A while back I mentioned that I was requesting a "Known Traveler Number" from the TSA in order to make travel simpler. I went through their process, paid my $85 and got my number back within just a couple of weeks.
Since that point I have traveled several times and I've been 'selected' for the pre-check line at security every time. The pre-check line is always shorter than the regular line. I also don't have to take off shoes or belts, and I don't have to take my laptop out of my bag. It's been a huge help to make security checkpoints a much less time consuming part of travelling. I don't think pre-check is available at every airport in the US but it's been at every airport I've used so far (a handful).
There are other similar programs, so you should see the TSA website for more details on the differences and which one might suit you best.
See this link for more information:
Next I need to renew my passport which expires in a few months. I found an online form that I could fill out and print, so I didn't have to write the application form by hand. All I had to do was write my check for $110, put in a passport photo and my original passport, and mail it off.
Please note that there are websites out there that will do the process for you, for a fee. It's really pretty simple so I don't recommend going that route.
See this link for passport request and renewals information with the US government: