You have heard about the TSA’s PreCheck program that lets you breeze through security at the airport. Once you qualify, you can skip the long regular security line and go through the expedited security line. The PreCheck line is usually only about five minutes, compared to the hour or more that you could get stuck in the standard security line at a busy airport. The reason the TSA lets you do this, is that they have already prescreened you – with your permission, of course.
Unfortunately, for many people, there are no TSA PreCheck sites located nearby. Since the process of going through the prescreening is rather time-consuming, having to drive far to get to an enrollment center can be the final straw that causes some people to decide against it. Until recently, most of the enrollment centers were in airports, which are not convenient places to access. Good news – you can now enroll in TSA PreCheck at Staples stores.
TSA Enrollment Centers
IDEMIA is a security company that manages all the TSA PreCheck enrollment locations, called IdentoGo centers. IDEMIA already had about 1,200 IdentiGo centers across the United States. In addition to airports, IdentiGo sites are in some state motor vehicle department offices, business parks and H&R Block sites. There are IdentiGo centers in about 50 Staples stores.
The TSA PreCheck Program
You fill out an application and pay $85. Then you make an appointment to go to an IdentiGo center, where they will take your fingerprints and do a background check. You will have to take your passport to the appointment. If you do not have a passport, you can take a certified copy of your birth certificate and a government-issued form of identification, like a driver’s license or state identification card.
About 10 to 30 days after you complete the PreCheck prescreening, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) in the mail. You should provide this number whenever you make airline reservations, so that the airline will print it on your tickets and boarding passes. If your KTN is not on your ticket and boarding pass, you cannot use the TSA PreCheck expedited security line at the airport, even if you take along your TSA PreCheck letter that contains your Known Traveler Number.
The Known Traveler Number is good for five years. Most people can renew their KTN online within the six-month period before it expires. You can sign up for the TSA to send you an email to let you know when to renew your KTN.
Many retirees love to travel but do not venture as frequently as they would like, because of the inconvenience. One common complaint is having to stand in long lines at the airport. If you get a KTN through the TSA PreCheck system, you might find traveling more enjoyable. With IdentiGo centers now located in some Staples stores, applying for the Known Traveler Number is less inconvenient than before.
This article is about the general law, and your state’s law could be different.
AARP. “Enrolling in TSA PreCheck Just Got Easier.” (accessed November 28, 2018) https://www.aarp.org/travel/travel-tips/transportation/info-2018/staples-tsa-precheck.html