If you have a TSA PreCheck interview coming up, you might be feeling a little nervous or worried that you won’t be approved.
But generally, you have very little to worry about if you go into the interview knowing what to do and expect.
In fact, even though it’s called a TSA PreCheck interview, it’s really more just a casual appointment that isn’t designed to interrogate you.
Obtaining TSA PreCheck is definitely recommended due to how much faster and more convenient it makes the TSA’s security screening process.
Table of Contents
- 1 What to Expect at the TSA PreCheck Interview
- 2 You Can Dress Casually
- 3 The Interview Will Be Very Short
- 4 What Happens If You’re Approved
- 5 What Happens If You’re Denied
What to Expect at the TSA PreCheck Interview
You’ll Need to Provide Documentation
One of the most important things to remember and be aware of is that you will need to turn up to your interview with the correct documentation.
You must bring a photo ID, which will be your driver’s license or passport for most people, though other forms of ID will also be accepted, including a permanent resident card.
You will also need to bring a document that proves your citizenship, such as your birth certificate, certificate of naturalization, passport, or U.S. Military ID.
Remember to bring a marriage certificate, too, if your name has changed.
You Will Be Fingerprinted & Your Photo Will Be Taken
During your interview, your fingerprints will be taken.
Your photo will also be taken.
You’ll Have to Pay the Membership Fee
TSA PreCheck of course isn’t free, so you will need to pay the membership fee, which will be valid for 5 years.
A credit card, debit card, money order, company check or certified/cashier’s check are all accepted.
Keep in mind that if you can’t share TSA Precheck with your spouse, so they will also need to apply separately and also pay the membership fee.
You’ll Be Asked Some Questions
During your interview, your interviewer will very likely just ask you variations of the questions you answered during your online application.
So you will likely be asked about your citizenship, and criminal history.
If you have a criminal history, your interviewer will inevitably focus on that to assess if you still qualify for TSA PreCheck.
You might also be asked about your employment and family.
You Can Dress Casually
While an interview generally requires you to wear professional clothes, this certainly isn’t a requirement for the TSA PreCheck interview.
You can dress casually and informally, though I still recommend that you don’t dress too casually.
When I went in for my TSA PreCheck interview, there was one man there who looked as if he just rolled out of bed. While I don’t know if his application was approved or not, it’s better to at least look presentable.
The Interview Will Be Very Short
It’s likely that you will spend more time waiting in line for your appointment at the enrollment center than having the appointment/interview itself.
Once your interview starts, you can expect to be in and out within 10 minutes.
What Happens If You’re Approved
If you’re approved, you will receive, either by email or mail, a Known Traveler Number (KTN).
You can expect to receive this within a day to a few weeks.
You can then input this number when booking flights with airlines that use PreCheck, so they know that you are a member of the program.
What Happens If You’re Denied
If your application for TSA PreCheck is denied, it’s likely that you failed the background check.
This could be down to having a disqualifying criminal offense, though could also be because you are seen as a security threat.
If denied, you always have the option to appeal the decision.
Thankfully, TSA PreCheck has a “less than 1 percent” rejection rate, so you’ll very likely be fine.
Helen Krasner holds a PPL(A), with 15 years experience flying fixed-wing aircraft; a PPL(H), with 13 years experience flying helicopters; and a CPL(H), Helicopter Instructor Rating, with 12 years working as a helicopter instructor.
Helen is an accomplished aviation writer with 12 years of experience, having authored several books and published numerous articles while also serving as the Editor of the BWPA (British Women Pilots Association) newsletter, with her excellent work having been recognized with her nomination of the “Aviation Journalist of the Year” award.
Helen has won the “Dawn to Dusk” International Flying Competition, along with the best all-female competitors, three times with her copilot.