they will be able to schedule an appointment with TSA PreCheck on the spot (subjected availability).


The TSA PreCheck program is a great way to save time at the airport. It can also help reduce stress, if you’re not a fan of traveling through security lines. If you’re interested in joining the program, it’s important to know what it entails: First, there’s an application process that involves submitting personal information (including fingerprints and identification documents). Then there are costs associated with enrolling in the program itself—$85 per person per year plus whatever costs apply if your application is approved or denied. The good news is that once you’re enrolled, you’ll have access for five years from when your application was submitted!

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