In response to New York state implementing the Driver’s License Access and Privacy Act (Green Light Law), Acting Secretary Chad F. Wolf announced New York residents will no longer be eligible to apply for or renew their enrollment in certain Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry.
The Green Light Law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from sharing information with U.S. Department of Homeland Security, preventing DHS from fully vetting New York residents. The acting secretary informed state officials by letter of the change. The letter may be read here.
“New York’s ‘Green Light Law’ is ill-conceived and the department is forced to take this action to ensure the integrity of our Trusted Traveler Programs. It’s very clear: This irresponsible action has consequences,” Wolf said. “An aspect of the law which I’m most concerned about is that it prohibits the DMV from providing ICE and CBP with important data used in law enforcement, trade, travel and homeland security. ICE uses the information as they investigate and build cases against terrorists, and criminals who commit child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and financial crimes. Unfortunately, because of this law, they can no longer do that”
Wolf continued: “CBP also uses that data for national security purposes and to ensure safe and lawful trade and travel. Specifically, CBP is able to offer Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry because we are able to use DMV data to make an evidence-based assessment that those individuals who seek this benefit are low risk and meet the eligibility requirements. Without the DMV information we aren’t able to make that assessment. DHS notified New York DMV that New York residents can no longer enroll or re-enroll in these Trusted Traveler Programs, because we no longer have access to data to ensure that New York residents meet those programs requirements. We must do our job.”
DHS said, “Customs and Border Protection runs Trusted Traveler Programs like Global Entry, FAST, SENTRI and NEXUS, which rely on access to DMV data to determine whether the person is who they say they are and if they have a criminal record. When that data is denied, the security is compromised. CBP expects the move to affect up to 150,000-200,000 New York residents who seek to renew membership in a CBP Trusted Traveler Programs this fiscal year. There are almost 30,000 commercial truck drivers enrolled in the FAST program at four New York-Canada ports of entry.
“Additionally, because the law hinders DHS from validating documents used to establish vehicle ownership, the exporting of used vehicles titled and registered in New York state will be significantly delayed and could also be costlier.”