Searching for the IdentoGO and what happens with the TSA PreCheck process? We recently enrolled and have all the deets for you!
We have been travelers for a long time, and as you know, we try to do it as frequently as possible. One of the things we have written about before is airport anxiety. One valuable travel tip we highly recommend is obtaining TSA (Transportation Security Administration) PreCheck status. If you travel frequently, it is an investment well worth considering.
The second tip is to pack smart.
While you will still interact with TSA agents, the entire process becomes considerably smoother. Say goodbye to removing your shoes or laptop, and bid farewell to the constant rush in the line, as things are already streamlined, for the most part. You get to move through the TSA PreCheck security lanes. So how do you get approved for TSA PreCheck?
IdentoGO: What is it?
What is IdentoGO? When you begin searching for the process for applying for the TSA PreCheck, you may begin to see IdentoGO. You may also be skeptical wondering if it is a scam since it is not a government name you are accustomed to seeing. Fear not! Identogo is legit and a partner with the TSA.
IdentoGOis a private company that provides services for various government programs, including TSA PreCheck. They are an authorized provider of TSA PreCheck enrollment services, meaning they facilitate the application and enrollment process for individuals interested in obtaining TSA PreCheck status.
IdentoGO operates enrollment centers across the United States where applicants can schedule appointments to complete the necessary paperwork, undergo a background check, and provide fingerprints as part of the TSA PreCheck application process. Unlike the actual TSA agents in the airport, they are your friend. If you are looking for “IdentoGO near me” you can find it here.
You will also begin seeing Idemia. Again, not a scam. Idemia is a legit company specializing in identity solutions, including biometric technologies, secure identification documents, and identity verification services. IdentoGO is a part of Idemia. Idemia itself offers a broader range of identity-related products and services beyond just enrollment services.
Idemia and IdentoGO are safe and both partner with the TSA and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Why enroll in the TSA PreCheck status?
You want to enroll because you want to save time, right? You want to reduce the stress of waiting in long TSA lines, wondering if you are going to make your flight. We haven’t even mentioned that you more than likely won’t have to arrive at the airport super early.
For a membership fee of $78 valid for five years, you can breeze through security checkpoints without the need to remove your shoes, laptops, liquids, belts, and light jackets. If you are a frequent traveler, this is a no-brainer.
What is the online IdentoGO process?
To start, if you are reading this, you are more than likely trying to decide if the entire process of becoming enrolled in the TSA PreCheck status. We’ve told you it’s worth it, but let’s continue with the process so you are fully prepared.
Before you apply, know that in order to be eligible, applicants must be either a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and should not have any convictions for specific crimes. If an applicant has a history of any offenses outlined in the eligibility requirements, they may opt not to apply, as the application fee is non-refundable.
You will need to begin by visiting the TSA enrollment application website. For first-time applicants, you will click “apply now”. Enter all of the information into their application online. Once you complete all of the information, your pre-enrollment process is completed. You will then be prompted to choose an appointment time at an enrollment center.
You will receive an email “TSA Enrollment by IDEMIA Service Confirmation – TSA PreCheck” letting you know that your pre-enrollment has been confirmed. This is also your receipt. Following will be an email from IdentoGO informing you that your appointment has been successfully confirmed.
Where is the TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center?
If you want an idea of where you will be going to enroll, you can enter your zip code into their Find a TSA PreCheck Enrollment Center site. You may see that the enrollment centers are labeled as IdentoGO centers, or maybe even inside Staples. Again, totally normal. It’s not a scam.
Do not just show up to an enrollment center without checking to make sure that an appointment is not needed. While many locations may offer walk-ins, they may require pre-enrollment online prior to just walking in.
What happens at the IdentoGO enrollment center?
You have your appointment, and you show up at the IdentoGO enrollment center. Make sure you bring the necessary identity and immigration documents to your appointment. It is crucial that the name on your documents matches precisely with the name provided in your application. If you are submitting multiple documents, such as a birth certificate and driver’s license, the names must match on both of them. In the event that the names do not match, a valid “linking” document must be provided to explain the disparity between the names on your documents.
For instance, you may provide an original or certified copy of a marriage certificate to establish a connection between the name on your birth certificate and your current legal name on the driver’s license.
You will notice that the staff are much more friendly than those TSA agents. We know that we harp on this a lot, but seriously. What is their deal? We digress.
You will go into a private room with the IdentoGO staff will ask you a few questions, and review the pre-enrollment information. He/she will ask for the documentation you brought, to prove you are who you are. There is a digital fingerprinting process that takes a few seconds. Rather than having to utilize photo services the way that you do for a passport, the staff will have you sit for a live scan photo. No smiling, by the way.
You then pay the $78 fee and leave.
Once your appointment is finished at the IdentoGO center, your application process for TSA PreCheck is finished. Now, you wait for the arrival of your KTN (Known Traveler Number). This is the beautiful number you will enter into the requested field when you purchase your airline ticket for travel. It is what is needed to provide the TSA PreCheck status on your ticket, so you can skip the long lines at the airport.
Ours only took about a week to return. We know that some people have had to wait month-three months for theirs to return. It all depends on the backlog of applications. Remember, Idemia is checking your criminal history, your documentation provided at your appointment, and anything else that the FBI may have. Don’t be afraid. This is a good thing! We don’t want just anyone being able to skip the intense security lines, right? Be patient.
You have your KTN. Now what?
Many people think (including us before we went through the process) that you will receive a card in the mail with your KTN. That is not the case. You will receive an email from IdentoGO stating, “The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reviewed your submission to the TSA PreCheck® Application program and determined you are eligible for the Program.” Yay!
Keep your KTN stored in a safe place, or bookmark your email so you do not lose it. You can also keep it stored in your frequent flyer apps for each airline. Now, go have a glass of wine because your travels are about to become much easier!
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
As part of their TSA PreCheck enrollment, individuals are subject to periodic criminal history checks to ensure the continued eligibility of their membership. If you are denied, or your status is terminated, it is more than likely linked to the severity of a crime. You may be terminated indefinitely, or you can reapply.
If you are at the end of your 5-year KTN period, you will receive notice to renew. Most people can renew online and not have to return to an IdentoGO enrollment center. It is an easy process. You will pay $70 online, or $78 for in-person renewal.
While it almost always means this, not every airport visit means that the TSA PreCheck line will be open and available. On a recent trip through the Las Vegas airport, the TSA PreCheck line was closed due to staff shortages. It is still worth the investment if you are a frequent traveler.