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.
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:
- Download the Mobile Passport Control App prior to arriving at customs.
- Create a profile with your passport information.
- Complete the “New Trip” section upon arrival to the United States.
- 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.
- 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!