Written byGrayson Ullman
More than 2 million Americans are enrolled as certified “trusted travelers” in the Transportation Security Administration’s popular Pre-Check program, according to program vendor MorphoTrust USA — an important milestone for the system.
Pre-Check, which allows frequent fliers to bypass the most time-consuming and invasive of airport security measures by undergoing a background check and participating in an identity verification process, gained momentum in the latter half of 2015 as additional registration centers opened and hours of operation were extended.
Pre-Check participants do not have to remove shoes, take laptops or liquids out of bags, and are permitted to retain belts and light outerwear throughout security.
To apply for trusted traveler status, passengers complete a pre-enrollment form online before making an appointment at one of 355 IdentoGO Centers run by MorphoTrust USA, the identity management company that administers many state driver licensing programs and helps produce U.S. passports. There, travelers provide proof of their identity and undergo a background check which involves wirelessly transmitting fingerprints to the TSA for further inspection. Successful applicants are granted a “known traveler number” that allows them to access special expedited security lines in 150 airports around the country.
The spike in applications occurred after MorphoTrust USA announced a partnership with tax company H&R Block last September, under which specified H&R Block locations will be equipped to perform fingerprinting and other tasks required for the Pre-Check process. Numbers have also been boosted by the 2014 launch of a mobile app that allows businesses and organizations to submit multiple employee applications at once.
“The TSA Pre-Check program has proven to be a true win-win with enhanced security for the entire air travel system and convenience for the traveling public,” Charles Carroll, senior vice president of identity services at MorphoTrust, said in a release. “Working closely with our partners at TSA, we will continue to help expand this program and make convenient, hassle-free travel a reality for millions more Americans.”
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of the story reported that TSA had a partnership with H&R Block to offer enrollment services in the agency’s Pre-Check program. Morphotrust USA has the partnership with H&R Block.