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Sweetgrass using facial recognition software as ports along Montana-Canada border prepare for reopening

The Sweetgrass Port of Entry is the only port in Montana using facial recognition technology to speed up arrivals.

The saying is that a picture is worth a thousand words. And with today’s technology, a picture can mean speedy processing at the Sweetgrass Port of Entry at the Montana-Canadian border.

Sweetgrass on Interstate 15 north of Shelby is the only port in Montana using the biometric facial comparison technology — or facial recognition — system known as Simplified Arrival. A traveler at the pedestrian lanes at Sweetgrass or undergoing processing for their I-94 admission form will have their picture taken and compared to a photo from a passport or visa.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the facial recognition technology has been in use since 2018 at other ports and is more than 98% accurate.

Simplified Arrival will get a workout come Monday, Nov. 8, at Sweetgrass when it and the other ports of entry along Montana’s border with Canada reopen to non-essential travelers for the first time since March 2020.