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“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week — Mondays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

Global Entry is a great program that gives regular international travelers access to a fast-lane through customs and immigration when returning to the US from a trip abroad. But TPG reader Neurosci wants to know whether you have to apply for Global Entry again if you lose your passport or it’s stolen…

Do you know if I need to re-apply for Global Entry if my passport was stolen and I was issued a new passport with a different passport number?

TPG Reader Neurosci

When you’re arriving back in the United States via air, your Global Entry membership is tied to your passport. You don’t need to carry your Global Entry card — instead, you access it by scanning your passport at one of the Global Entry kiosks. So if your passport goes missing and you have to get a new one, you won’t have Global Entry attached to your replacement passport.

But there’s good news — you don’t have to apply for the program again. Instead, you can simply assign your existing membership to your new passport using the Global Entry website from the comfort of your home, just as if you had renewed an expiring passport.

The only difference is that the Global Entry website changed in October, so if you haven’t re-registered for the new version yet, you’ll need to do that first. It’s a little complicated, but you can follow the instructions in our post to make your life a bit easier. Then once you’re registered, you’ll want to navigate to your Dashboard and look for the link on the right marked “Update Documents.”

The first box on the “Update Documents” page lists your current passport information. Simply click the blue “Edit” link at the upper right corner of that box, and you’ll be able to change the info to reflect your new passport’s number and dates.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that if your passport is lost or stolen, don’t wait to report it. Stolen passports are often a source of identity theft and can be used for nefarious means, so it’s best to let the State Department and even the local police know about it as soon as possible, or at least once you’re certain it’s not going to turn up in the laundry. Do keep in mind that once you report a passport as missing, it will be immediately canceled and can’t be used again if you find it later, so make sure it’s really gone before reporting it.

So, Neurosci, while there are a few steps you’ll need to follow to get your existing Global Entry membership attached to your replacement passport, you should be able to get it done without any new applications or interviews. Thanks for the question, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by Greg Blomberg/EyeEm/Getty Images.

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