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Canadian man uses iPad passport to cross US border

Reisch explained the situation to the border officer, who was not impressed when handed the iPad.

Is presenting digital proof of identity enough to cross U.S. border?

In an exceptional case, Quebec resident Martin Reisch managed to gain entry into the United States with just a scanned passport on an iPad.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a passport, an enhanced driver's licence or a Nexus pass is acceptable when one tries to cross U.S. border.

However, the law does not permit scans and photocopies.

An exceptional case
Reisch was on his way to deliver some Christmas gifts to his friend’s kids in Vermont last week, but forgot his passport at home.

He was about half an hour from the border when he realized that he did not have the passport.

Rather, than make a two-hour drive back home to get the document, Reisch decided to show a scanned copy of the passport that was stored on his iPad.

The quick-thinking Canadian decided to present the digital copy of the document on the computer tablet and his driver's licence.

“I figured I'd try, and in the worst case, I would have to go home,” he said.

Interestingly, the digital passport also let Reisch get through the Canadian Customs on his way home later that day.

Granted permission to enter
Reisch explained the situation to the border officer, who was not impressed when handed the iPad.

Reisch said that the official looked annoyed when he first made the request.

However, he took the iPad and the driver's licence into the border office. Soon he was allowed entry into United States.

The officer also wished him happy holidays.

Reisch said, "He was very nice about it.

"I think a good part of it had to do with the fact that it was the holidays and I seem like a nice-enough person."

Interestingly, the digital passport also let Reisch get through the Canadian Customs on his way home later that day.