Man crosses the US Border with no passport, just an iPad

Canadian native, Martin Reisch, was about a half an hour away from US Border before realising he’d left his passport back home in Montreal. Instead of turning around to retrieve it from his house he thought his scanned passport on his iPad might be worth trying.

He told the US Border official he was dropping off presents for children of a friend. Reisch then showed the official his scanned document on his iPad along with his Canadian License.


"I thought I’d at least give it a try. He took the iPad into the little border hut. He was in there a good five, six minutes. It seemed like an eternity. When he came back he took a good long pause before wishing me a Merry Christmas," Reisch told Associated Press.

The US Customs and Border Protection say it only accepts a passport, an enhanced driver’s license or a Nexus pass from Canadian citizens crossing the border. The required list doesn’t have photocopies or scans amongst accepted documentation.

Reisch said he doubtful he will get away with not having his actual passport on him again but sees a future with using digital devices when crossing borders. A future of using digital documentation to enter and leave countries is not far-fetched as mobile boarding passes are used at airports.

As a society moving away from paper and into everything, replacing paper documents with digital devices to travel globally may happen sooner than we think. Needless to say, Reisch we salute you, Steve Jobs would have been so proud.

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Type: White Paper


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