Mobile Passport Control is a free (and official) application that enables you to bypass the customs lines, and its application process is more straightforward than Global Entry.

Whether you travel frequently, it’s always a good idea to stay up to date with world events, especially for the security of your passport. Within the next few years, everyone will be required to have a mobile passport app installed on their phone before traveling internationally. 

The Mobile Passport Control app makes it easier for you to pass through customs when entering the U.S. at airports, so you won’t have to stand in long lines anymore. All you need is an eligible airline ticket exhibiting a barcode and a smartphone.

If your travels often include flying between the U.S. and another country, this is something you need to know about. This article will answer some commonly asked questions and hopefully address any concerns you may have. Let’s get straight to it.

What is Mobile Passport Control?

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) is the first app to allow U.S. and Canadian citizens to submit their passport information and answer CBP inspection questions before arriving at the airport. MPC expedites a traveler’s entry into the United States by allowing CBP Officers to focus on travelers that may pose a greater risk while also reducing wait times for low-risk travelers.

The app was developed with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA). The Airports Authority supported this initiative as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance customer service and improve the travel experience. MPC is available at 25 airports and one cruise port in the United States and will continue to expand in the coming months. Currently, MPC is only available for travelers entering the United States abroad (international).

MPC was designed with privacy protection in mind, adhering to all federal privacy laws and regulations. The app does not collect or store personal information from your phone or requires the creation of a user account or profile.


How does MPC work?

By using Mobile Passport, users eligible to receive their passports and customs declarations can submit the necessary information via their iOS or Android devices instead of the traditional paper form. Using the Mobile Passport app from the App Store or Google Play, you can enter your passport data and then set up a profile on the app. The MPC app is free and available for download from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, open the app and create a profile with your passport information, then submit your information to CBP when you arrive in the United States. After that, you’ll receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (Q.R.) code. The QR code can be presented on your mobile device to a CBP officer instead of completing a paper customs declaration form.

The app can be used by U.S. citizens with a valid passport and Canadian citizens with a valid passport and B1 or B2 visa status.

One of the best features is that up to 12 family members can be included per profile. One MPC transaction may be submitted per household using the authorized MPC app, including questions regarding customs and border protection inspections. As such, it is recommended that your MPC app be pre-configured with your family members to speed up the entry process. There is no relation between Mobile Passport and TSA Precheck or Global Entry. It only applies to entry points at U.S. customs and immigration, not airport security.

Mobile Passport Control is currently available at 26 U.S. airports:

  1. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)
  2. Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
  3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  5. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL)
  6. Dulles International Airport (IAD)
  7. Denver International Airport (DEN)
  8. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  9. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  10. William P. Hobby Houston International Airport (HOU)
  11. Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  12. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  13. Miami International Airport (MIA)
  14. Miami Seaport
  15. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  16. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  17. Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  18. Oakland International Airport (OAK)
  19. Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  20. Palm Beach Seaport 
  21. Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
  22. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  23. Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)
  24. Port Everglades Seaport
  25. Portland International Airport (PDX)
  26. Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
  27. San Diego International Airport (SAN)
  28. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  29. San Jose International Airport (SJC)

You can also check the complete list of airports here: Mobile Passport Control App Airports.

What documents do I need to use Mobile Passport Control?

You don’t need to submit anything before arriving at the airport. Mobile Passport Control is a free app you can download on your phone. The app will walk you through creating a profile with basic information similar to what you enter on a paper passport control form and ask you to submit your declaration form digitally when ready.

Once you complete the basic profile, the app will tell you which documents you must use for Mobile Passport Control. Generally, this includes:

  • A valid passport
  • A U.S. visa (if applicable). You do not need a permit if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
  • A completed cruise ship passenger arrival form that includes your address while in the United States
  • Your airline and flight number, landing time, and date of arrival into the United States or Canada

What are the benefits of Mobile Passport Control?

With MPC, the CBP officer and the traveler can conduct an in-person inspection much more efficiently. MPC allows travelers to complete administrative tasks before the passport control inspection, thus reducing overall wait times and passport control inspection times.

In place of submitting their passport information on paper and declaring their travel plans, travelers can use the Mobile Passport app to submit their passport information and communicate their travel plans electronically.

Is using MPC secure?

In 2014, Mobile Passport launched as a travel app that proved to be useful. Unlike a credit card that waives their Global Entry fees, it only works for people landing in the U.S., but the best part is that it’s free (a great alternative for people who do not have a credit card that waives their Global Entry fees).

The traveler’s passport information and answers to inspection-related questions are indeed transmitted directly to the CBP via secure encryption protocols. CBP securely transmits the information you enter on the authorized applications to generate an electronic receipt that you will display to the officer after filling out the approved application. 

Your profile can be stored on your smartphone or tablet for future trips or deleted with the authorized mobile apps at the end of the journey.