How to Get TSA PreCheck

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How to Get TSA PreCheck

Think back to the last time you flew. How was it getting through security? If you’re like most people, you probably faced an interminable wait in line before you had to take off your shoes and belt, remove your laptop from your bag and place it in a separate tray, then step through and hope you remembered everything. And don’t forget to discard all your liquids first!

But then there are those people just off to the side who breeze through the airport security checkpoint with no hassle. What’s their secret?

The answer is that they have TSA PreCheck. And you can have it too. Say goodbye to long lines and security checkpoint hassles by learning how to get TSA PreCheck with this helpful guide.

Benefits of TSA PreCheck

Before learning how to get TSA PreCheck, you should probably know what the TSA PreCheck benefits are and whether they’re worth applying for. While the process of earning TSA PreCheck can seem complex, it does provide two key benefits once you’re in the participating airport: speed and ease.

Being a TSA PreCheck member expedites the security process in a few different ways:1

  • Clothing – If you fly regularly, you know the drill. First, remove your shoes, belt, and jackets and place them in a tray to be scanned. Then, once you clear security, you have to join the scrum of people retying their shoes and basically redressing themselves before heading off to the boarding area. TSA PreCheck trusted traveler program allows you to keep all your clothes on as you move through security.

  • Technology – Another hassle of airport security is needing to place your laptop in a separate tray to be scanned. It would be one thing if we all just carried our laptops loosely, but, of course, we don’t. So, we have to remove the computer from our bag and use multiple trays to get all our tech properly scanned. Being a TSA PreCheck member eliminates this step and allows you to keep your technology packed.

  • Liquids – The 3-1-1 rule regarding liquids (such as toothpaste or mouthwash) is as follows:2

  • For carry-on luggage, you are allowed to bring on liquids in containers of less than 3.4 ounces.
  • These containers must be placed in a 1 quart-size resealable bag.
  • You are allowed 1 resealable bag.

TSA PreCheck removes this rule. So you can enjoy your water and pack your toothpaste without worry.

Applying for TSA PreCheck

As you can see, TSA PreCheck membership makes getting through security a much faster and more straightforward process. So, how do you get TSA PreCheck and what are the the TSA PreCheck requirements? For first-time applicants, it is a multi-step process:3

  • Online application – The first step is filling out an online application. The application will require you to provide biographical information and should take about five minutes to complete (assuming you have all the necessary information on hand).4

  • In-Person appointment – Once you have applied online, you must schedule an in-person appointment at a TSA application center. During this appointment, you will need to provide the proper forms of ID, be subject to a background check, and be fingerprinted. So, familiarize yourself with possible TSA interview questions.

  • Payment – The TSA requires an application fee of $78.00 from anyone applying for TSA PreCheck. If this is your first application, this fee will need to be paid in person, not online.5

  • Approval – Once you’ve completed the first two steps, you are still not guaranteed to be approved for TSA PreCheck. The Transportation Security Administration or TSA is responsible for all approvals and will make decisions based on their discretion. Also, TSA PreCheck can be revoked at any time if you violate federal security regulations.

  • Renewal – TSA PreCheck approval lasts for five years. At that time, if you wish to continue benefiting from the trusted traveler program, you will need to renew your application. 


Knowing which identifying documents you will need during your application appointment to get your own known traveler number or KSN can be confusing. However, there is a list provided by the Transportation Security Administration or TSA that you can reference.6 In short, you will need either one document from List A (such as a valid US Passport) or two documents from list B (such as a valid driver’s license and a birth certificate).

Be sure to go over the lists so you have all the necessary documentation before your appointment.

Increasing Chance of Approval

If your application for TSA PreCheck program is denied, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of approval in the future. It may help to sign up for one of the Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs. These include:

  • Global Entry

While being a part of these programs may help your chances of approval, they are not a guarantee. Your approval will still be at the sole discretion of the TSA.

Apply for TSA PreCheck Easily at GOV+

The TSA PreCheck is a program designed to take some of the hassles out of flying. Rather than focusing on getting through security, you can put your attention where it belongs: on enjoying your trip. However, the process of earning TSA PreCheck can be a hassle in itself.

That’s where GOV+ comes in. Whether you’re renewing your TSA PreCheck or applying for the first time, GOV+ makes the process easy. All you have to do is fill out our easy online form. We’ll check your eligibility, set up any necessary in-person appointments for you, and make sure you have the correct documentation.

Take the guesswork out of government applications. Rely on GOV+.



2. TSA. What is the 3-1-1 liquids rule? 

3. TSA. How do I apply for TSA PreCheck®? 

4. Universal Enroll. TSA PreCheck® Apply. 

5. TSA. TSA PreCheck® FAQ. 

6. TSA. TSA PreCheck® Application Program. 

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