Last updated on September 6th, 2023
The United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and CLEAR are working on a streamlined application process, according to reports. The two security fast-track programs are popular amongst travelers but can cause headaches thanks to overlapping application processes. The reports state that TSA is working with CLEAR and an information technology firm, Telos, to create a single application for both services.
What is TSA Precheck?
The TSA’s Precheck is a popular membership program that saves weary travelers time in security lines, thanks to a member’s-only lane at US airports. Even better, travelers enrolled in the program don’t need to remove their coats, shoes, or belt, nor do they need to remove electronics or liquids from their bag.
TSA Precheck is a feature of many premium travel credit cards. It provides complimentary or discounted access to the service – available in more than 200 airports and with over 85 airlines. There are currently more than 10 million members of the program. TSA Precheck membership is valid for five years and costs $78.
What is CLEAR?
Clear is another fast-pass program that utilizes biometric data to quickly get members through more than 40 US airports and venues. CLEAR is a private service, unlike Precheck, which explains its reduced acceptance versus TSA Precheck. That said, the CLEAR service is an excellent way to expedite the security process – shaving time off checks and getting you to the airport lounge faster. The CLEAR program costs $189 annually, with users able to add up to three family members for $60 each per year.
Now CLEAR is looking to make a giant leap by adding TSA Precheck in some US airports as early as next month. The expanded partnership results from requirements set by the TSA Modernization Act and the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 and is being overseen by Telos.
Because the TSA Precheck enrollment process is handled by third-party contractors, streamlining the application process for the service and CLEAR is fairly straightforward (other services, like Global Entry, are directly handled by foreign governments).
Of course, this does not mean that the two programs are merging. To take part in both services, travelers will need to apply for both, including paying both membership fees. The new process will simply streamline the application and verification process – letting new members kill two birds with one stone.
“On a Mission to Make Experiences Safer”
“CLEAR has been on a mission to make experiences safer and easier since day one, so we’re looking forward to becoming an authorized TSA Precheck enrollment provider to help bring TSA Precheck enrollment to more people in more places,” a CLEAR spokesperson said in a statement. “Once CLEAR successfully meets all TSA requirements to become an enrollment provider and completes a trial period, CLEAR will be approved by TSA to begin offering TSA Precheck enrollment services to the public at select locations using CLEAR pods.”
“TSA will authorize Telos and Clear as TSA Precheck enrollment providers when each is ready to begin operations, and there is no established date for either enrollment provider at this time,” added a TSA spokesperson said. “Telos and Clear will join Idemia in time, but any discussion about timeframes and how they each will go to market is entirely premature.”
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