Can I use an expired NEXUS card?

Find out whether an expired NEXUS card can still be used, learn about renewal options, and understand the benefits and restrictions. Get all the answers you need in our comprehensive guide.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yes, but only if you submitted your renewal application before the expiry date on your first card.
  • No, if you have not submitted an application before the expriry date.
  • Apply 1 year before your card is expring.

Your NEXUS card is valid for 5 years and you must renew it by applying again for what is essentially a new card. Because the renewal process takes almost as long as the initial application, you have to renew well in advance of the expiry date. CBP currently suggests starting your renewal application 1 year before your expiry date while CBSA says that renewals can be processed within 30 days but that scheduling an interview involves lengthy delays.

Now, you may avoid an interview in your renewal application if your personal information and your situation haven’t changed since you first applied. If you don’t need an interview, then you should get your renewed NEXUS card much more quickly. Regardless, it’s always a good idea to start the renewal process well before your card expires.

So really, there’s no excuse for letting your NEXUS card expire, but if it does expire due perhaps to unexpected delays in your renewal application, for example, let’s see whether you can use your expired NEXUS card.

What happens if my NEXUS card expires?

It depends on when you start the renewal process. If you submit your renewal application before the expiry date on your initial card, then you are given what is called a “Grace Period” while CBP and CBSA wait for your application to be processed.

Can I still use my expired NEXUS card?

Yes, but only if you submitted your renewal application before the expiry date on your first card. Here’s what TTP’s website says about the Grace Period:

Additionally, if you submit a renewal application before your membership expires, you will be able to continue to use benefits after your membership expiration date. Please log into your TTP dashboard to submit a renewal application. We recommend that you print out a copy of your pending renewal to show the Customs and Border Protection Officer, if requested.


In 2019, the TTP dashboard apparently extended the grace period from 6 months to 12 months given the long delays in renewing NEXUS cards due in large part to backlogs for scheduled interviews.


However, the dashboard no longer gives a length of time for this grace period during which you can use your expired NEXUS card. You should definitely print out a copy of the status of your renewal from TTP’s dashboard before you travel and take it with you to show the officers.

Again, the best solution is to always start your renewal process early – up to a year early if your situation is complex and will require an interview during your renewal process.

What happens if I use my expired NEXUS at the border?

This can be a problem, if you don’t do things right.

Are there any restrictions when using an expired NEXUS card?

As we clearly stated above, you need to have submitted your renewal application before the expiry date on your original NEXUS card. That’s the first restriction. If you applied after the expiry date or, even worse, you haven’t yet applied to renew, you will most likely no longer have membership in the NEXUS program.

If, on the other hand, you have submitted your renewal before the expiry date and have brought along a recent print out of your renewal application’s status, you should be allowed to continue enjoying the benefits of NEXUS.

What are the consequences of using an expired NEXUS card?

It will depend on whether you’ve submitted your renewal before the expiry date. If you have, then perhaps you’ll have to answer a few additional questions from an officer, but you’ll be allowed to continue using it for a grace period.

If you’ve applied late or haven’t even applied, then you’ll most likely be pulled over and questioned by officers who will take your NEXUS card from you and inform you that you’re no longer a member. You’ll then have to use normal lines at airports and regular lanes at land border crossings or regular procedures for marine crossings. 

How to renew my expired NEXUS card?

The renewal process, as we explain here in our blog on renewing, is almost as lengthy as the initial application process.

  1. Step one: gather your documentation. It’s the same list of documents as when you first apply. Go here to see our blog on the documents you’ll need. Or find them in our blog on renewing linked just above.
  • Step two: make sure you have a valid credit card to pay the US$ 50 fee from one of the following:
  • Visa
  • Master Card
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Diner’s Club
  • JCB
  • You can also pay by bank transfer but only for U.S. banks
  • Step three: Complete the online application form truthfully and completely and pay the fee and submit the application.
  • Step four: receive an email of conditional approval which will also tell you whether you must schedule an interview. If you don’t have to, this will speed up the process and you can skip ahead to step 7.
  • Step five: schedule an interview – if required – and prepare for your interview. Make sure you note down important facts and dates you want to share with officers. Bring along your documentation as well.
  • Step six: attend the interview.
  • Step seven: receive final approval – usually within a few business days of the interview. If no interview was required, you’ll go straight to this step from step 4.
  • Step eight: receive your new card in the mail.

Related Topics: Get your first NEXUS card. Go here to read our blog about applying for NEXUS. We’ll lead you through the whole application process, step by step.

Is there a grace period for NEXUS renewal?

Only if you submit your renewal application before your original card expires. Otherwise, you are considered as if starting from scratch and your original card is no longer valid and you are no longer a member of NEXUS.

However, if you do apply to renew in time, you are judged to have implied status as a member of NEXUS and are able to continue enjoying the benefits of the program. Remember that it is a Grace Period so it’s not indefinite. As well, it’s always a good idea to print out a copy of your renewal status from TTP’s dashboard to show to CBP & CBSA officers when you travel.

Riley Haas
Riley Haas
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