Handing over your passport is a critical part of traveling outside your country’s borders. But if you’ve ever given yourself a point for every person you overtake on the way to Border Control (what, just us?), you know how long those lines can get. That’s why we’re so excited about Mobile Passport, an app that lets you “breeze through US Customs and Passport Control.”
This handy app is available for free on iOS and Android, and currently allows you to go straight to the Mobile Passport Control express lane at 20 airports and one cruise port in the US. Fewer long lines to stand in? Count us in!
The app is pretty easy to use. First, set up your profile. Make sure you input all the info exactly as it is on your physical passport, because if you get to the airport and your info’s wrong… you’re SOL. No express lane for you.
After your profile is set up, you’ll have to answer a few questions to CBP (Customs and Border Protection) about your trip, like the kinds of items you’re transporting, etc.
Then, at your port of entry, you’ll submit your info to CBP, after which you’ll get a receipt (valid for four hours).
When your receipt shows up, you can head to the express lane and show your passport and receipt. Bon voyage!
Now for the (slightly boring but important) details:
1. This app IS sponsored by the Airports Council International-North America and Boeing and authorized by CBP — basically, it’s legit.
2. It does NOT replace your physical passport; you still need to have that on you. It just speeds up the process of going through customs.
3. Your data is kept private; it’s transmitted securely to CBP, just like using an Automated Passport Control kiosk. You can allow the app to store your passport information in your profile for your next trip or delete it after your current trip.
4. You can set up profiles for everyone in your family.
5. US citizens with a US passport and Canadian citizens with both a Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status may use the Mobile Passport App.
6. You must have an iOS or Android device that can connect to the internet, because you’ll need it to submit your info to CBP.
Nobody likes filling out all that lengthy paperwork with a pen, so if you’re planning on traveling out of the country anytime soon, you’ll definitely want to check this app out.
Do you have an international trip planned? Tell us about it @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty + Mobile Passport)