Feds: Your iPad Won't Get You Across the Border

... Despite claims of Canadian driver

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 4, 2012 4:10 PM CST

(Newser) – Note to US-Canadian travelers: Bring the passport, skip the iPad. A Canadian man who forgot his actual passport says he showed a scanned copy of it to a border agent on his iPad and was allowed entry. Not so, a US Customs spokeswoman tells CTV. She says Montreal resident Martin Reisch got through because he had a driver's license and birth certificate on him. Reisch is a regular traveler to the US, and border agents are allowed to use "discretion" in such cases, she added.

So maybe the iPad scan didn't hurt? It's a little squishy, and the stories told by Reisch and the border agency don't seem to mesh, but the bottom line is this: Scanned or digital copies of documents are not considered valid forms of ID, says the spokeswoman. Drivers are encouraged to have a passport, an enhanced driver's license, or something called a trusted traveler card, or they face the possibility of being forced to turn around.

Martin Reisch holds up his iPad displaying his passport in Montreal Tuesday.
Martin Reisch holds up his iPad displaying his passport in Montreal Tuesday.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes)
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