Homeland Security’s New Website for Trusted Travelers
If you’re a world traveler for business or pleasure – or plan to be – Homeland Security’s new Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) System website is your cyber destination for managing Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and The Free and Secure Trade (FAST) programs. The four TTP programs are great time savers for frequent travelers who have been pre-approved and are considered low-risk. They also represent a process of security checks that make it extremely difficult for someone to steal personal identities.
Registering through the TTP site is your one-stop center for all of the programs, although it’s not likely most of you will use all of them. If you have used any of them before, you’ll need to re-register. If you’re not familiar with them, here are quick descriptions:
- Global Entry is for travel back into the Unites States At selected airports, you go to a designated kiosk, present your machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place your fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. You get a transaction receipt and go to baggage claim and the exit. You must be pre-approved for the program. All applicants undergo a rigorous background check and in-person interview before enrollment.
- NEXUS expedites processing when entering the United States and Canada. You use dedicated NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports. You also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.
- SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) expedites clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using dedicated primary lanes into the United States at southern land border ports. It’s primarily for travel from Mexico.
- FAST (Free and Secure Trade) is a commercial clearance program for known low-risk shipments entering the United States from Canada and Mexico by truck. It expedites processing for commercial carriers who have completed background checks and fulfill certain eligibility requirements. The majority of dedicated FAST lanes are located in northern border ports in Michigan, New York and Washington and at southern border ports from California to Texas. Participation in FAST requires that every link in the supply chain, from manufacturer to carrier to driver to importer, is certified under the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program.
If you already participate in one of the programs, you’ll have to go through a new registration process, which is an admitted ordeal, and you’ll need your PASSID number, which should be on any membership cards you have for the program or on any notification letters you might have received.
To start the re-registration process, go to https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/, log in, go to Manage My Membership and then Consent and Continue. Eventually, you’ll be redirected to a page where you’ll need to create an account. You’ll need to enter your email address, and then you’ll receive a confirmation. If all goes well, you’ll need to enter a password – a strong one – and you’ll need to provide a phone number (mobile is better) as part of the new website’s two-factor authentication process.
Through the process, you’ll be given a “personal key” that you should write down and keep with you. It’s your backup in case something goes wrong in your two-factor authentication scheme. After that, you’ll be redirected to the new TTP registration site, where you’ll need to enter personal information and your PASSID.
It’s a lot of work, but it’s a process that comes as close as anything I’ve seen to having both convenience and protection – once you go through all the gyrations to set it up. It has two-factor authentication and a secure back-up process, and the end result is convenience and time-saving at a place where it’s important for travelers and shippers.
We hope this helps you see the value of two-factor authentication. While secure borders are a top priority for our country, securing your personal data should be a top priority for you. Spending a few minutes early on can pay big dividends later. If you have questions about your security and setting up a two-factor authentication system, call us – 973-433-6676 – or email us for help.