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

(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.

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