I'm a US citizen and need to go from the USA to Canada and back for a funeral. My passport's at home and not with me but I have an iPhone pic of my passport. Can I use this and my driver's license to cross borders? Also I have an iPhone pic of my birth certificate.

  • Are you driving? – phoog Aug 21 at 4:28
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    I love the innocence radiating from this question. Look, I know you are an honest person but this world is full of less honest folk who would fake a passport if this would be a thing. In reality, your passport contains more than a few security features to avoid forgery and none of them work when looking at your iPhone -- that's the very of point of them, to avoid copying. gizmodo.com/… – chx Aug 21 at 6:08
  • If someone is at home you can have your passport overnight shipped to you. That's less than $20 – Hilmar Aug 21 at 11:23

Unfortunately, no. Pictures on an iPhone of travel documents are not travel documents and won't be accepted. It's possible they could help get you back into the US as a citizen (after a long process at the border), but not to start your trip. You need the actual documents.

One possibility: if your driver's license is an "Enhanced Driver's License" issued by a couple of states, that will work for crossing the land US-Canada land border (not if you're flying).

Otherwise, you could have someone send you your passport from your home with overnight shipping.

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    "Unfortunately, no." Fortunately, no. Otherwise forging them would be way too easy. – Mast Aug 21 at 8:35
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    @Mast Unfortunately for the OP, and there's honestly no good reason an electronic passport couldn't work between two closely allied countries that share databases like the US and Canada, but yes, fortunately for the overall system as it is today. – Zach Lipton Aug 21 at 8:41
  • @ZachLipton: Actually, if one was to accept storage of biometrics signatures by the US/Canadian governments, then the very concept of passports would become useless. Just scan hands/eyes at the border, check claimed identity vs database, go on your way. – Matthieu M. Aug 21 at 10:11
  • @MatthieuM. Ha, and there goes the forging of irises using (expensive, intricate) lenses, and we all know the simple wax-on trick for fingerprints. – rubenvb Aug 21 at 10:13
  • @rubenvb: If you can forge fingerprints and irises, shouldn't you be in position to either forge a passport or use a stolen passport with forged fingerprints/irises? No system is perfect, which is why there are so many custom officers I guess. – Matthieu M. Aug 21 at 10:20

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