Can You Get Tsa Precheck With A Felony?

Going through airport security can be a hassle for anyone, but it’s especially tedious if you have a criminal record. If you’ve been convicted of a felony, you may be wondering if TSA PreCheck is still an option for you.

The short answer is yes, it is possible to get TSA PreCheck approval even with a felony conviction. However, there are some important factors to consider.

TSA PreCheck allows pre-approved travelers to go through expedited screening at airport checkpoints. This includes leaving on your shoes, belt, light jacket, and laptop when going through security. With TSA PreCheck, you don’t need to remove liquids or laptops from your bag either.

It makes the whole airport screening process much smoother.

TSA Eligibility Requirements

When it comes to TSA PreCheck, there are certain eligibility requirements that applicants must meet. These requirements are in place to ensure the safety and security of travelers. Let’s take a closer look at each of these requirements.

Criminal History

One of the main concerns for individuals with a felony on their record is whether or not they can still qualify for TSA PreCheck. While having a felony does not automatically disqualify you from the program, it is important to note that TSA conducts a thorough background check on all applicants.

During the background check, the TSA will review your criminal history, including any felony convictions. The severity and recency of the offense will be taken into consideration when making a decision.

It’s important to be honest and transparent about your criminal history during the application process.

If you have a felony conviction on your record, it does not mean that you will be automatically denied TSA PreCheck. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis, and factors such as rehabilitation efforts and the nature of the offense will be taken into account.

Application Process

The application process for TSA PreCheck is relatively straightforward. Applicants must fill out an online application, which includes providing personal information such as name, address, and date of birth.

Additionally, applicants will need to provide their fingerprints and pay a non-refundable application fee.

Background Check

As mentioned earlier, the TSA conducts a thorough background check on all applicants. This background check includes reviewing criminal history records, as well as other databases. The purpose of this check is to determine if the applicant poses a security risk and if they meet the eligibility criteria for TSA PreCheck.


As part of the application process, applicants must visit an enrollment center to have their fingerprints taken. These fingerprints are used to conduct a thorough background check and to verify the applicant’s identity.


While not all applicants will be required to attend an interview, some may be selected for an in-person interview as part of the application process. During the interview, a TSA representative will ask questions about the applicant’s background, travel history, and any criminal convictions.

This interview is an opportunity for the applicant to provide additional information and clarify any concerns.

It’s important to note that the TSA has the final say in granting or denying TSA PreCheck eligibility. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis, taking into account all relevant factors. If you have a felony on your record and are considering applying for TSA PreCheck, it is recommended to be honest and provide any necessary documentation to support your application.

How Felonies Affect Eligibility

When it comes to TSA PreCheck, having a felony on your record may impact your eligibility. However, it is important to note that each case is evaluated on an individual basis, and there are certain factors that determine whether or not you can obtain TSA PreCheck with a felony.

Violent Crimes

Individuals with a felony conviction for a violent crime may face more challenges when applying for TSA PreCheck. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) prioritizes passenger safety, and offenses involving violence may raise concerns regarding the potential risk posed by an individual.

Drug Convictions

Felony drug convictions can also have an impact on TSA PreCheck eligibility. While the TSA does not explicitly exclude individuals with drug convictions, they do consider the seriousness of the offense.

Those with a history of drug trafficking or manufacturing may face more scrutiny during the application process.

White Collar Crimes

White-collar crimes, such as fraud or embezzlement, may also affect eligibility for TSA PreCheck. These types of offenses can raise concerns about an individual’s integrity and honesty, which are important qualities when it comes to airport security.

Time Elapsed Since Conviction

The amount of time that has passed since the felony conviction can also play a role in determining TSA PreCheck eligibility. While there is no specific time frame provided by the TSA, a longer period since the conviction can demonstrate rehabilitation and a lower risk to national security.

It is worth noting that the TSA does not have a comprehensive list of offenses that automatically disqualify individuals from obtaining TSA PreCheck. Each case is evaluated individually, taking into consideration the nature and severity of the offense, as well as any mitigating factors.

For more information on TSA PreCheck eligibility, it is recommended to visit the official TSA website at www.tsa.gov/precheck. They provide detailed information regarding the program and any restrictions that may apply.

Improving Your Chances

When it comes to obtaining TSA PreCheck with a felony on your record, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of approval. While it is not guaranteed, following these guidelines can help you navigate the application process and potentially receive TSA PreCheck benefits.

Be Honest on Your Application

One of the most important things you can do when applying for TSA PreCheck with a felony is to be honest on your application. It is crucial to provide accurate information about your criminal history, including any past convictions.

Attempting to hide or falsify this information can result in serious consequences, including the denial of your application.

While being honest about your felony may decrease your chances of being approved for TSA PreCheck, it is important to remember that the TSA conducts thorough background checks on all applicants. It is better to be upfront about your past and provide any necessary documentation or explanations rather than risk being caught in a lie.

Get Your Record Expunged

If you have a felony on your record, it may be worth exploring the possibility of getting it expunged. Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to have their criminal records sealed or erased.

While the laws surrounding expungement vary by jurisdiction, it is worth looking into whether this is an option for you.

If you are successful in getting your felony expunged, it can significantly improve your chances of being approved for TSA PreCheck. Expungement shows that you have taken steps to rehabilitate yourself and can be viewed favorably by the TSA during their evaluation process.

Provide References

Another way to improve your chances of obtaining TSA PreCheck with a felony is to provide references who can vouch for your character and trustworthiness. These references should ideally be individuals who can speak to your rehabilitation efforts and the positive changes you have made in your life since your conviction.

While the TSA does not explicitly require references as part of the application process, providing them can help to strengthen your case and demonstrate that you are a responsible and law-abiding citizen.

Be sure to choose references who are familiar with your personal growth and can provide specific examples of your commitment to leading a law-abiding life.

Be Patient

Finally, it is important to be patient throughout the TSA PreCheck application process. The evaluation of your application may take some time, especially if you have a felony on your record. The TSA conducts thorough background checks and reviews all applications on a case-by-case basis.

While waiting for a decision, it can be helpful to stay informed about the status of your application. You can regularly check the TSA PreCheck website or contact their customer service for updates. Remember to remain positive and hopeful, as the TSA does consider each application individually and may take into account your efforts towards rehabilitation.

It is important to note that there is no guarantee of approval for TSA PreCheck with a felony on your record. However, by following these guidelines and taking the necessary steps to improve your chances, you can increase the likelihood of receiving this valuable travel benefit.

Other Expedited Screening Options

If you have a felony on your record and are unable to qualify for TSA PreCheck, there are still other options available to help you navigate through airport security more efficiently. These programs are designed to expedite the screening process, saving you time and hassle at the airport.

Global Entry

Global Entry is a program offered by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance when entering the United States. While Global Entry is primarily intended for international travelers, it also includes TSA PreCheck benefits, making it a great option for individuals with a felony on their record.

With Global Entry, travelers can bypass long lines at customs and immigration, use automated kiosks to complete their entry process, and enjoy expedited screening at participating airports. To apply for Global Entry, individuals must complete an online application, undergo a background check, and attend an in-person interview.


Clear is a private biometric identity verification program that allows members to bypass the regular security lines at participating airports. By using Clear, you can skip the line and head straight to the TSA screening area, saving you valuable time and reducing stress.

Clear uses biometric technology, such as fingerprint and iris scans, to verify your identity quickly and securely. While Clear does not offer the same level of screening as TSA PreCheck, it can still be a valuable option for individuals with a felony on their record.

Airline Programs

In addition to the government-run programs mentioned above, many airlines also offer their own expedited screening programs. These programs, such as American Airlines’ Admirals Club or Delta’s SkyMiles, provide benefits like priority check-in, expedited security screening, and access to exclusive lounges.

While these airline programs may not offer the same level of convenience as TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, they can still help you save time and enjoy a more pleasant travel experience. It’s worth checking with your preferred airline to see if they offer any expedited screening options for passengers with a felony on their record.

Remember, even if you are unable to qualify for TSA PreCheck with a felony on your record, there are still alternative options available to help you streamline your airport experience. Whether it’s through Global Entry, Clear, or an airline program, these expedited screening options can make your travels more efficient and enjoyable.


Getting approved for TSA PreCheck with a felony conviction is possible, but not guaranteed. The key is being upfront about your criminal history and demonstrating that you no longer pose a threat. Having your record expunged can also help.

Even if you are ultimately denied for TSA PreCheck, other programs like Global Entry or CLEAR provide similar benefits. With some patience and understanding of TSA’s review process, you can still find ways to breeze through airport screening despite your past mistakes.

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