I love having TSA Precheck benefits and have written about how to apply for TSA Precheck and Global Entry (Global Entry includes TSA Precheck). A few readers have asked a question in the comments that I think many families would find useful: Does TSA PreCheck extend to children traveling with you?
Does TSA PreCheck extend to children traveling with you
The answer is definitely yes for children 12 years old or younger. If you have TSA Precheck benefits, you can bring your kids age 12 or under with you through the TSA Precheck lane with no restrictions.
Until recently, free TSA PreCheck benefits only extended to children 12 years old or younger. However, the Transportation Security Administration recently announced that it expanded free TSA Precheck to teenagers under 18 certain situations. As of May 22, 2023, teenagers aged 13-17 may now accompany TSA PreCheck® enrolled parents or guardians through TSA PreCheck screening when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the teens’s boarding pass.
Here are the rules according to the TSA website:
“Do children need to apply for TSA PreCheck®?
It depends on their age and whether they are traveling with a parent or guardian who has enrolled in TSA PreCheck:
Children 12 and under may accompany an enrolled parent or guardian in the TSA PreCheck lanes without restriction.
Children 13-17 may join enrolled adults when traveling on the same reservation and if the TSA PreCheck indicator appears on the child’s boarding pass.
Any child traveling alone routinely may want to enroll in the program.
Please note, adults using gate passes to accompany children traveling alone will be directed to standard screening as gate passes are excluded from TSA PreCheck benefits. This applies even if the gate pass holder has enrolled in TSA PreCheck. The adult will not be permitted to join the child in the TSA PreCheck lane.”
However, if your child is traveling solo or with a parent or guardian that does not have TSA Precheck, they would not have your TSA Precheck benefits.
Note: Although TSA Precheck extends to your children, Global Entry does not extend to children. Your kids will have to apply for their own Global Entry.
Can Minors Apply For TSA Precheck?
Yes. There is no age restriction to apply for TSA Precheck. For kids that only travel with a parent that has TSA Precheck benefits, there is no need for them to apply for TSA Precheck separately since they are included under their parents. Kids that travel without a parent would have to apply for their own TSA Precheck or Global Entry (which includes TSA Precheck benefits).
Once your child turns 18 years old, he or she would need to apply for TSA Precheck (or Global Entry) in order to use the TSA Precheck lanes with the rest of the family.
Is TSA Precheck Worth It?
I consider TSA Precheck worth the $78 fee (or $100 Global Entry fee) if traveling more than a couple of times per year (although there are credit cards that cover the fee). For parents traveling with one or more young children, I think TSA Precheck is an even better value since your kids are also covered.
Thinking of applying for TSA Precheck? You might want to read the following related posts first: