By Hugo Martin
1:50 PM EST, December 19, 2013
Members of the U.S. military get an early Christmas present Friday: access to faster screening lines at about 100 airports across the country.
The Transportation Security Administration allows travelers to speed through its so-called PreCheck lines without removing their belts, shoes and jackets, plus they can keep laptops and containers of liquid stowed in their carry-on luggage.
So far, the PreCheck lines have been opened to frequent fliers who register through nine major airlines, plus travelers who have signed up for one of three "trusted traveler" programs run by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
In the past, members of the military could use the PreCheck lines by presenting their Common Access Card at 10 participating airports.
Starting Dec. 20, all members of the U.S. military can enter their Department of Defense identification number when they book a flight to qualify for PreCheck lines at about 100 airports across the country, including Los Angeles International Airport.
Family members ages 12 and under can use the PreCheck line with the eligible service member, but family members 13 and older must go through the regular screening lines.
Members of the military do not have to be in uniform to use the program.
The TSA reserves the right to perform random searches on travelers and won't guarantee that fliers who apply for PreCheck and meet all the criteria will be allowed to use the faster screening lines every time.
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