Do I Have To Take Off My Belt Through TSA Airport Security?

If you are new to flying, it’s normal that you want to have a smooth airport process, and questions related to taking off the belt through airport security are extremely common.

Unfortunately Yes, you will be required to remove your belt before you go through the security screening process, as most belt buckles and metals will trigger the metal detector, but if you are a TSA PreCheck member you don’t have to remove your belt unless the security officer ask you to do so.

In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the secretes behind removing belts at the security checkpoints and some tips to help you avoid any inconvenience at the airport.

To avoid losing your items at the security checkpoint. put your shoes LAST on the belt. That way everything comes out before you walk away.

Pro Tip

TSA Remove Belt

The TSA did mention belts on its website as a good to go in both carry-on and checked bags.

So you can wear any type of belt you want.

TSA belt rules
Screenshot from TSA website

But can you wear a belt through airport security?

In the screenshot above the TSA didn’t mention anything about taking off belts through the TSA airport security.

So I checked their social media to find some answers.

Walter had a belt with a removable buckle and asked the TSA if he needed to take off the belt or just remove the buckle.

a passenger asked TSA about taking off belt
Screenshot from Twitter

Pretty clever, but…

The TSA recommends that passengers remove all items and accessories from their pockets before going the screening process.

Removing items such as wallets, belts, bulky jewelry, money, keys and cell phones will reduce the need for additional screening.

Belts Carry-on baggage Checked baggage
A regular belt Allowed Allowed
weight lifting belt Allowed Allowed
BB simon beltAllowed Allowed ( prone to damage/theft)
Money BeltAllowed Allowed but not recommended
Tactical webbing beltAllowed Allowed
This table shows different belts and if you can bring them in both carry-on and checked baggage.

So, Why Do Belts Cause a Problem At Security?

It’s not really about the belt but the metal buckle and other metal elements of the belt.

The security officers wanted to make sure everything is clear and resolved before allowing passengers to proceed and board the airplane.

But What About Metal Nickel Free Belts Or Belts Without Metal Parts?

It doesn’t matter what type of belt you wear.

If you don’t have a TSA PreCheck just go ahead and remove your belt, pack it in your carry-on and wear it after you clear the security.

Because the security clerks do not have time to argue whether a buckle is made of plastic or metal.

And they won’t even know what type of a buckle it is unless it goes through the metal detector.

Arguing will make your screening process much more daunting and worse.

Remember, even if you have TSA PreCheck, occasionally you might still need to take off your belt.

The TSA perform unexpected security checks to make sure everything is safe.

This irritates some TSA PreCheck members, like what happened with Pete.

He paid for the TSA PreCheck but he still took off his belt, shoe and even light jacket.

a TSA PreCheck member asked TSA about removing  belts
Screenshot from Twitter

After the 9/11 events the security at airports got stricter, but in the future I believe the security is getting even smarter with the new technologies. Things like AI and machine learning are helping make it easier and quicker. Soon, we might not have to take off our belts at all!


Final Thoughts On Taking Off Belts Through Airport Security.

Unless you are a TSA PreCheck member the TSA clerks will ask you to remove your belt before going through the security checkpoint.

Remember that these rules are set primarily to keep you safe by preventing the smuggling of prohibited and dangerous items on board the airplanes.

The airport security wants to ensure everything is clean and beep free before boarding the airplane.

If you are not a TSA PreCheck holder It’s wise to put your belt in your bag and wear it after you pass the security.

I hope this helps

Happy travels

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