Global Entry renewal in advance

By Deborah & Douglas Conklin
This item appears on page 12 of the November 2021 issue.

Our Global Entry status was going to expire in July 2020, so that April we went onto the Trusted Traveler website ( to renew. On the website, we answered a few questions and paid $100 each. (Our joint-account Capital One Venture credit card refunded one of our renewal payments.)

We were expecting to get an automatic renewal, since all of our travel was already recorded in our passports and our fingerprints were on file. Instead, we got “conditional approval” and were told we needed to be interviewed again at a Global Entry Enrollment Center. We received monthly updates from Global Entry and were informed that we could complete this final step at any of about 63 airports upon returning from an international trip.

Needless to say, we did no traveling internationally for a while after mid-March 2020. We also were worried that if we waited until we returned from abroad to have an interview at an airport, we might miss our flight back home to Iowa. (Connections to Iowa are tight and few in number.)

We learned that there was an Enrollment Center at Des Moines International Airport (DSM), the only one in Iowa. In July 2021, Douglas called the DSM Enrollment Center and scheduled an interview for the next week.

Upon arriving at the airport, we were instructed to wait in our car until the Customs official came and got us. With masks on, we entered the building and had a pleasant interview. Among other questions, we were asked what countries we had previously visited and, for some of them, why. We showed our driver’s licenses and passports. The Customs official took new photos of us, and we again gave fingerprints.

By the time we got home, we had emails confirming our approval. Our new cards were received about a week later. We then went back onto the Trusted Traveler website for final confirmations and activation.

Cedar Rapids, IA