The One Travel App You Must Have

The One Travel App You Must Have

If you are a U.S. citizen who travels abroad and you don’t have the Mobile Passport App you need to get it RIGHT NOW! (And no, I’m not being paid by the government to tell you this!)

We just came back from Mexico, and I think we were the only people on our plane who had this app.  Everyone else on our flight was stuck in a long immigration line, and we walked right past them all and straight to customs.  We were definitely getting glares when we sailed past everyone else.

What is the Mobile Passport App?

The Mobile Passport App  “is the first app authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for eligible travelers with a smartphone or tablet to submit their passport information and answer CBP inspection-related questions prior to CBP inspection.” 

How Do You Get the Mobile Passport App?

Download the Mobile Passport App from the  Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

How Do You Use the Mobile Passport App?

Before you Reach Your Port of Entry

Mobile Passport screenshotFirst, log into the app and select “new trip.”

On the next screen choose whether you’re arriving by air or sea.










Mobile Passport screenshot

Next use the “select travelers” box to choose the individuals you are traveling with. Here you can add the passports of all travelers in your family if you are using the app for the first time, or you can choose from passports that you have previously entered.









Mobile Passport ScreenshotClick “scan passport” to scan the passports of the travelers in your family into your app.

It may take several seconds, especially if there is a lot of glare.  I had to get creative with my hat to block the overhead lights so that the app could scan.








Mobile Passport screenshot

All of this information will be filled in once you scan your passport, but be sure to double check that all of the data scanned in matches your passport. My name wasn’t spelled correctly, so I had to change it inside the app. All of the information needs to exactly match your passport.

Next, take photos of each traveler as directed by the app, without any hats or sunglasses.


Mobile Passport Screenshot

Once you’ve entered all travelers’ passports and photos you enter the airport or port that you are flying into and the airline that you are flying in on.

Currently, there are 21 airports and one port that allow you to use the Mobile Passport app. You can check the list of available ports of entry on the Customs and Border Protection website.

All of these steps can be done before you reach your port of entry.

After You Reach Your Port of Entry

Once you arrive at your port of entry, you can complete the declarations questions and hit submit. IMPORTANT: Don’t do this step until you reach your port of entry.

I opened up the app and hit “Submit” while we were waiting to disembark. Tip: if you don’t get a confirmation after hitting submit, try turning off wifi.

After you hit submit, you will get a digital receipt that shows a QR code and the photo of each traveler.  Once you have that, you’re golden.  You can skip past the passport scanning kiosks at your port of entry and now you can be the one getting glares from all the other passengers!

travel app must have

travel app
I am a 40-something lawyer and mom of 3 teenage girls. I love exploring new places, and when I can't be on the road, I'm planning my next trip. Over the years, I've learned a lot about how to travel in a pack of five. Our trips range from budget-friendly road trips with the family, to more luxurious trips for work, either solo or with my husband, Kenny.

2 Replies to “The One Travel App You Must Have”

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