TSA Expands PreCheck, Launches Direct Enrollment Process
The Transportation Security Administration announced a dramatic expansion of its PreCheck trusted traveler program on Friday. Starting later this year, travelers will be able to directly enroll in PreCheck. Previously, in order to qualify for the program, a traveler had to either be a member of Global Entry, Nexus, or Sentri, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection programs that expedite passport and customs screening, or be invited by a participating airline. Airlines typically invited higher-level members of their frequent flyer programs to join.
Eligible passengers will have a code embedded in their boarding pass and a TSA screener will direct the passenger to the PreCheck line. Some airports already offer dedicated PreCheck areas that allow passengers to bypass a long wait time. Once at the actual lane, a passenger will typically not have to remove his shoes, coat, or belt, and can keep laptops and liquids in their bags.
PreCheck is currently available at 40 airports nationwide.
The TSA PreCheck application program will require a background check, fingerprints, and the payment of an enrollment fee. A visit to a PreCheck enrollment center will be required. The first two centers will be at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport. In a statement released Friday, the TSA said that it estimates that the fee for directly enrolling in PreCheck will be $85, $15 less than Global Entry. In addition, the agency said it plans to expand the number of enrollment centers in the coming year.
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