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How to activate your Global Entry card

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    You've been approved for Global Entry, so now you're looking to activate your Global Entry card. The Trusted Traveler Program section of the Department of Homeland Security website — the same place where you applied for Global Entry — has all the tools you need.

    Activating your Global Entry card

    Start by logging into your account in the Trusted Traveler Program section of the Department of Homeland Security website. Next, locate the section for Program Memberships. This is where you can find the button to activate your membership card. Once clicked, you've completed your Global Entry card activation.

    Benefits of Global Entry

    Global Entry provides expedited opportunities for travelers entering the U.S. and other countries whether by driving, flying or by boat. Your Global Entry membership can reduce the need for entry paperwork as well as processing time when crossing these borders. With Global Entry you can apply ahead of time to help expedite your passage through security checkpoints worldwide.

    As an added benefit, U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents who have a Global Entry members are eligible for TSA PreCheck®. This benefit can help expedite your passage through security when traveling through most airports in the United States.

    How to use your Global Entry card

    While you don't need your card to activate your membership, it may be useful to have on hand so you can refer to your Known Traveler Number. This is the number you use to enable Global Entry benefits when booking international travel.

    When you enter through a Global Entry kiosk, you don't necessarily need your Global Entry card, but you will need either a passport or permanent resident card.

    Global Entry cards issued after July 12, 2011 come with a built-in identification chip that also works for SENTRI entry lanes in the United States. SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) allows for expedited entry into the United States from Mexico. Your card may also be used at NEXUS lanes when arriving in the United States from Canada, although it is not valid at NEXUS lanes when entering Canada.

    In summary

    When you activate your Global Entry card, it can open a door to an expedited travel experience. The benefits of a Global Entry card can include reduced waiting time and less paperwork when you travel into the United States. If you're traveling domestically, you may also benefit from TSA PreCheck eligibility being automatically included in your Global Entry membership.

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