WASHINGTON — Beginning April 15, Defense Department and Coast Guard civilian employees will be able to take advantage of the TSA Pre-check expedited screening program at more than 115 airports across the country.
All military and Coast Guard personnel, including those in the reserves and the National Guard, already are eligible for the program, which began in March 2012.
A secure and reliable data-sharing agreement between the Defense Department and TSA provides verification of eligibility, officials said. Participating members can keep their shoes or boots, light outerwear and their belts on during preflight screening, and can keep their laptop computer in its case. They also may have a 3-1-1 compliant liquids and gels bag in a carry-on bag in select screening lanes.
To participate in TSA Pre-check, military personnel and DoD and Coast Guard Civilian employees must provide their DoD identification number — the 10-digit number on the back of their common access card (CAC) — when making travel reservations. This can be done through the Defense Travel System, through a travel management center, or when booking leisure travel through airline or travel websites. The DoD ID number is to be used in place of the “Known Traveler Number.”
It’s important to note, officials said, that once their eligibility takes effect April 15, DoD and Coast Guard civilian employees first must “opt in” to the TSA Pre-check program by visiting the “milConnect” website at https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect. After selecting the “My Profile” menu tab after logging into the website, users will be guided through the opt-in process. Civilian employees need to opt in only once, officials said. Military members already are eligible and do not need to opt in, they added.
Another major change to the TSA Pre-check program is the phase-out of service members having their common access cards scanned at 10 domestic airports. With the transition to using the DoD ID number in making airline reservations, officials said, scanning of ID cards is no longer required and will be eliminated soon. Those who have been used to scanning their CACs should begin following the new process now to have uninterrupted participation in the TSA Pre-check program, officials added.
TSA always will incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout airports, officials said, and no one is guaranteed expedited screening.