Global Entry Suspends Applications From New York Residents

The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that residents of New York will no longer be able to apply to Trusted Traveller Programs like Global Entry. The move comes after New York passed a law in December which allows unregistered immigrants to acquire driving licenses in the state.

New York La Guardia
New York passed new laws in December which provoked a response from the US Department of Homeland Security. Photo: Getty Images

Yesterday, acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, announced that residents of New York will be barred from applying to the Global Entry, TSA Pre✓, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST Trusted Traveller Programmes. Trusted Traveller Programmes allow US citizens to apply for expedited travel privileges when entering the US.

Why have Federal authorities moved against New York?

Trusted Traveller Programme applications can be made using a US passport and one other form of official ID, such as an ID card or driving license. But a law passed by New York State in December has barred federal authorities like ICE and US Customs and Border Protection from accessing driver’s license records in the state.


As The Wall Street Journal reports, this means that these federal agencies can no longer check to see if an individual in the state has been convicted of driving offences. Additionally, New York State now allows illegal immigrants to apply for driving licenses without having to prove their citizenship.

New York La Guardia
New Yorkers will now be barred from applying to Trusted Traveller Programmes. Photo: Eric Salard via Flickr

As a result of the new laws passed by New York State, the Department of Homeland Security says it can longer accurately verify the citizenship rights and criminal offences of individuals in the state.

In an interview with Fox News, Chad Wolf outlined how the changes have affected the ability of federal agencies to identify individuals in New York state, saying “We no longer have access to make sure that they meet those program requirements.”


President Trump has said that New York State’s new policy, and similar policies adopted by so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, allow “dangerous criminal aliens to prey upon the public.”

In response to the Department of Homeland Security’s move to bar New Yorkers from Trusted Traveller Programs, one of New York Governor’s Andrew Cuomo’s senior advisers, Richard Azzopardi, said:

“This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options.”

New York plans to pursue legal action against the ban. Photo: Ken Lund via Flickr

Is the Department of Homeland Security’s move fair?

While New Yorkers who have already signed up to one of the Trusted Traveller Programs can continue to use their rights as normal, the move by the Department of Homeland Security highlights the wide ideological gap between different parts of the US legislative system. Unfortunately, the aviation industry and travellers who fly to the US are often caught in the middle.

The Department of Homeland Security has a valid point about not being able to verify the previous convictions of individuals within New York State due to the new restrictions on driving license records. The ban means that New Yorkers will now have to wait a bit longer when passing through security in US airports.

According to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the state is looking into potential legal routes they can pursue to get the ban overturned.

Simple Flying has reached out to the US Department of Homeland Security for comment on its Trusted Traveller Programme ban, and will update this article once we receive a response.


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You need a Passport to get global entry so this makes no sense. There are other avenues the government could pursue. They are putting the most economically powerful city on the planet in a bind. This is obviously purely politically motivated.


TSA Pre Check you don’t need a passport; only a federally recognized ID. But if NYS won’t allow access to the NYS database then I see why DHS/CBP is not allowing issuance of these permits…. When I got my Global Entry w/ Pre Check together, CBP did check local, state, federal databases and asked questions about domestic and international travel along with my fingerprints that showed up in all types of databases (FBI, DHS, BATF, State Police, LAPD, and Interpol) due to my prior business..


Not sure that makes much of a difference. I’ve submitted my application 9 months ago (and paid the $100 fee) and it still shows as pending. Seems that the government is not keen at all to facilitate entrance across borders of anyone.

Gerry S

Most New Yorkers will not complain terribly about this new inconvience. They are aware that this is a Trumpian move to punish them for being an evolved people. They understand that the Homeland Security Dept. (and most other agencies) have been hijacked by this administration and checking DMV records to identify and then deport fellow New Yorkers is unethical. Weaponizing our government agencies to commit nefarious acts is the new norm. New York was here before Trump. Before his grandfather came to this country from Europe as an immigrant. New York is not bothered. One day this will end.


Whatever the reasons/motivations behind this, the one thing we can surely agree on, is that border control/passports is a right pain in the arse in the USA. Especially, in my experience, at JFK. The lat time I went (two weeks ago) I (we) had to queue for over an hour and a half. Heathrow seems to have it sorted with easy to use automatic passport machines which work. Quite why the US can’t get this sorted is beyond me. Much as we love New York, it’s simply not worth the hassle for a long weekend trip.


“Is the DHS Security’s move fair” ????
I think the question should be the other way around — Is it right/ moral/ legal for the DMV to withhold and deny information/ background/ legality etc. of NY drivers from governmental authorities ?

Hein Vandenbergh

A passport surely is the only relevant document. And – what business do the Feds have checking your driving record? Nothing to do with anything, esp as it is the State, not the Union, which collects the fine-payment. What a load of paranoid bunkum. Almost in line with our own (Australian) Minister for Being a Nosey Piker, the ‘Honorable’ Peter Dutton MP….. Sad.


It is not just available to US citizens. As a permanent resident (green card holder) i also have global entry/precheck and it is link to my green card rather than passport. (probably had to show my passport when applying)