Travelers walk through security at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Nov. 26, 2013.
(Photo: Elaine Thompson, AP)
The Transportation Security Administration has released information on the first application site for its Pre-check Application Program, which is at the Indianapolis International Airport.
The agency also released information about the online pre-enrollment program at tsa.gov.
Until now, the only way passengers could become eligible for the expedited screening program -- which allows travelers to leave on shoes, light outerwear and belts, keep laptops in their cases and bags of compliant liquids/gels in their carry-ons -- is through programs such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry program and frequent-flier programs with certain airlines.
The new TSA Pre-check application process makes it possible for U.S. citizens to do the pre-enrollment process online and then visit an application center, where they'll need to provide biographic information such as name, date of birth, address, fingerprints, payment and valid identity and citizenship/immigration documentation.
The application fee of $85 is valid for a five-year membership in the program. And once approved, TSA will give travelers a Known Traveler Number and authorization to use the TSA Pre-check lanes, which are now available at more than 100 airports and on nine major U.S. airlines.
"This new application process will greatly increase the availability of TSA Pre-check benefits to a broader population of travelers nationwide," said TSA Administrator John Pistole in a statement.
By the end of the year, TSA expects to open application centers in the New York City area, the Washington, D.C., metro area and the Los Angeles area. The agency says it plans to eventually expand to more than 300 application centers across the country.
Harriet Baskas is the author of seven books, including Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can't or Won't Show You, and the Stuck at the Airport blog. Follow her on Twitter at @hbaskas.