As the number of air travelers continues to grow — and security lines get longer — many are thinking about signing up for the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program.
If you’ve been thinking about signing up for TSA PreCheck but haven’t because of the inconvenience of scheduling an airport check-in appointment, there’s good news: You can now schedule that appointment at many Staples locations while you’re there and pick up office or school materials. Although appointments are preferred, walk-ins are also welcome.
TSA Precheck, explained
TSA PreCheck, one of the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler programs, allows prescreened low-risk travelers to use their designated lines instead of the other TSA security lines, the agency explains. That line moves faster because PreCheck passengers don’t have to remove shoes, belts or light jackets, or remove their fluid bag or electronics from their carry-on bags.
Last December, 91 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited less than 5 minutes, according to the TSA. Travelers can use TSA PreCheck lanes at more than 200 US airports when flying on 85 domestic and international airlines.
Here’s what you need to know about having an in-person appointment with TSA PreCheck at Staples.
How to apply for TSA PreCheck
The first step is to search for a Staples location near you that offers TSA PreCheck services. You can search for these locations on the Staples website.
Once you’ve confirmed there’s a participating Staples near you, the next step is to start the enrollment process on the TSA PreCheck website. You must complete the application by providing identifying information, including date of birth, current address, and biometric information such as height, weight, and eye color.
Once you are conditionally approved for TSA PreCheck, you must schedule an in-person appointment at an enrollment center. When you book an appointment, be sure to select the option to interview at an enrollment center “located inside Staples.” Remember to confirm that you are scheduling an appointment at the Staples you have in mind.
When you go to the interview, be prepared to be fingerprinted, complete a background check, and have your photo taken. You must also provide two forms of ID, for example a state-issued driving licence, passport or birth certificate. You can learn more about the accepted documents and forms of ID on the TSA’s Required Documents webpage.
The entire process can be completed in a few minutes.
How to save money
It costs $78 to apply for TSA PreCheck, which is good for 5 years. After that, it costs $70 to renew online or $78 to renew in person; both types of renewals are also good for 5 years.
Some credit cards and loyalty programs cover the TSA PreCheck application fee as a member benefit. Others may even offer a credit that can be applied toward the application fee or allow members to use reward points to pay for the TSA PreCheck application fee. You can learn about these cards on the TSA’s Credit Cards and Loyalty Programs website.
For more on TSA PreCheck and other Trusted Traveler programs, also read:
And for more on changes to airport security and boarding processes, read: