I Forgot to Renew My Wife’s Global Entry: Here Is What Happened!

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Ellie got her Global Entry when she was just a little pup.

Forgot to Renew Global Entry

Last year the government shutdown for awhile and ever since it seems they have been struggling to catch up on Global Entry applications. For many, the wait for Global Entry approval can take months. I have heard of the process taking 7 or more months for some, while my Global Entry renewal recently took over 4 months.

At the end of December the government revealed they were receiving 7,000 applications a day and had a backlog of 300,000-350,000 applications to process. One nice thing they did was extend the validity of Global Entry for anyone looking to renew, but whose application was stuck in processing. But what if your Global Entry accidentally expired?

We Forgot to Renew Global Entry!

That situation just happened to my wife. We were in the Bahamas last week at the U.S. preclearance facility in the airport and she went to use the Global Entry kiosk only to be told her membership had expired! I know I know. It was my job to be on top of this stuff,  but for some reason I thought it expired this year.

Thankfully the lines that day weren’t bad so Ellie and I went through Global Entry and Jasmine had to go through the normal line which only took about 5 minutes longer. I sometimes make an art out of procrastination so I decided to sit down right there in the airport in order to fill out her renewal. We have a lot of upcoming international travel and not having Global Entry plus losing precheck could cost us a lot of time.

Global Entry kiosk receipt.

Processing Her Expired Global Entry Renewal

To pay the $100 fee I used one of our many cards that gives a credit for Global Entry and filled in all of the relevant information. Thankfully despite her membership lapsing, the government still saw it as a renewal and not a completely new application. I have recently heard of people getting approved quickly sometimes, while others are still having to wait months. Which would it be?

Related: The Best Credit Cards That Offer Global Entry For Free

I filled out her renewal on January 13, 2020 and on January 15 I received an email that her application status had changed! I quickly logged in to find that she had been approved without the need for an interview! She was flying from Orlando to Las Vegas on the 16th and already had a boarding pass without Precheck, but getting her number re-added at the airport fixed that problem!

Renewing Global Entry – Need to Know

If you forgot to renew your Global Entry and it has expired here are a couple of things you need to know:

  • If you used the old system (GOES) you will need to create a new login.gov account using your Trusted Traveler number
  • Your old membership should pull up and despite it being recently expired, you most likely will be able to renew instead of applying for a brand new membership. Renewals often don’t require an in-person interview. My wife for example is not required to go in for an interview
  • Based on data points I have seen, renewal could take anywhere from 2 days to several months. It is best to apply as soon as you can

Forgot to Renew Global Entry – Bottom Line

At this point it is a crapshoot as to whether your Global Entry Renewal will take days or months, but the key thing is to apply so the membership is extended if it does end up taking a long time. Sometimes in life you screw up and the universe still rewards you and that seems to be what happened here. We forgot to renew Global entry, but it took only 2 days to come through in the end!

Did you recently forget to renew Global Entry or just renew a non-expired account? Share your experience in the comments!


  1. Put my wife’s GE was expired for 5 days when I renewed online, that was Nov 9 it is now Feb 19 and still noting.

  2. Something to consider for your renwals is that you can now add the APEC card for $70. You will need to do “interview on arrival” but travelling through Asia is so much better with this card. You get to use either dedicated APEC lines or the crew/diplomat line.

  3. I am not so lucky either, It took months for update. I need to re-interview and don’t have an airport close or one that I will be flying into.

  4. I wasn’t so lucky, mine expired in Dec 2019. To be proactive, I renewed in April 2019 but didn’t get notification until late June that I had to re-interview under conditional approval. My airport doesn’t have an Enrollment Center and couldn’t find any openings at any areas I was visiting (Atlanta, Detroit, LA, SFO, IAD, MCO) until December so I decided to fly into Dulles do the interview and fly back home on New Year’s Eve. As it turns out my wife is still waiting for her status and she paid for her renewal sometime in fall 2019.


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