How Long Does TSA PreCheck Take to Process?

Wondering how long does tsa precheck take from start to finish? Typically, the TSA PreCheck application process takes three to five days for approval once all steps are completed, but it can extend up to 60 days in some cases. This article will guide you through each phase, from applying online to receiving your Known Traveler Number, and beyond—helping you expedite your journey through airport security.

tsa precheck process

TSA PreCheck Processing Time

  • The TSA PreCheck application process is designed to be fast, typically taking 3-5 days to approve, but can extend up to 60 days for some applicants.
  • TSA PreCheck offers members an expedited airport security experience, reducing wait times and allowing them to keep shoes and laptops packed during screening at over 200 U.S. airports.
  • Travelers can get free TSA PreCheck enrollment through certain travel credit cards, and active military personnel are eligible for automatic enrollment or a simplified opt-in process.

The TSA PreCheck Timeline: From Application to Approval

TSA precheck timeline

Applicants seeking to breeze through airport security can start by submitting an online application for the TSA PreCheck program. After completing this step, they will eventually be issued a Known Traveler Number (KTN), which serves as their ticket to expedited screening lanes at airports. The Transportation Security Administration has refined its procedures so that typically it takes a mere three to five days from finishing your application until you receive approval. Some individuals may experience a longer wait time, with the process potentially extending up to 60 days in certain cases.

Applying for TSA PreCheck Online

Initiate your path to a streamlined airport security experience by applying for TSA PreCheck through the online application process. Embark on this journey by navigating to the TSA’s official website and selecting ‘Apply Now.’’ Within approximately five minutes, you will have furnished your personal information, verified your eligibility, and advanced towards acquiring that coveted TSA PreCheck indicator which facilitates an accelerated security protocol at the airport.

Scheduling an Appointment at an Enrollment Center

Appointment at an Enrollment Center

Successfully navigating the online application moves you to the next step in person. Follow these instructions:

  1. Locate your closest enrollment center by inputting your ZIP code into the TSA’s official website.
  2. Select an appointment time that aligns with your availability.
  3. Remember to bring all necessary identification documents for this brief but important 10-minute meeting, which has potential long-term time-saving benefits.

After you do this, you can use this guide to check the status of your application.

Receiving Your Known Traveler Number (KTN)

Known Traveler Number (KTN)

After your appointment, you might be eager to find out the wait time for the TSA approval. The majority of applicants receive their approval notification with a Known Traveler Number (KTN) typically within three to five days. This number allows them to enjoy the benefits of swifter security checks by adding it directly onto their boarding passes and accessing expedited TSA lines.

Benefits of TSA PreCheck Membership

Benefits of TSA PreCheck

Imagine effortlessly bypassing the long, winding queues at airport security, keeping your shoes and belt on without a hassle, and your laptop safely stowed in its case. For TSA PreCheck subscribers, this convenience is part of their everyday experience as they benefit from reduced security wait times and simplified screening processes at more than 200 airports across the United States.

Comparing TSA PreCheck to Global Entry

For frequent international travelers, Global Entry is an invaluable trusted traveler program. It provides all the advantages of TSA PreCheck while facilitating swift customs clearance when re-entering the United States, greatly reducing time spent at airport processing.

Free TSA PreCheck Enrollment Through Travel Credit Cards

Did you know that some travel credit cards offer a perk that covers the full cost of your TSA PreCheck enrollment, allowing you to enjoy its benefits for free? These cards provide statement credits specifically designed to offset the application fee, seamlessly blending financial savings with ease of enrollment.

Renewing Your TSA PreCheck Membership

Like a passport or driver’s license, TSA PreCheck membership remains valid for up to five years. The good news is that renewing it is simple: you can complete the process online as early as six months before your current membership lapses. Typically, approval for most renewals comes within three to five days, securing yet another half-decade of serene travel with TSA PreCheck benefits.

Tips for Using Your TSA PreCheck Status Effectively

To take full advantage of your TSA PreCheck benefits, you should:

  1. Include your Known Traveler Number (KTN) when making flight reservations.
  2. Link your KTN with any airline loyalty programs you participate in.
  3. Should the PreCheck indicator be absent from your boarding pass, reach out to the airline for correction.

Adhering to these guidelines will help guarantee a smooth security process, which is one of the perks of having a TSA PreCheck.

TSA PreCheck for Military Personnel and Families

Everyday heroes, including active military members and Department of Defense civilians, are eligible for the benefits of TSA PreCheck. Being an initiative under the Department of Homeland Security, TSA simplifies security procedures by automatically enrolling service members in uniform (or out), while DoD civilians can easily opt-in to take advantage of this expedited process.


As we taxi to the blog post’s conclusion, let’s recap the key points of our expedition. Whether it’s the anticipation of applying, the thrill of a swift security line, or the convenience of renewal, TSA PreCheck is an investment in your travel future. With your newfound knowledge and these pro tips in your carry-on, you’re ready to take flight in the world of expedited airport security.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get TSA PreCheck approved?

Approval for TSA PreCheck usually occurs within 3 to 5 days. There are situations where it could require as many as 60 days.

To ensure continuity of travel benefits or before your existing membership lapses, you should submit an application a minimum of 60 days prior to the planned trip or the expiration date.

Why does TSA PreCheck take 60 days?

Processing times for TSA PreCheck may differ, with certain travelers obtaining their Known Traveler Number within 3-5 days. Others might have to wait up to 60 days owing to variables such as background checks and the number of applications being processed.

The FAA Reauthorization. The Act of 2018 requires that the TSA reach a decision on an application within a span of 60 days.

What is the fastest way to get TSA PreCheck?

To expedite the process of acquiring TSA PreCheck, you should submit your application via an online enrollment provider that has facilities in close proximity to your location. The application can typically be completed in approximately five minutes.

What is TSA PreCheck?

The TSA PreCheck program, available at over 200 U.S. airports, is a recognized trusted traveler initiative designed to expedite the airport security process and enhance convenience for passengers.

What are the benefits of having TSA PreCheck?

Possessing TSA PreCheck offers the convenience of reduced waiting times at security checkpoints, as well as eliminating the need to take off shoes or light jackets. Having TSA precheck is totally worth it. Travelers can keep their laptops and liquids inside their bags.

This is a beneficial service for regular travelers who wish to save time and streamline their airport security experience.

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Tim Schmidt is a 20+ year Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. A Fort Lauderdale-based "Digital Nomad," he enjoys traveling as much as possible with family and friends. AllWorld is his escape to document all of his adventures, including being a hardcore "foodie." He has property in Costa Rica and visits several times each year and is happy to offer his expert advice for planning your trip.

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