TSA Background Check Disqualifications

The TSA Background Check is a very complicated and strict process for a good reason, and even the slightest mistake could lead to TSA Background Check disqualifications.

Because security clearance is extremely crucial for the safety of the people, the TSA wants to ensure that you are beyond reproach.

So, what is a TSA background check? What does the process look like? And what can disqualify you from the same? Let’s see answers to these and other related questions!

TSA Background Check Disqualifications

What is TSA Background Check?

After the horrific 9/11 attack, the U.S. government created the Transportation Security Administration or TSA background check to ensure that a similar incident does not happen again.

So, as a part of the TSA hiring process and to safeguard the ranks of this important agency, a very strict and rigorous TSA background check was set into place.

A TSA background check is conducted at a State or Government Facility and includes checking everything right from the credit score to criminal record, unpaid debts, etc.

Because of this complicated process and strictness, there are plenty of factors that can disqualify you. Keep on reading to find out about TSA background check disqualifications.

TSA Background Check Disqualifications Factors

TSA Background Check Disqualifications Factors

As per tsa.gov, there are three parts, A, B & C, based on which a person may be disqualified during a TSA background check. Let’s have a look at them:

Part A

Permanent Disqualifying Criminal Offenses:

An applicant will be disqualified during a TSA background check if they pled guilty or found not guilty by reason of insanity for the below-mentioned felonies, irrespective of when they occurred:

  • Espionage or Conspiracy to commit it.
  • Treason or Conspiracy to commit it.
  • A federal crime of terrorism, or Conspiracy to commit it, or comparable State law.
  • Improper transportation of a hazardous material.
  • A crime involving a TSI.
  • Murder.
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
  • Unlawful possession, distribution, sale, receipt, manufacture, purchase, shipping, transporting, export, import, storage, or dealing with any kind of explosives.
  • Conveying false information.

Part B

Interim Disqualifying Criminal Offenses

  • Extortion.
  • Arson.
  • Bribery.
  • Smuggling.
  • Robbery.
  • Immigration violations.
  • Sexual abuse or rape.
  • Kidnapping or hostage taking.
  • Dishonesty & fraud, including money laundering and identity fraud.
  • Voluntary manslaughter.
  • Unlawful possession, distribution, sale, receipt, manufacture, purchase, shipping, transporting, export, import, storage, or dealing with any kind of firearm or other weapons.
  • Possession or distribution, with intent to distribute, or importation of a controlled substance.
  • Assault with intent to kill.
  • Fraudulent entry into a seaport.
  • Violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
  • Any other conspiracy or any attempts to commit crimes listed in this section.

Part C

Under Want, Warrant, or Indictment

A person will be disqualified if they are under indictment or are wanted in any military or civilian jurisdiction for a felony listed under Part A or Part B until the want or warrant is released or the indictment is dismissed.

What Is TSA PreCheck? 

TSA PreCheck is a part of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration’s Trusted Traveler program that allows eligible travelers to get through TSA security checkpoint in usually less than five minutes. 

This special TSA PreCheck line is available in more than 200  airports and 80 airlines for both international and domestic air travel. 

Requirements to Apply For TSA PreCheck

Requirements to Apply For TSA PreCheck

To travel via the TSA PreCheck program, you will be required to complete an application process, followed by appearing for TSA interview questions.

Here are the requirements for TSA PreCheck eligibility:

Prove Residency or Citizenship Status

Note that the TSA PreCheck program is available for U.S. nationals, U.S. citizens, and U.S. lawful permanent residents. To prove your status, you will need to provide documents supporting proof of citizenship or immigration.

Provide Your Current Legal Name & Other Aliases 

To increase your PreCheck eligibility, you will need to provide your current legal name along with any past names or aliases used. Also, your current legal name should match with:

  • Your name on your TSA PreCheck membership application.
  • Your airline reservation name.
  • And your identity proof documents.

Select Your Gender

After this, you will have to select your gender from the:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Other

However, it is not compulsory for your gender to match your other documents to get a TSA Precheck Status. 

Complete Background Check & Get Fingerprinted

After you fill out the application, you will need to visit the TSA enrollment center to pass a background check and submit your fingerprints.

Pass a Criminal Background Check 

The next step is to appear and pass a recurrent criminal history vetting process covering domestic offenses as well as appearing for international agencies such as Interpol and terrorist watchlists.

Travel-related violations and criminal offenses are categorized in two sections:

  • Permanent disqualification: In this, your application will be rejected permanently. The violations for permanent disqualification are shared in the above section.
  • Temporary disqualification: This includes a long list of crimes that we have mentioned in the “Interim Disqualifying Criminal Offenses” section below. If you are found violating interim crimes, then you will have to wait for seven years before you apply for TSA PreCheck again.

Hold Zero Record of Travel-Specific Violations 

There are actions that may be considered misdemeanors simply when you are on the ground, but when traveling by air, these actions could be considered risky for the passengers. To qualify for TSA PreCheck, you must refrain from travel-related crimes such as:

  • Sexual or physical assault or its threat against any individual on an aircraft.
  • Assault, intimidation, threat, or interference with flight crew.
  • Interference with security operations.
  • Access control violations.
  • Making a bomb threat.
  • Providing fraudulent documents.
  • Bringing an explosive, firearm, or any other prohibited item to an airport.

Be Mentally Sound

In this, you need to prove that you have not been legally shown as mentally ill to the extent of posing danger. This can be based on government or court authority or medical declaration like:

  • Posing danger because of mental illness.
  • Being found not guilty by reason of insanity by a court.
  • Been committed to a psychiatric facility or inpatient mental health.
  • Lacking the capacity to manage your affairs.
  • Have been found incompetent to stand trial in a criminal case. 

New Changes in Applying For TSA PreCheck

What Is TSA Background Check Procedure?

What Is TSA Background Check Procedure

As per the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration Records), there are many ways in which TSA conducts a Background Check, including:

  • Checking FAA Records: To make sure that you are up and up, they check medical claims you have against FAA records.
  • Fingerprints: They take and submit your fingerprints to the FBI to ensure that you have not committed any federal crimes.
  • Motor Vehicle Record: They check any red flags, such as vehicle violations, license suspensions, etc., to ensure you have a clean record.
  • Reference Check: They will do a reference check on you as well.
  • Current Address & Social Security: To check for fraud, they will also check your current address, social security, and other similar documents.
  • Employment check: Lastly, they will verify any previous workplace troubles, accidents, or financial settlements that you may have had.

How Long Does TSA PreCheck Take?

Most of the applications receive approval within 3-5 days, while others might have to wait for up to 60 days.

Considering this, candidates should apply for a renewal 60 days in advance. Also, note that the TSA does not notify members of eligibility results.

Wrap Up

To ensure the security and safety of people, the U.S. government had to come up with a strict security check known as TSA Background Check.

There are a lot of factors that can lead to TSA Background Check disqualifications.

You must take note of every little detail before applying for a TSA background check. This is because failing this check could lead to permanent disqualification or could bar you from reapplying for seven years.


What appears on a Global Entry background check?

A Global Entry background check shows criminal history checks, credit records, employment history, education history, military history, verification of date of birth, citizenship of family members, etc.

Can I pass a TSA PreCheck if I have a misdemeanor?

If you had a misdemeanor or a lesser charge registered against you that was pardoned or expunged, or if it has been more than seven years since you were disqualified for an interim offense, then you should be eligible for TSA Precheck now.

What is the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry?

TSA PreCheck allows you to enjoy expedited security screening benefits for flights departing from the U.S. Whereas, Global Entry allows international air travelers entering the U.S. an expedited U.S. customs screening.

How many candidates fail TSA test?

Only around 30% of applicants pass the TSA test. So, you must prepare yourself well for both sections of the test.

How often does TSA fail checks?

As per the result of a test, TSA screeners failed to detect drugs, weapons, and explosives almost 80 percent of the time. 

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