How Does a Name Change Affect My Global Entry?

Apr 5, 2018

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“Reader Questions” are now answered twice a week by TPG Associate Editor Brendan Dorsey.

Global Entry is one of the best programs out there for international travelers, helping them avoid long immigration lines when entering the US. But TPG reader Aaron wants to know how a name change will affect his wife’s Global Entry status…

I recently got married and my wife changed her last name and is reapplying for a new passport. How does this affect her Global Entry, which is not only tied to her old passport number but also old last name?

TPG Reader Aaron

This is a two part question. First off, will Aaron’s wife’s Global Entry membership carry over to her new passport? As we’ve reported in the past, as long as your new passport doesn’t involve any changes to your legal name or citizenship status, then it will carry over. You just have to update your information through your Trusted Traveler Program account, which is the new version of the old GOES website.

But marriage often means there’s a name change involved, as is the case with Aaron. So what does his wife need to do to get her Global Entry membership to carry over?

courtesy getty images
How do you carry over your Global Entry membership when your name changes? (Photo by Ellen Creager/Detroit Free Press/TNS via Getty Images)

The answer is spelled out on the Customs and Border Proctection website:

As a Trusted Traveler, you may update your passport and driver’s license through your TTP account at https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/, so long as you are renewing an existing passport and are not incorporating a name change in the updated passport or it is new document not previously associated with your account…

If the passport involves a name change, issuing authority change, or is a new document not previously associated with your account, then you will need to visit an Enrollment Center.  No appointment is needed, but please contact your local Enrollment Center first.

Unfortunately, Aaron’s wife will have to plan a time to visit a Global Entry enrollment center, which are located around the country and at many US international airports. You can actually complete your interview upon arrival at 16 airports, eliminating the need to make an appointment. Reports indicate that you will need to bring your old and new passport and a copy of your marriage certificate, but it’s best to call your local Global Entry office and specifically ask what they require when enrolling your new passport into the system.

Remember that a slew of credit cards offer a $100 fee credit to cover the cost of a Global Entry application. Check out TPG’s top cards for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck, which include The Platinum Card® from American Express, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, among others.

Thanks for the question, Aaron, 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.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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