Do Kids Need Their Own Membership in Global Entry?

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The Global Entry system uses kiosks at U.S. border entry ports. Instead of standing in line for a Customs and Border Protection officer to re-enter the U.S when traveling with your children, if you have Global Entry, you can use the kiosks for quick clearance.

Do children need to enroll in Global Entry, or can they simply tag along on their parents’ memberships?

The answer is yes. Every person in your entourage must be approved by Global Entry (start the application process here). Even infants.

Adults and kids go through the same process, although their fingerprints might not be collected as they are for grown-ups. Your child needs a passport, visa, or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Card as well as his or her own email address to create a Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account through (Since your six-month-old isn’t likely to peruse her inbox, create a secondary account for yourself and use it for your child. More than one child means more than one email address.)

The application fee is $100 per person no matter the age, but you might be able to save that by charging the fee to a credit card that refunds the fee as part of its standard benefits.

After CBP notifies your child via TTP account of preliminary acceptance, she or he must be “interviewed” accompanied by a parent or guardian—in practice, this merely amounts to meeting an officer at a CBP office, and the meeting will not scare most kids. If you have more than one child to enroll, reserve back-to-back appointments since only one person can be interviewed per session.

To prove where you live, bring a utility bill or other document with your address. Older children should also bring proof of address, if available. Since you may be required to prove you’re the child’s parent/guardian, bring your own passport, driver’s license, or other government-issued photo I.D. with you.

For applicants 13 years old and younger, the CBP staff member decides about fingerprinting. That’s because younger children’s fingerprints often register as “low quality” on digital readers.

Once CBP notifies your child of his or her acceptance via TTP account, a Global Entry card with a 9-digit PASS ID membership number will be mailed to you.

That number also serves as a TSA Known Traveler Number—Global Entry automatically comes with enrollment in TSA PreCheck. (TSA membership alone, without Global Entry, costs $85, so it’s smarter to spend $100 to get both.)