TSA Pre-Check Application – What documents are Required?

Post 9/11 there are many changes were made to the way people traveled to and out of the United States. Mostly, it began by classifying passengers into low-risk groups and high-risk groups. Doing it was done to strengthen the country’s security system and assure people, trade and commerce can move on freely.

Intending to protect the nation, a special precheck process is in place through the Homeland security agency of the US and is known as the TSA (Transportation Security Administration).

What is TSA?

The TSA pre-check passengers took not more than 5 minutes to complete their security checks as seen for 98% of passengers as of March 2021. Under this segmentation program, those considered low-risk could travel without having to remove their belts, shoes and also windcheaters and light-to-carry jackets and coats.

With TSA clearance, they can also keep their laptops within their covers. They can also carry with them a bag that is 3-1-1 compliant and thus can carry a small amount of liquid and gel with them. An example would be a travel-size bottle of mouthwash or liquid sanitiser. This allowance is for those passengers who travel with the TSA pre-approval or clearance as opposed to those who do not. If passengers have a pre-approval, they can travel in shorter lines, and will not be going through systemic, strict scanning procedures. Those who want such facilities must apply for them online but will need to fix a physical appointment for ascertaining the fingerprinting and to approve the background check process.

There are four different TSA programs- TSA Pre-check, TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential), HAZMAT endorsements and Flight Training Security Program (FTSP).

What does pre-approved TSA mean?

Pre-approval of TSA means once you apply and you are accepted, they will assess your risk factors and will judge beforehand if you fall into the low-risk or high-risk group based on the information they retrieve about you. The TSA pre-check indicator will be displayed on the boarding pass. You must search for the indicator present in the pass and look for dedicated TSA precheck screening lanes to move through.

How do you know if you are TSA pre-approved?

You will receive a KTN (Known Traveler Number) within 3-5 days of your application. It is also stated that some applicants can receive the number even after 60 days.

If you have the KTN with you, it means you are TSA pre-approved. Those airlines willing to take part in this program will flash the KTN on your boarding pass asking you to follow that particular cue while going for security checks.

You can receive the KTN by any means including mail, phone or through text or you can also go online to check it.

Also read: What do you Need for TSA Precheck (Required Documents List)

How to Apply for Pre-TSA Application?

To apply, here is what you got to do once you determine that you are the right person to get approval for the pre-TSA application.

  • Visit the website and click on the TSA pre-check program.
  • Click on the TSA precheck tab and then click on new enrollment when applying for it the first time. If you are repeating the application, you can click on the re-apply tab.
TSA pre-check
  • First-timers cannot pay $85 online when enrolling for the first time. They need to pay it in the office they go for background verification and fingerprint confirmation.
  • Add your name (for the middle name, add NMN if you don’t have any middle name), phone number and email address. Also, state if you prefer to know more about your TSA pre-check status via email or phone.
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  • Only US citizens and legal permanent residents can enjoy pre-TSA check services. In the next segment, you must enter your country and city of birth and also your country of citizenship.
Citizenship TSA pre-check
  • If you ever had a maiden name or an alias, you need to inform them by checking the boxes. You also must check a box to confirm if your mailing address is the same as your residential address and if you have lived in your current residential address for 5 years or more.
Identitiy information TSA pre-check
  • You need to add your height, weight, hair color, and eye color in the next segment.
Pre-TSA Application
  • Include the address that you have as your mailing address. Add the county, address, city, and postal code. If your residential and mailing address is different, you might have to enter both.
Program details TSA
  • Next, answer all the eligibility-related questions. Find out the answer to different questions associated with your past criminal activity, if any.
Pre-TSA Application
  • Choose the required document that you wish to carry with you for the interview. In this segment, you need to inform the photo ID you want to take to the enrollment center.
Pre-TSA Application
  • Choose the closest site where you can verify your background information and fingerprints. Once you select a site, it will expand further showing you the time and the complete address.
Local close centers PreTSA
  • Choose the date and time before you submit the pre-check TSA application back.

What documents are required for Pre-TSA Application?

Documents are required for every application and so do you require one for the TSA pre-check? There are two lists and in each list is a set of documents, so those who cannot supply documents as per list A can supply a document as per List B.

Here are the list A and B documents that can serve as valid photo ID.

List A documents (Unexpired)List B documents (unexpired document originals and copies)
U.S. PassportDriver’s License
ETC (Enhanced Tribal Card)Military ID card
Free and Secure Trade card (FAST)Retired Military ID card
Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL)/ Enhanced Identification card (EIC)Dependant’s card
Permanent Resident Card (l-551)Tribal document with photo ID
Foreign Passport/ immigrant visaHomeland Security Department/ TSA/ TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credentials)
Re-entry Permit (I-327)Merchant Mariner Credential

Additionally, citizenship proof can be proved by the following documents;

Birth certificate from the US government
Citizenship certificate from the government of the United States (N-560 or N-561)
Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570) from the US
Citizen Identification Card (I-179 or I-197) from the US
Consular Birth Report of Abroad (FS-240)
Report of Birth Abroad (DS-1350 or FS-545) Certificate
U.S. passport from 12 months of expiration
  • An $85 cash amount is a must payment for those who wish to get their application forward.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is pre-TSA worth it?

Yes, it is worth it for many kinds of citizens traveling to and fro constantly. Especially, disabled, old, and sick citizens can make it through easily if they choose the pre-TSA for themselves or their fellow relations.

What do you need for TSA precheck application?

You will need to be a US citizen or permanent resident and birth proof along with nationality proof is a must. You will also need to pay a fee of $85 towards payments.

How much is TSA pre-check application?

Renewal of the Pre-TSA Application can be done for just $70 and the payment is accepted online. For new applicants, the amount that is to be paid is $85 and that amount is enough for 5 years.

When can you apply for TSA precheck?

If you travel across the globe 4 or 5 times and leave your country then you must apply for a TSA pre-check.

How long does TSA pre-application take?

Approval of Pre-TSA Application can happen within 3-5 days and for some applicants whose information is not clear might take upto 2 months to confirm the same.


All about TSA pre-check is here and you will not need more information than what is here if you wish to do a TSA pre-check for yourself. The online application can take you not more than 15 minutes if you know everything about yourself well. There is no way you can return to the application as there is no online portal for it. Thus, you will have to complete it in one go.

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