CLEAR lovers will lose one benefit of the program in 2025, as the TSA says it will begin requiring them to produce a REAL ID or passport at airport checkin.
The CLEAR program is based on two premises: it takes you to the very front of the check-in line, and its biometric check-in process means you do not have to pull out your ID. But beginning in May, 2025, that second advantage seems about to disappear.
TSA in July announced it is already screening a limited number of randomly selected CLEAR travelers after “security incidents.” There reportedly have been three cases in which travelers managed to get through the CLEAR line without having a valid ID, prompting a congressional investigation.
For an annual fee of $189 (plus $60 for up to three family members), CLEAR offers its own lanes at TSA checkpoints in more than 50 airports. Rather than standing in the ever-growing check-in lines, travelers walk up to the CLEAR kiosk, scan their eyes or fingerprints, and then are guided to the front of the check-in lines, including the Pre-Check line if they are eligible.
While the cost may sound high, many credit cards cover the fee, promotions are often available, and frequent travelers from busy airports find the program to be a great timesaver.