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Check Identity document genuiness

Collect additional documents to authenticate your users: identity documents, proof of address, authorisations, etc.

Verify the identity of your customers remotely

Identity document verification confirms the legitimacy and authenticity of an identity document such as a passport, national identity card or driving licence by carrying out a series of checks.

This includes checking the security features of the documents. For maximum effectiveness, identity documents should be checked by professionals trained in the techniques of detecting false documents.

With the Internet and remote customer registration, online document fraud has increased. States and organisations, which issue identity documents, have always used security techniques to combat identity fraud. But sometimes this is not enough. Fraudsters are developing increasingly sophisticated techniques.

How can an identity document be checked?

  • Based on the identity document itself. Wherever possible, this approach should be preferred as it allows for more accurate checks and the use of specialised tools (e.g. ultraviolet light).

  • Based on one or more images of the document. This is the most common approach when the check is carried out remotely (e.g. during an online verification). Or when verification is delegated to a centralised team of specialists.

Evolution of ID document check

  • Identity documents have always been checked by the companies that collect them through ad hoc procedures (photocopied, scanned, faxed)
  • From now on, document control can also be done remotely and instantly. To be secure, a visible 2D-DOC electronic stamp can be affixed to the documents.
  • The evolution of document control has over time been divided into two categories: documents with structured data (permits, passports, identity cards, etc.), and documents with unstructured data (invoices, iban, etc.).

How does document verification work?

When a document is submitted to a verification service, a set of automatic processing steps is performed. The following 4 steps are used in our identity document check.

1. Document classification

Without any input from the user, our services will automatically identify the exact model of the identity document.

2. Data extraction

The data on the document holder will be extracted from the different zones: visible part, MRZ, photos…

3. Document checks

In unit mode, or in file mode, several security checks are carried out: visual, business, consistency, blacklist.

4. Automated and real-time response

A verdict is given, together with a test report which is returned to the customer in less than 12 seconds.

Why use an identity document checker?

While most online businesses are not legally required to check the identity of their customers, they may need to do so all the same to combat fraud more effectively.

Some sectors are constrained by regulations. Such as financial services, online gambling or any activity that is legally required to check the age of its customers.

Identity document checker can confirm details that are essential to comply with regulations, such as KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering), PEP (Politically Exposed Person) and CFT (Countering the Financing of Terrorism) requirements.

Identity documents supported

Many documents can be used to prove identity:

  • ID card
  • passport
  • visa
  • residence permit
  • driving licence
  • professional card…

These documents are usually issued by a trusted authority, such as a government or a recognised international organisation, or sometimes by a delegated entity.

The documents contain the identity of the holder: surname, first name, date of birth, address, etc. The documents contain the identity of the holder: surname, first name, date of birth, address, etc., as well as biometric information (photo, fingerprints, etc.) which allows the identity to be linked to the individual.

ID document checker: An effective way to fight fraud

An identity document is issued following a carefully designed and checked process. Indeed, it aims to ensure that the document is produced on behalf of the right person and given to the right person.

This process is naturally subject to attacks by criminals who attempt to use fraud. Their purpose is to obtain identity documents containing their biometric characteristics associated with an invented identity or, even more importantly, the identity of an existing person (identity theft).

Commonly used identity documents also vary from one country to another. In some countries, possession of an identity document (passport or identity card) is mandatory, while in others it is not. Each country’s situation displays wide contrasts even within Europe.

Most common identity documents



Identity Card

Identity Card

Residence Permit

Residence Permit

Driving license

Driving license

Health Insurance Card

Health Insurance Card

Other supporting documents

Other Documents

Security features of identity documents

There are many techniques for securing identity documents. And it is not unusual for a single document to implement many features to discourage or hinder criminal activity. That is why we will just present here the main security features.

MRZ (Machine-Readable Zone)

Found on many documents, the MRZ represents the strip of one to three lines of characters. Chevrons are used to fill in the blank spaces. The strip contains the document information in coded form. This includes the holder’s identity, date of birth, document expiry date, document number, etc. It also has the advantage of containing several checksums that can provide additional useful checks.

Special inks

Whether it is fluorescent, fugitive, iridescent, metallic, optically variable, photochromic, penetrating or thermochromic, ink plays a very important role in securing an identity document.

Special fonts

The use of special fonts that cannot be found in the public domain is an additional security feature.

Bar codes or 2D bar codes

Bar codes have been used on identity documents for several years. First one-dimensional, they are now two-dimensional, often in PDF417 format. The 2D-DOC code invented by ARIADNEXT by IDnow has been presented to the ICAO and studies are being carried out on its adoption for some identity documents.

Printing methods

The methods used to print the document background or personalise the document are important security features. Even though it is often difficult to verify them with the naked eye : offset, intaglio printing, typography, screen printing for the background, inkjet or laser printing, or thermal transfer for personalisation.


Printing a text extremely small, difficult to reproduce precisely enough with a traditional printer. It is a fairly effective security feature.

Embedding a contact or contactless chip

Embedded into the body of a polycarbonate card or the cover of a passport, an electronic chip adds a high level of security to the document. It also provides extra features such as the possibility of checking the holder’s fingerprints.

Elements that respond with special lighting or at a specific angle

This category includes patterns sensitive to ultraviolet light, patterns that disappear under infrared light, holograms, fluorescent plates, etc.
Depending on the quality of the images uploaded for analysis, the service uses algorithms to verify the most relevant security features.


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