As the busy summer travel season kicks into high gear, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are encouraging eligible international passengers to take advantage of one of LAX’s best-kept secrets – Mobile Passport.
The free and secure Mobile Passport Control (MPC) app allows arriving U.S. and Canadian citizens to skip the traditional paper forms and save significant time when entering the country at LAX. Passengers are already using the app in the customs areas at Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 2, 4 and 7 to submit their passport and customs declaration information, but many more are eligible for the service.
“LAX has offered the Mobile Passport app since 2017, but only about 3.7 percent of arriving U.S. and Canadian citizens have used it to skip the longer lines at customs,” said Justin Erbacci, Chief Innovation and Commercial Strategy Officer, LAWA. “In many cases, the passengers who are using Mobile Passport at LAX wait only about one minute to see a customs officer. This is a largely untapped opportunity for people to speed up their entry to the U.S. and spend more time on vacation, taking care of business or being with family.”
Nationally, the average wait time for Mobile Passport users is 13 minutes, compared to nearly 29 minutes for traditional processing.
“The app streamlines the traveler inspection process and enables CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions,” said Donald R. Kusser, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Port Director of Los Angeles International Airport. “The process is efficient and secure, the information and answers to inspection-related questions are submitted directly to CBP via secure encryption protocols.”
Much like the Automated Passport Control kiosks located in the four Federal Inspection Services areas at LAX, the app does not require pre-approval and is free to use for eligible travelers. As a result, app users will experience shorter waiting times, less congestion and faster processing.
After downloading the app, travelers create a profile with their passport information, including the traveler’s name, gender, date of birth and country of citizenship.
Upon returning to the United States, the traveler will complete the “New Trip” section, selecting their arrival airport and taking a self-photo. He or she will also answer a series of CBP inspection-related questions. Once the transaction is submitted, the traveler will receive an electronic receipt with an Encrypted Quick Response (QR) code.
Travelers then bring their passport and smartphone with the digital bar-code receipt to a CBP officer in a special line for MPC users to finalize their inspection for entry into the United States.
The MPC pilot launched in August 2014 for eligible traveler at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport and has since expanded to 26 airports and three seaports. The MPC app can be downloaded through the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.
To view a video demonstration of the Mobile Passport Control app, click here