The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Trusted Traveler Programs (Global Entry, TSA Pre✓®, SENTRI, NEXUS, and FAST) are risk-based programs to facilitate the entry of pre-approved travelers. All applicants are vetted to ensure that they meet the qualifications for the program to which they are applying. US Customs and Border Protection administers 4 out of the 5 programs including FAST and SENTRI. FAST is for truck drivers entering and exiting the US from Canada and Mexico.
Unfortunately, New Yorkers are no longer eligible to apply for or renew membership in Trusted Traveler Programs because of state law that restricts access to certain criminal history information maintained by the New York DMV known as the Green Light Law which took effect in December 2019 and is designed to allow people to attain a drivers license without Social Security Number. This law does not apply to Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL). In order to protect these new drivers from immigration enforcement, the DMV restricts information such as driver’s license records, vehicle, registration, and aspects of an individual’s criminal history unless a judicial warrant or court order is signed by an Article III judge.
So, even though the law does not apply to CDL’s New York’s commercial truck drivers cannot join or re-enroll in CBP’s FAST (Free and Secure Trade) program. Around 30,000 commercial truck drivers are enrolled in FAST at four New York-Canada ports of entry.
Currently, the Trump administration and the Cuomo administration are in a stalemate over this issue but as things open back from Covid-19 shutdown the commerce between New York and Canada will be crucial to getting both of our economies back on track. There must be a compromise here that does not infringe on state’s rights but allows for the safe, efficient flow of goods and services.