The Transportation Security Administration has opened an application site in Savannah for its TSA PreCheck, an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and keep 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels in a carry-on bag when going through security.

The pre-enrollment process is available to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. Interested applicants must visit the enrollment center — located at 1481 Dean Forest Road, Bldg. 200, Suite C, just past Southbridge from Interstate 16 — to provide biographic information that includes name, date of birth and address.

Applicants will be fingerprinted and required to provide valid identity documentation, such as a passport or driver’s license and birth certificate. Applicants also have the option of pre-enrolling online to provide basic information and make an appointment before visiting an enrollment center.

There is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $85.

After completing enrollment, successful applicants will receive a Known Traveler Number through the U.S. mail, usually within three weeks. The number, which is valid for five years, will allow the traveler to utilize TSA PreCheck lanes at security points in more than 150 participating airports and on nine major U.S. airlines, including all those flying out of Savannah/Hilton Head.

“This new application process will greatly increase the availability of TSA PreCheck benefits to a broader population of travelers nationwide,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole. “TSA PreCheck is enabling us to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to transportation security, as we look for more opportunities to provide the most effective security in the most efficient way.”

Greg Kelly agreed.

“This is a great opportunity for those who use the Savannah/Hilton Head International to conveniently enroll in the TSA PreCheck program. I would encourage everyone who travels through our airport to take advantage of this new local processing center while it is available,” said Kelly, executive director of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

TSA is currently in the process of expanding to more than 300 application centers across the country. More than 30 million passengers have experienced TSA PreCheck since October 2011.

As always, Pistole said, TSA continues to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport and no individual will be guaranteed expedited screening.


For additional program and enrollment information, go to ___

Photo Credit: A Transportation Security Agency (TSA) worker runs her hands over the head of a traveler during a patdown search. Rick Wilking / Reuters