Mobile Passport is officially authorized by the US Customs and Border Protection
Coming from the department of "How come nobody has thought of that before," here's Mobile Passport, the app that will help you skip the lines when you enter the United States.
If you ever entered the Unites States, you know how annoying it is to fill out the blue and the white form. You get it in the plane, a couple of hours before you arrive at your destination and probably have to wait for a pen from the stewardess. Some of the questions in there seem stupid, others require your full attention. What happens when you make a mistake? You have to start all over again because the CBP officers will not accept a crossed-out line on your form.
A new iPhone app, spotted by 9to5Mac, aims to fix that problem and make it easier for you to skip the lines. Mobile Passport is Free, but it only works for US and Canada citizens so far.
When you first launch it, you can see a tutorial explaining the basic steps of using it or you can go right ahead and register your profile. You can add a photo take with your iPhone's camera, add your name, date of birth, sex, country of residence, passport number and the expiration date. It should only take less than two minutes to fill everything into the app and then you're good to go.
The developers promise that all your info is encrypted and will only be shared with the CBP. The app replaces the blue and white paper declaration forms required for all travelers entering the US by air.
Mobile Passport works in Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, but more locations will be added soon. As soon as you get into the airport, you can submit your information and the CBP officers will get you a receipt. You can then skip the regular line and follow the signs for Mobile Passport Control, scan your receipt and show your passport and get on your way to the luggage area.
This new app will not replace your Passport and you need to make sure to bring that document with you if you want to go back to the United States. However, it will help you forget about the hassle of filling out the forms. This is also good for B1 or B2 visa holders coming from Canada.
One more nice detail about this app is that, if you cannot open your phone or you do not have cell coverage when you are 10,000 feet (3000 meters) in the air, you can choose to submit your application later (the arrival time, for example) and the app will notify you when you to send your detail.
Make sure to download it and stick it in your iPhone's Travel folder. Mobile Passport is going to be handy some day.