What is TSA PreCheck?

If you travel often, you’ve probably noticed that TSA PreCheck is one of the most popular airport perks. The program allows members to get through security faster by skipping some steps in the screening process. While there are many benefits to TSA PreCheck, it can be confusing to figure out if you’re eligible for the program and how much it costs. Here’s what you need to know:

Who qualifies for TSA PreCheck?

  • You must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident (LPR).
  • You must be 18 years or older and willing to share your fingerprints with the TSA.
  • You must have a valid government-issued ID and birth certificate in your possession when you apply for TSA PreCheck at an enrollment center (see below). This can include a U.S. passport, state-issued driver’s license or identification card, Department of Homeland Security document showing immigration status, other government-issued documents that show immigration status and identity, Native American tribal photo ID cards accepted by the TSA as acceptable forms of identification for precheck passengers enrolled in NEXUS programs operated by U.S., Canadian border authorities such as FAST/NEXUS/BCR/ICTSAPass(TM) etc…

How do I sign up for TSA PreCheck?

To sign up for TSA PreCheck, you must first go to the TSA website and fill out an application form. You will need your passport or other acceptable identification as well as a credit card. Once you have completed the form, print off your confirmation and bring it with you when traveling through security at an airport. At that point, you will need to present both your confirmation and proof of identity before undergoing a background check.

To complete registration, individuals must go through a fingerprint scan and pay $85 in fees each year. The fee is non-refundable, but it can be applied toward future travel if not used in one year’s time (this only applies if there has been no change in address).

What documents do I need in order to sign up for TSA PreCheck?

You’ll need to bring a valid U.S. passport, driver’s license and U.S. military identification card when you apply for TSA PreCheck. You can also use your passport card or Resident Alien Card as proof of citizenship. If you have an alternative identity document that has been granted by the U.S., USCIS will accept it as well (for example, if you’ve been granted asylum).

If you do not have one of these documents but are still eligible for TSA PreCheck, then you can submit a copy of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification along with your application package and be processed for expedited security screening at airports across the country as soon as possible after receiving authorization from Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

How much does TSA PreCheck cost?

If you are eligible for TSA PreCheck, it’s free for the first five years. After that, it costs $85 to renew your membership. If you’re a member of Global Entry or Nexus, then you already have TSA PreCheck and don’t have to pay anything additional. Members of those programs receive a 5-year pass as part of their enrollment in those programs.

Another way to get TSA PreCheck is through frequent traveler status on one of the participating airlines (American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Select/Gold Medallion members and United MileagePlus Premier 1K/Premier Gold members). If your airline offers this program and you’ve reached at least 50 segments flown within a calendar year with that carrier within the previous two years (or 25 segments within the past 24 months), then simply enrolling will give you a 5-year pass without paying extra fees!

Is there a money-back guarantee if I’m not accepted into the program?

If you are not accepted into the program, you will be refunded the application fee. If your application is accepted, there is no refund available. However, if your background check is denied or if you withdraw from TSA PreCheck before completing all security screening requirements, then you will receive a refund of half of the application fee.

When can I start using TSA PreCheck at the airport?

When can I start using TSA PreCheck at the airport?

You can use TSA PreCheck at the airport starting in February. Just keep in mind that you will need to show a boarding pass with the “TSA PreCheck” logo on it, and only travelers flying on participating airlines can use this program.

Will I be screened every time I fly, even if I have TSA PreCheck?

The short answer? Yes.

Every time you fly on a commercial airplane, you will be screened. Even if you have TSA PreCheck, or any other type of expedited security clearance (such as Global Entry), you will still have to take off your shoes, belt and jacket. You’ll still have to take out your laptop and liquids so they can be inspected separately by a Transportation Security Officer (TSO). And yes: even with TSA PreCheck, you’ll still have to go through the same metal detector or body scanner that everyone else does.

Your experience at an airport security checkpoint should always be as streamlined as possible—but it’s not quite as simple as “get in line.” In fact, there are several factors involved here: where exactly each airline flies; whether or not the flight requires TSA PreCheck; what kind of plane is being used by said airline (domestic versus international); how busy those flights are at different times of day/year; etcetera ad infinitum

With TSA Precheck, you can get through security faster and with less hassle.

With TSA Precheck, you can get through security faster and with less hassle.

If you’re a US citizen or lawful permanent resident of the US, you can sign up for TSA PreCheck under the following conditions:

  • You are not on any terrorist watch lists.
  • You have not violated any laws in the past five years that would disqualify you from being approved for the program (such as driving under the influence).


If you’re interested in signing up for TSA PreCheck, or just want to learn more about this program, then I would highly recommend checking out the official website. It has all of the information you could ever need about what exactly TSA PreCheck is and how it works. You can also check out our blog post on everything you need to know about TSA Precheck here!

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