Ever approach the border with a sinking feeling that your passport is sitting at home next to the phone charger you also forgot to bring? Fear not, tech-savvy travelers, because apparently you can now just present your iPad to get into the United States of America.
Martin Reisch was driving from Quebec into Vermont when he realized he left his passport at home. When he got to the U.S. border officer, he decided to display his driver’s license and a scanned copy of his passport on his iPad instead.
While the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency technically doesn’t accept scanned images of passports, apparently the iPad’s resolution impressed the officer enough to pass Reisch through.
The 33-year-old Canadian told the Montreal Gazette:
“I guess he looked me up in the computer and saw I’m not a criminal or a terrorist or anything … He didn’t say much besides ‘Merry Christmas.’ “
The Canada Border Services Agency was, in typical Canadian fashion, way more cool aboot it:
“(The Canadian guard) was a really young guy. We had a cool chat about iPhones and technology. He was really interested and didn’t make a big deal that he was letting me through.”
The lesson here is that everyone loves Apple so much its products can help you bypass normally stringent national security standards.
UPDATE: Apparently reports of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s lax entry standards were greatly exaggerated.
A spokesperson for the agency told Wired.com, ”The assertion that a traveler was admitted into the U.S. using solely a scanned image of his passport on an iPad is categorically false. In this case, the individual had both a driver’s license and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country.”
UPDATE: New development in U.S.-Canada iPadGate! Martin Reisch is refuting the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s claims that he entered the United States with a driver’s license and birth certificate and not a scanned image of his passport on an iPad via his Twitter account @safesolvent: