OAKLAND -- The Transportation Security Administration's Pre-Check program affords fliers the convenience of a separate, and quicker, line through security screening.

"It's a faster process," said Nico Melendez, a TSA spokesman. "Pre-Check passengers don't have to remove their shoes, take their laptop out of the bag or remove their coat."

However, Oakland's new Pre-Check enrollment office is in the middle of the Port of Oakland. It can be tricky to get to, so use a GPS, advises Melendez.

"The hardest part was finding it, but the process was easy," said Lori Breunig, of El Cerrito. For Breunig, it took about five minutes to enroll. She confirmed that the personal information she provided online was correct, got fingerprinted, provided identification and paid the $85 application fee for a five-year membership.

On average, background checks take one to two weeks to process, but Breunig said her husband's took just a few days.

"I think if you fly more than twice a year, it makes a lot of sense," she said.

Nationwide, 300,000 people have signed up for the TSA's Pre-Check since enrollment centers started opening in December. In the Bay Area, there's also one in Martinez, and the San Francisco office will reopen soon. By the end of the summer, the TSA is scheduled to open six in the Bay Area, Melendez said.

That's good news for business travelers said Chris McGinnis, editor of the TravelSkills blog.

"Overall, Pre-Check is the best thing that has happened to business travel since the invention of the jet engine," he said. "It's like business travel was in 1985. You walk in and put your bag on the belt."

How it works is once approved for the program, travelers receive what is called a Known Traveler Number, which appears on boarding passes with 10 participating airlines. The number permits travelers to use Pre-Check lanes at security checkpoints at 118 airports.

The Oakland application center is at 2475 W. 12th St., and is open 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Martinez application center is at 1805 Arnold Drive and is open 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Appointments can be made at http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.