U.S. Customs Now Accepting iPads Instead Of Passports

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Meet Martin Reisch, a slightly forgetful Canadian who recently took a trip to the United States only to find shortly before landing that he had forgotten his passport. Fortunately for him, that was the day U.S. customs were allowing people into the country armed only with a photograph of their passport on their iPad. Or so he claims.

Reisch had luckily stored an image of his passport on his iPad 2, and after realizing he’d flown to the U.S. without it, he loaded it up and tried his luck with a U.S. customs officer. The Winnipeg Free Press reports:

“He kind of gave me a stare, like neither impressed nor amused,” Reisch said of their exchange last Friday in southern Quebec. The officer took the iPad into the border office for five minutes before coming back out to give Reisch the green light and wish him happy holidays. “He was very nice about it,” he said of the officer. “I think a good part of it had to do with the fact that it was the holidays and I seem like a nice-enough person.”

As noted by Macgasm, this is a surprising story when you consider that the U.S. is famously very strict about its security. It’s unclear whether pictures of your passport on your tablet can be officially used a replacement for the real thing these days, but we’re guessing that’s not usually the case.