How to Get TSA Precheck? Documents for Enrollment

Last updated May 27th, 2021

The TSA PreCheck, also known as TSA Pre✓® grants U.S. citizens or residents expedited passage through Transportation Security Administration lines at several airports throughout the country when flying domestically.

If you fly domestically in the United States, it is likely that you have found yourself making a TSA long line to get to your flight. The TSA PreCheck is meant to speed up your airport security check. Officially known as TSA Pre, you will have the option to go through a pre-screening process and will be assigned a Known Traveler Number (KTN). This should allow you to go through faster security line options at airports that participate in this program.

However, in order to get your KTN you need to meet a few TSA PreCheck document requirements and complete an application process.

Who can apply for the TSA PreCheck?

You need to be eligible to apply for the TSA Precheck. You must be a U.S. citizen or lawful U.S. permanent resident to be able to complete the enrollment process. Eligible applicants will need to have the following TSA PreCheck documents :

If you have changed your name since birth, you may need to present a marriage certificate as well as your driver’s license.

How do I Get a KTN to Go through TSA PreCheck Lines?

Obtaining a KTN and applying for, or renewing the TSA Pre is fairly straightforward. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you will be able to apply.

1. Enroll online for the TSA Precheck

If you have the necessary documents and are an eligible candidate, you can pre-enroll online. This simply means that you can complete an online form with your biographical details, such as name, date of birth, address, citizenship, or immigration documentation if applies to your case.

2. Make an appointment at an application center

Once you have completed the online form, the site will ask you to make an appointment at an application center. You will need to visit one within 120 days of filling out the online form. The U.S. currently has about 300 centers around the country.

3. Go to your TSA PreCheck appointment

Before heading to your appointment, be sure that you have a valid photo ID and a certified copy of your birth certificate. These are essential documents in order to get your TSA approved.

You will need to go through an interview in which they will get your fingerprints and you will be required to answer questions about yourself and your travel habits. It is possible that they review some of your past travels, but the representatives are only verifying the information you provided when you pre-enrolled online. The interview should take about 15 minutes or less.

4. Pay the respective fee

To finalize the process, you will need to pay 85 USD. This is a non-refundable processing fee. You can pay for this fee with a debit or credit card, money order, company check or certified/cashier’s check. Please note that cash and personal checks are not accepted.

Receive your KTN

If you are approved, your Known Traveler Number or KTN should arrive in the mail about 45 days after your appointment. Once you have your KTN you will be able to avoid long TSA lines and go through the faster lines. However, you will still need to travel with an official ID.

Travel without the TSA PreCheck

If you do not have a KTN or have not registered for TSA Pre, you can still travel domestically within the U.S. If you do wish to obtain the TSA PreCheck, you will need a U.S. passport and your birth certificate, and keep in mind the 2020 Real ID requirements.

When traveling in the United States, you are able to use different forms of identification. In coordination with its DHS counterparts, TSA has identified acceptable alternate identification for use in special circumstances at the checkpoint:

  • Driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential