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Canadian Man Forgets Passport, Uses iPad to Enter US

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US Customs and Border Patrol are a finicky, mercurial bunch.

I've had bags thoroughly searched on my way back from San Diego -- and mistakenly flagged a "security risk" flying out of Newark -- but was waved on through following my return flights from Bolivia and England. Similarly, crossing the Canadian border into Maine at 6:15 AM on a Sunday warranted a full vehicle inspection complete with a popped trunk and a couple sniffs from a K-9 unit.

The border patrolman was almost disappointed that I was clean.

So when I hear that another US border agent granted a Canadian man access to the US with a scanned photo of his passport on an iPad (AAPL), I think, "And how many legitimate forms of ID did the DMV reject when I tried to renew my driver's license?"

According to the Associated Press, Montreal resident Martin Reisch forgot his passport on his way into the States from Quebec. Rather than driving the two hours back home to retrieve his necessary identification, Reisch rolled the dice and presented a scanned copy of his passport on his iPad to the border agent. He claimed that it, along with his driver's license, was sufficient paperwork to gain access into Canada the previous week.

Then again, so is a copy of Strange Brew.

"I thought I'd at least give it a try," Reisch told AP. "He took the iPad into the little border hut. He was in there a good five, six minutes. It seemed like an eternity. When he came back he took a good long pause before wishing me a Merry Christmas."

Reisch said he's not taking any chances in the future and will always keep his passport when crossing the US-Canada border. However, he -- like many others -- foresees a point when our main forms of identification will be presented on a digital device.

That's not too surprising. When Google Wallet (GOOG), PayPal (EBAY), Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), and Square are making our money accounts easily accessible on our phones -- and retailers like Starbucks (SBUX) introduce mobile payment options -- it's only a matter of time before we're handing over our citizenship and certification to drive on an iPhone.

But we'll still have to be shoeless when doing so.

(See also: Apple Will Become "Uncool" in 2012, Predicts Analyst and Apple's Headed for a Fall, Says Former Exec)

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