Use the Mobile Passport Control App to Breeze through Customs at Select Airports & Cruise Ports

Every so often, I’ll read or hear about some service or product that’s been available for a while and totally skipped my radar. I’d be surprised if I’m the only frequent traveler this happens to! Just last week, I read about the not-so-new Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app that’s available for iOS and Android phones and tablets. Back in the summer 2014, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) launched the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry process into the United States.

MPC allows eligible travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form via a smartphone or tablet prior to CBP inspection. This first-of-its-kind app was developed by Airside Mobile and Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) in partnership with CBP. They piloted the program at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and it’s now available at 24 airports and one cruise port.

Current Mobile Passport locations, as of 11/19/2017. Image source:

MPC says that much like Automated Passport Control, the app does not require pre-approval, is free-to-use and does not collect any new information on travelers. As a result, travelers will experience shorter wait times, less congestion and faster processing. There are five easy steps to MPC:

  1. Download the Mobile Passport Control App prior to arriving at customs.
  2. Create a profile with your passport information.
  3. Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival to the United States.
  4. Submit your customs declaration form through the app to receive an electronic receipt with an encrypted Quick Response (QR) code. This receipt will expire four hours after being issued.
  5. Bring your passport and smartphone or tablet with your digital QR bar code receipt to a CBP officer.

Have you used the MPC app before? Does it indeed make your processing time faster? Or are you a true travel hacker with Global Entry?  Let me know!

10 thoughts on “Use the Mobile Passport Control App to Breeze through Customs at Select Airports & Cruise Ports

  1. compspy

    At Houston Hobby airport, as soon as you leave the Airplane, airport employees strongly advertise to download and use it immediately. Seems that a lot of passengers do and go very fast thru passport control very fast.

    1. Shelli Post author

      Good question, Kay. The App is a good substitute for GE, but if you have GE, you would probably not get anything extra by having the App. Also, the app is free, though limited.

  2. Drew

    Tried using it in BOS 2 weeks ago, and the app wouldn’t work. Fortunately there wasn’t much of a line at customs yet, but it worries me about trying to use it again in the future.

  3. Nathan

    Can I use for my kids? They both have there own iPads that I could do this with. Also we go through the regular lane not Gloabla Entry even if we have GE?

    1. Shelli Post author

      Great question. Here’s what their website says: Can families use Mobile Passport Control?

      “Yes, up to 12 additional profiles can be created for family members. The app allows for a single household to submit one MPC transaction, including answers to CBP inspection-related questions.”

      You will be able to use a specific line, so follow the signs and you should be good to go.


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