By Buddy Blouin
TSA PreCheck military benefits are helping service members and civilians working at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) skip security lines at airports. With more than 200 airports participating, the military TSA PreCheck is a great perk when traveling for either military or personal reasons. Beginning in February 2023, the Transportation Security Administration began allowing non-appropriated fund (NAF) civilians to use the program for free as well. Military TSA PreCheck, however, can feel complicated if you’re new to it and there are several considerations for families. Discover more about the program and your options below.

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Do Military Spouses Get TSA PreCheck?

No, TSA Precheck for a military spouse is not a benefit available. Although the TSA PreCheck is still a valuable resource aimed at giving back to the military community, mil spouses are not included. Free TSA PreCheck for your military spouse may not exist, but signing up as a civilian is still an option. This may be less than ideal for some families, but it can still be an important factor to consider if travel is a major part of your household’s routine. Between moving and the modern demands heaped on families, it’s important to note all of the benefits available to those within the military community. Space-A travel may be a viable option, but there are several conditions you’ll want to be aware of beforehand.

Do Military Dependents Get TSA PreCheck?

No, military-dependent TSA PreCheck is unavailable in the same way it’s not available for military spouses. However, there are some exceptions you’ll want to be aware of for children ages 12 years of age and under. If a child that qualifies for the age threshold is traveling with a service member, they can also use TSA PreCheck’s expedited screening. Otherwise, to get TSA PreCheck for your military dependent, they’ll have to sign up, apply, and pay the application fee as any other civilian would. Additionally, TSA PreCheck for military families that have dependents may find some relief through another source: credit cards. Some credit cards have benefits that will reimburse your application fee, providing your child with the access they need for five years before renewal is necessary.

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TSA Precheck Retired Military Benefit

Veterans and retired military personnel may be curious about the program, but unfortunately, your free TSA PreCheck benefits won’t carry over after leaving the DoD. You’ll need to enroll like a civilian if you wish to keep these benefits when you are leaving or retiring to create a seamless transition for life outside of the military.

How to Get the TSA PreCheck Military Benefit

Getting free military PreCheck TSA clearance doesn’t have to be a hassle. For starters, if you’re a service member, you’re already included. It can’t get much easier than that. But if you are a civilian working for the DoD, here are the steps to follow based on the military travel guidelines from the TSA itself:
  • Connect through the milConnect portal.
  • You’ll then select “My Profile” and on the “CIV” menu tab after you’ve logged in, the process to opt-in as a civilian employee will begin.
Be sure to have your DoD ID card and similar forms of identification handy when you apply, just in case, but it’s really that simple. No matter what your role is within the U.S. military, taking advantage of these travel perks is the least that can be done as a thank-you for keeping America free. Enjoy your TSA PreCheck military benefits and improve your flying experience today!

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