TSA PreCheck cost
Travel

Is the TSA PreCheck cost worth it? Should you apply?

If you pay the TSA PreCheck cost, you can save a considerable amount of time walking through security. It is a five-year membership cost that allows you to walk through the security with light jackets, shoes, liquids, laptops, and belts. Over 10 million people applied for TSA PreCheck, and they wait less than five minutes in the security line.

How much does the TSA PreCheck cost?

The TSA PreCheck cost is $85. However, the cost of the service varies with the enrollment provider. The fee includes program support, vetting, and adjudication. This membership is valid for five years for current subscribers. In the future, the enrollment frame might be less than five years.

Is it worth it financially?

The main advantage of paying the TSA PreCheck cost is the freedom from waiting in the long security lines. Moreover, you can keep on your shoes, light outwear, belts, and others. If you are traveling with a toddler, this will help you handle the kid. There is a separate security line for TSA PreCheck, and thus, it will move faster.

For TSA PreCheck members, the security line does not have body scanners. Although meager, the body scanners allegedly emit low radiation. Usually, you need to choose between body scanners or a physical pat-down check, which has a lengthy line. With the TSA PreCheck membership, you can avoid this, unless the TSA agent pulls you aside for a regular random check. Those with TSA PreCheck can request for assistance at the checkpoint. However, the level of assistance depends on airport facilities.

Guarantee of the TSA PreCheck subscription

The applicant should pay $85 for TSA PreCheck, which is nonrefundable. If you get accepted, the fee covers five years of membership and the application process. However, if rejected, you will not get the fee back. An applicant can get rejected because of customs violations, criminal convictions, and others.

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What is the cost for children?

The TSA PreCheck is available only for travelers above the age of 13. A child below 12 years need not pay for the membership but can travel along with a guardian with TSA PreCheck.

How to pay for the TSA PreCheck?

The TSA PreCheck cost is payable via bank cards, money order, cashier’s check, or company check. If you are planning a Global Entry membership, you can pay via bank transfer or bank cards.

What is the cost for renewal?

After five years, your membership expires, and you can renew it. The renewal cost is $17 per year. The application for renewal takes three weeks for approval. You can renew the subscription about six months before it expires. How to know when the subscription is getting expired? You will get a notification from TSA via a phone call or email. You can also check your subscription status via the online portal or by calling the customer service number.

Where is TSA PreCheck applicable?

TSA PreCheck is available in 200 airports and covers 73 different airlines. There are more than 380 enrollment centers for applying for this membership. The TSA PreCheck applies to US citizens. If you are a foreigner, you need to meet certain residency and citizenship requirements. It is applicable for domestic travelers. If you are traveling overseas, you can choose Global Entry or similar services.

When you fly from the USA to an international destination, TSA PreCheck is applicable only when you depart from the USA. When you are on the international land, you have to follow the regular security measures unless you have Global Entry, which costs $100 per head. The admission process for the Global Entry pass includes an in-person interview, photography, screening procedures, and others. If you are a frequent international traveler, TSA PreCheck would be of limited use.

Cons of choosing TSA PreCheck

The first disadvantage is the limitation of airports and PreCheck security lines. If the security line is not available or if you are boarding at a restricted hour, you will have to undergo the normal security measures. TSA PreCheck is currently working on increasing the number of airports covered and the number of lanes in each airport.

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If you land in the expedited line, you can choose to walk through the PreCheck line. If not, you will have to be a part of the normal line, making the $85 a moot point.
The process of applying for the TSA PreCheck is daunting. Let’s see the procedure to receive membership in the next section.

How to apply for TSA PreCheck?

One has to apply via the official website for the TSA PreCheck program. The next step is scheduling an in-person interview, which stretches for 10 minutes. Later, you need to undergo background checking and fingerprinting. It would take two to three weeks to get the schedule for the in-person appointment. Keep an eye on the status of your application on the website. When your status becomes eligible, you are an official member of TSA PreCheck. Those who cannot provide fingerprints will get directed to an alternative verification system conducted by the FBI. It is a lengthy process, which takes four weeks.

Procedure for renewal of TSA PreCheck

The renewal process is quite straightforward. You can renew it in person by visiting the enrollment center. You need to submit a form with your name, KTN, and date of birth. However, if there is a change in your name, you have to renew it with the new name, which might take as long as three months.
Can everyone apply for the TSA PreCheck renewal process? Yes, but the TSA can refuse the subscription’s renewal if there was any criminal record history, custom violation, security offenses, and others.

In short, it is all about your preferences. If you find it too hard to stand in line for 20 minutes or so, TSA PreCheck is the right option. Those with toddlers can have peace of mind as they need not juggle removing shoes and keeping children in line.

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