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Image Credit: CLEAR Official Twitter

A Growing, Private Secure Identification Program: CLEAR

CLEAR is a New York-based privately-run company that allows vetted people to skip to the front of security lines in select US airports and event venues using fingerprints and iris scans to confirm a person’s identity. With the recent addition of some of the nation’s busiest airports – JFK, LGA and ATL with LAX on the way – and a strategic investment from Delta in 2016, we thought now would be an interesting time to profile the company. 

To enroll, an individual must be 18+ with a valid, unexpired, unamended, photo ID in the following form: US Driver’s License, US Passport, US Passport Card, US-issued Permanent Resident Card, State Issued ID, or US Military ID. One other note is that children under 18 can use the CLEAR lane for free when accompanied by a CLEAR family member and no enrollment is required for the child. You start the process online then visit one of their locations (no appointment is necessary) and complete your enrollment in 5-10 minutes. All you need is your ID. To use the service, visit a dedicated CLEAR lane at a venue, verify yourself with tap of the finger or blink of an eye and speed through security lines. 

For those considering whether CLEAR competes with TSA PreCheck, the services can be complementary (see this picture from the CLEAR site so visualize the process). The CLEAR lane is intended to get you to the front of the security line fastest and then TSA PreCheck expedites the process through the security screening itself (if you don’t have PreCheck, CLEAR gets you to the front of the regular TSA security line).

TSA PreCheck costs $85 for a five-year membership, while CLEAR normally costs $179 a year (Delta SkyMiles membership reduces that to between $79 and $99 a year and Delta Diamond Medallion Members are offered a complementary CLEAR enrollment). For an expanded discussion related to some of the recent additions, see this Conde Nast Traveler profile

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