Q:

How do you activate a Global Entry card?

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Quick Answer

To activate a Global Entry card, sign in online at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website by using your Global Online Enrollment System user identification. Membership card activation entails clicking a screen button in the program membership section of the GOES homepage, states U.S Customs and Border Protection.

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Full Answer

After activating your Global Entry card, locate your Trusted Traveler's membership number on your GOES account page. You can find the membership number, also known as your pass ID, near the top of the page, according to U.S Customs and Border Protection.

To activate online, you must have the physical card on hard. First, go to the GOES Web portal at GOES-App.CBP.DHS.gov, and log onto your GOES account. Then click on the "Activate Membership Card" option on the homepage under the "Program Membership" section. Once on this page, you are required to enter the card's PASSID and security code and click next.

If there are any problems activating the card, calling the GOES customer support line is another option. The customer support line hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and the numbers are 855-873-4637 and 202-325-8060 as of June 2015.

Global Entry gives pre-approved U.S. citizens an express avenue to clearing U.S. Customs. Global Entry kiosk machines at American airports read passports, fingerprints and customs declarations. To apply for this program, fill out an online form, pay a $100 application fee, and schedule an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center at a U.S. airport. To be eligible for the Global Entry program, you must be a U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, Dutch citizen, South Korean citizen or Mexican national, reports Fodor's.

The New York Times has criticized the program by suggesting that authorities may arbitrarily revoke Global Entry membership and that it can be difficult to discover the reason, even after multiple inquiries. As of April 2014, some U.S. airports had installed non-membership passport readers for regular customs lines, thereby shortening waiting times for all travelers.

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