The Government’s Automated Passport Control Program Will Help You Get Through Customs Faster

Waiting in a long line at customs is an annoying way to end your vacation, but if you have a US or Canadian passport and walk home, you can get through it faster with automated passport control software.

In addition to those with US or Canadian passports, if you are from one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program , you can also use the Automatic Passport Control (APC) program. You must be approved for the Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA) system and have visited the United States after 2008. You and all family members traveling with you can use the same kiosk together.

You will answer the same questions as on the Customs Declaration Form, scan your passport and fingerprints (if you qualify), verify your flight number, and take a photo. The machine will print you a receipt, which you will show (along with your passport) to the officer at the checkout. For a complete picture of how APC works, watch the video above provided by the Orlando Airport Authority.

You run the same risk as any automatic machine: the person in front of you does not know how to use it. But for a person caught in his fair share of very slow moving customs lines, the risk in this case is quite low, as the customs line is unlikely to be much faster.

You can find APC kiosks at most major airports including LAX, IAD, SFO, JFK, BOS, and ORD. There are even several international ones on the list, such as Dublin, Toronto and Abu Dhabi. See if your airport is listed using the link below.

Automated passport control


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