TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry allow passengers to more or less avoid the full-body (millimeter wave) scanners and instead use metal detectors. You also don't have to take off your shoes or take out your laptop.

This is an important benefit to many of us -- even more important than cutting the line. But TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry are only offered to US citizens, permanent residents, and citizens of a restricted subset of countries. The rest of humanity is SOL.

CLEAR seems to offer a solution as you only need a USA driver's license to apply, which means F1 students or H1B workers from any country, for example, are eligible.

But I'm unclear about the benefits of CLEAR. Do you get the same pre-check benefits such as avoiding the full-body scanner if you don't have TSA Pre-Check? If you don’t, is there really that much benefit?

  • 1
    Do you have a link or reference to what CLEAR is? It's... unclear ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 7, 2018 at 11:34
  • Added link... sorry for not being ... clear. :)
    – RoboKaren
    Jul 7, 2018 at 12:57

1 Answer 1


CLEAR lets you go through a shorter line and skip the ID check using biometrics (the long security line is generally the line to the ID check, so skipping it can be a major time-saver). As their site shows, it does not make any difference to the actual TSA screening; you get sent to either PreCheck or normal lines depending on whether or not your ticket qualifies for PreCheck (i.e. you're a member, the airport has PreCheck, the airline participates in PreCheck, and you gave the airline your Known Traveler Number). As for whether it's worth it, that's a matter of personal preference.

CLEAR screening

The CLEAR Travel Experience

CLEAR speeds you through the long line for ID check, and guides you to the screening line.

Enrolled in PreCheck? We’ll provide you with fast access to PreCheck screening for eligible flights.

  • 4
    For what it's worth, I've decided that CLEAR definitely isn't worth it for me personally. It costs 9 times as much as Global Entry, and all it does is let you skip the TSA ID line (which is often not that long for PreCheck anyways, at least at the airports I normally use).
    – cpast
    Jul 7, 2018 at 13:40
  • As a CLEAR member I can confirm this answer from experience. Also in some airports (Seattle) CLEAR line is different from pre-check line, so if you have precheck and try to use CLEAR, they can only get you to the regular line.
    – George Y.
    Jul 9, 2018 at 18:53
  • @GeorgeY. there's now a CLEAR line at pre-check as well in Seatac :-)
    – JonathanReez
    Jun 20, 2022 at 23:23

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