Last year, a spat occurred between the Department of Homeland Security and New York State when NYS said they would no longer allow the federal government access to the Department of Motor Vehicle records for Trusted Traveler applications. This was after New York State enacted their “Green Light” law to give driver’s licenses and permits to anyone, regardless of their immigration status.
Global Entry Enrollment and Renewal Available for NYS Residents Again
Last week, the federal and state government came to an agreement that allowed NYS residents to again apply for or renew Trusted Traveler programs. This was due to New York State passing a law that allowed federal agencies access to DMV records (which travelers must give permission to access, via the application, anyway) strictly for processing of Trusted Traveler Program applications.
This is certainly good news for any Global Entry holders from New York (like me!) who had their permits set to expire sometime soon! My Global Entry will expire next year but you are able to start the renewal process up to one year before expiration. Since it can take quite a long time for this to happen (my last renewal happened very quickly), it is best to start it now.
Enrollment Centers Still Closed
The website is already taking New York applicants yet again. But, remember that the CBP Enrollment Centers are still closed until September 8. While renewals can happen without another visit, some people do need to make an appointment so keep this in mind.
Also, there are not that many Americans traveling outside of the US right now anyway and Global Entry (at least as of June) was not open in US airports, due to coronavirus. So, for the first time in like 10 years, I had to go to an actual CBP agent at the window. Since there were so few flights entering the US, it was quick and seamless and I was on my way!
Longer Time Given for Applicants and Renewals
Since it is not possible to visit an enrollment center (except for the On Arrival stations in many locations), the CBP is extending the time for applicants and renewals to accommodate these centers’ closures.
“Every applicant now has 545 days from the date that CBP conditionally approves his or her application to complete the enrollment process. In addition, CBP will extend for up to 18 months the program benefits of members who apply for renewal before their current membership expires.”
So, if you are a NYS resident, you can now go ahead and renew your Trusted Traveler program. Good news, indeed! No matter what, make sure you use a credit card that actually reimburses you for that fee, too. 🙂