Speed Through US Customs with the Free Mobile Passport App
The last thing I want to do when I return back to the United States from a long international trip is wait in a long US Customs line. This year I started using the free Mobile Passport app and it helps me breeze through US Customs even past all those professional travelers with Global Entry or first class seats.
What is this silver bullet of US Customs control? Mobile Passport is a FREE app that is Officially authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Download it on your iPhone or Android and speed through US Customs too!
How Can the Mobile Passport Help Me?
If you frequently fly internationally back to the US, you know the customs lines can get bananas. My strategy for breezing through US Customs involves getting to the customs line ASAP, before the rest of your flight gets there in front of you.
With Mobile Passport, you fill out the same information all the other US passport holders fill out either on that slim customs form or even at a kisok, but you can do it in advance on your phone.
That means as everyone else is filling in their paper Customs slips, getting their picture taken at a US Customs kiosk or even waiting in the Global Entry lines, you’ll be walking right past them and getting straight into the customs line. It depends on the airport but sometimes you’ll look for a special line for Mobile Passport or Global Entry. Just have your phone out and flash your Mobile Passport and an agent will direct you.
How to Use Mobile Passport in 3 Easy Steps
- Before you travel, download the app to your iPhone. With your passport nearby, quickly fill out your Mobile Passport Profile by answering some basic information from your passport. There is even a feature that lets you scan your passport information instead of typing it by hand.
- Answer five Customs & Border Patrol questions about your travel. These are the typical questions that you always have to answer when you travel back to the States like: I am bringing in fruits and meats, have I visited a farm with livestock, am I carrying more than $10k in cash, etc.
- Once you land, connect to WiFi or your wireless provider and click “Submit Now”. I wait to click “Submit” since you have to go through customs within four hours of submitting your form.
You only have to complete your profile in the Mobile Passport app once. Then you can continue to use it for all your future trips as well. The app uses a pin code or biometric login (based on your phone’s capabilities) to keep your passport information safe.
When Can I Use the Mobile Passport App?
Use the Mobile Passport App when you are returning to the United States from another country. If you are traveling as a family, add a profile for each family member (including young children) and you’ll only have to use one device and click submit once for your entire family.
Where Can I Use the Mobile Passport App?
Currently, Mobile Passport is live at 26 major US airports and 3 cruise port locations!
- Atlanta (ATL) – Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
- Boston (BOS) – Boston Logan International Airport
- Baltimore (BWI) – Baltimore-Washington International Airport
- Chicago (ORD) – Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Dallas (DFW) – Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
- Denver (DEN) – Denver International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
- Houston (IAH) – George Bush Intercontinental Airport
- Houston (HOU) – William P. Hobby Airport
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Los Angeles International Airport
- Miami (MIA) – Miami International Airport
- Minneapolis (MSP) – Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport
- New York City (JFK) – John F. Kenedy International Airport
- Newark (EWR) – Newark Liberty International Airport
- Orlando (MCO) – Orlando International Airport
- Phoenix (PHX) – Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
- Philadelphia (PHL) – International Airport
- Pittsburgh (PIT) – Pittsburgh International Airport
- Portland (PDX) – Portland International Airport
- Raleigh (RDU) – Raleigh Durham International Airport
- Sacramento (SMF) – Sacramento International Airport
- San Diego (SAN) – San Diego International Airport
- San Fransisco (SFO) – San Fransisco International Airport
- San Jose (SJC) – Mineta San Jose International Airport
- Seattle (SEA) – Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
- Tampa (TPA) – Tampa International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale (PEV) – Port Everglades Cruise Port
- Miami (MSE) – Miami Seaport Cruise Port
- West Palm Beach (WPB) – Port of Palm Beach Cruise Port
Do I Need to have Global Entry or TSA Precheck too?
The Mobile Passport App has nothing to do with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The only requirement is that you have a US or Canadian passport.
How Do I Sign-Up for the Mobile Passport App?
Signing up for Mobile Passport is easy and better yet, free. Download the app onto your phone (iOS or Android), grab your passport, and fill out your profile. It will take less than five minutes. In addition, you can also set up a profile for your family members within the same app on one device for up to 12 family members.
- The Mobile Passport App DOES NOT replace your passport! Remember that the customs agent will still want to see your passport!
- The app is for use at US Customs locations only. It helps you when you are traveling back to the United States.
- If you have one of the premium travel rewards credit cards like American Express Platinum Card you already know that they will credit you the $100 Global Entry sign-up fee. However, if you are a frequent international traveler it would make sense to have both Global Entry & the Mobile Passport Control app so you can decide line looks faster when you arrive at US Customs.