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Can’t Get an Airport Appointment for TSA Pre-Check? Try Staples

This is not a drill! If you’re in need of an appointment to enroll in TSA Pre-Check, you can skip the airport and head to your local Staples instead.

TSA Pre-check is one of the trusted traveler programs operated by the Transportation Security Administration or TSA under the Department of Homeland Security, designed to expedite a traveler through airport security screenings because they are considered low risk.

Each enrollment lasts for five years, costing the traveler $78. Upon expiration, travelers can re-enroll online (or in person) for an additional five years at $70. Among those eligible for enrollment are U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, individuals with Global Entry membership, and travelers ages 12 and under traveling with an enrolled person.

The Benefits of Enrollment

The less time you can spend at the airport, the better. Especially when it comes to moving through security, TSA Pre-Check aids in providing that advantage to passengers. Aside from entering a separate line that allows one to quickly move through security, those with TSA Pre-Check can do so without “undressing” or “unpacking.” This means travelers will not have to remove their shoes or belts, plus items such as liquids and electronics can remain in their luggage. In fact, according to TSA’s website, in December of 2022, 91% of those with pre-check status waited less than 5 minutes at security.

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Skip The Airport, Go to Staples

One potential “disadvantage” of enrolling into TSA precheck is that it requires travelers to visit an airport for an in-person interview to finish enrollment. While there are more than 200 participating airports, this can be slightly inconvenient for those far from a participating airport location, like myself. With the rise in travel and enrollments in trusted traveler programs, securing airport appointments has been a little harder over the past few months. We now have a new solution, and it is pretty easy. According to Staples website, travelers can get enrolled in TSA Pre-Check via their store in these three simple steps:

1. Search for the closest participating Staples to your location by typing in your zip code in the search bar.

2. Head to the government website to begin the enrollment process.

3. When setting up an appointment on the government website, be sure to look for “located inside Staples” to confirm you are selecting your desired store location.

Once at the selected location, a representative will ask for your name and confirm some details such as your address and documents (state-issued ID or driver’s license and birth certificate), followed by obtaining fingerprints and having your photo taken. And that’s it.

Minus any potential wait times, forgotten documents, or tech issues, the process takes less than 10 minutes. Known traveler numbers are issued within 3 to 5 days (up to 60 in some occurrences), and applicants are notified via email, text, or can check the status of their application online. While appointments are appreciated, walk-ins are welcomed.

As a bonus: if a traveler has shown up to an appointment without their birth certificate, there is no need for alarm. Through Birth Certify, a representative may be able to obtain their birth record to verify citizenship and complete the in-person portion of the enrollment process.