Get your Kids a PRE TSA # for free, Nexus Card for under 18 is free

***Warning this is a suggestion for those of you who live near a Nexus Enrollment Center which are places with US Customs and Canadian Customs staff.  Luckily there is one in Seattle so it is close.***

I’ve been able to bring my kids with me through pre TSA lines, but this applies for children 12 and under.  My daughter turns 13 in Sept so she will soon have to get in the regular passenger lines.  I’ve got my wife in the queue for her Nexus/Global Entry card so she’ll get pre TSA.

There are three options to enroll in Pre TSA.  I’ll start with the most expensive.

1)  Global Entry works for those of you travel International and want pre TSA.  It cost $100 and requires you to go to an interview center where Customs Official are.  Children pay the same $100 fee.

It's easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Apply Online: Fill out an online application and pay the $100 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Schedule an Interview: Once your application is reviewed, you will receive a message in you GOES account instructing you to schedule and interview at one of the Global Entry Enrollment Centers.

2)  Pre TSA enrollment centers of course get you enrolled in Pre TSA, but don’t help you with entrance into the US Customs process and cost $85/person including children.  Is it worth $85 to get in shorter lines with not taking your shoes, coat, laptop, and liquids out of your bag.  Maybe not if TSA keeps messing with the Pre TSA lines by adding newbies to sell them on the benefits which slows the process down.

  • Interested applicants must visit an enrollment center to provide biographic information that includes name, date of birth and address. An applicant will be fingerprinted and will be required to provide valid required identity and citizenship/immigration documentation. An applicant also has the option to pre-enroll online to provide basic information and make an appointment before visiting an enrollment center. There is a nonrefundable application processing fee of $85.00.

3)  Nexus enrollment centers gives you the benefits of Global Entry and Canada Border entry and pre TSA.  It cost $50/person, but kids under 18 are free.  Yes, kids under 18 can get Global Entry benefits, Pre TSA, and Canada Border expediting lines for free.  Yes!!!

The application-processing fee of US $50 or CAN $50 is non-refundable per applicant. The membership will be valid for another five years. Children under the age of 18 must also apply but, if eligible, are admitted to the program free of charge. For more information regarding the program requirements, please visit the NEXUS Program page.

I had been holding off on enrolling the kids in Nexus because I thought it cost another $50 person every 5 years which isn’t that bad.  Last night I started the enrollment process because we cross the Canada-US border at least once a year so it is worth it.  When I finished the registration I realized there was no charge for children.

Hope this helps those of you who travel with your kids and are close to the US Canada border.