A Canadian man who forgot his passport has said that he managed to cross the border into the US using a copy of the document he had scanned on to his iPad.
Martin Reisch, from Montreal, presented the US border office with his digital device after realising near the border that he did not have his passport.
He said he told the official that he was heading to Vermont to deliver Christmas presents.
Mr Reisch said he knew that the officer had made an exception.
“I thought I’d at least give it a try,” Mr Reisch said, the Associated Press reports.
“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.”
The 33-year-old said he believed that the true story he told, as well as his driver’s licence, helped him get across the border to deliver the gifts last week.
Mr Reisch, who successfully managed to re-enter Canada later the same day, has said he will not forget his passport in the future.
However, he hopes one day scanned identification will become the norm.
“I see the future as 100% being able to cross with your identity on a digital device – it’s just a matter of time,” he said.
From 2009, Canadians need more than a driver’s licence as a form of identification for US land border crossings.
Canadian citizens can only enter the US at land crossings using a passport, an enhanced driver’s licence or a Nexus pass, the Canadian Border Services Agency advises.
There has not yet been any official comment from either border agency.