TSA Precheck is a gamechanger for busy travelers. The average Precheck member waits less than ten minutes in line for airport security, while those without wait a half an hour or more. The program saves time and hassle for passengers, especially when traveling comes with the added stress of COVID-19 precautions. This week, TSA Precheck, which grants special privileges to certain passengers for five years before needing to be renewed, was expanded to millions more US citizens and permanent residents. Now, all those who have Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) and Hazardous Materials Endorsements (HMES) are eligible for TSA Precheck for no extra cost. The expanded requirements will allow about 3.5 million people to access TSA PreCheck without doing anything.
What is TSA Precheck?
TSA Precheck is a program created by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2011. It allows passengers who have been deemed “low risk” to move through airport security more quickly and skip certain steps of the security screening, like removing shoes and belts. About 200 airports in the US participate in the TSA PreCheck program, and usually, to acquire it, you’d have to apply online. But now, for those with TWIC and HME certifications, the process will be much simpler. For everyone else, you can pre-enroll in TSA PreCheck with Skip here.
What are TWIC and HME?
TWIC is a certification that allows workers access to secure maritime facilities. It’s required for port workers and longshoremen, but also transportation workers like truckers who might need to drop materials off at those facilities. HME is a certification that allows truck drivers to transport materials that have been deemed to be hazardous or possibly dangerous. Many commercial drivers’ license holders have the two certifications, and will now be able to use them to get TSA PreCheck.
If I Have HME or TWIC Do I Have to Do Anything to Get TSA Precheck?
If you’re a truck driver or maritime worker who has TWIC or HME (or both), you don’t have to do anything to get TSA PreCheck! As long as your certifications are up to date, TSA PreCheck will go in place for you automatically. PreCheck members get a “Known Traveller Number” (KTN), which they use to get expedited screening. TWIC members get “Credential identification numbers” (CIN) when they receive the certification. When you book a flight, just enter your CIN in the KTN field of your flight reservation--you can find the CIN on the back of your TWIC card, in the lower left hand corner. For those that have HME, just enter your state’s two letter abbreviation and your commercial driver’s license number in the KTN field. For example: CA12345678. Once that is done, you’re all set and should have TSA PreCheck when you come to the airport for your flight.
Although most of us aren’t traveling right now, when we can again we will all want as little hassle at the airport as possible. And TSA PreCheck makes it easy to get through security and on to your flight! If you have TWIC or HME certifications, take advantage of your status the next time you fly. And if you don’t, we can help you pre-enroll in TSA PreCheck with Skip. We wish everyone safe travels!
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