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by Matt Alderton | August 27, 2014

Its PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI trusted traveler programs have achieved new enrollment milestones, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced yesterday.

Run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), PreCheck launched a new direct-enrollment option in December 2013; since then, DHS reports, it has enrolled more than half a million travelers. Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI, meanwhile -- all managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) -- have collectively enrolled more than 3 million travelers.

"These programs enable us to facilitate and expedite travel to, from, and within the United States, while maintaining the highest standards of security," Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement. "We will continue to work to improve the passenger experience for millions of travelers who go through our airports every day, in a manner that is efficient, effective, and secure."

A voluntary program, TSA PreCheck allows eligible fliers who pass a background check in advance of flying to pass more quickly through security checkpoints by utilizing an expedited screening lane that does not require passengers to remove their shoes, belts, coats, laptops, or carry-on toiletries.

In a similar way, Global Entry lets international travelers arriving in the United States bypass the traditional CBP inspection lines and use an automated kiosk.

Finally, the NEXUS and SENTRI programs give pre-screened travelers expedited processing at the Canadian and Mexican borders, respectively.

For more information on all four programs, including a comparison chart, visit www.dhs.gov/tt.