About the Thales (formerly 3M, formerly Gemalto) CR100 Passport/Document Reader

Passport laying on black background

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 04:01 pm

This post was updated on June 10, 2023.

The Thales CR100 ID & Passport Reader is a secure and reliable identity verification device developed by Thales (formerly Gemalto) specifically created for scanning passports and other MRZ documents. The CR100 is popular because it allows for swiping of an MRZ (machine readable zone), unlike other passport scanners which use a full-page flatbed.

The CR100 ID scanner is a compact and durable design that makes it ideal for use in a variety of environments, particularly travel environments such as airports, customs agents, border patrol, duty free shops, and airports.

The device is equipped with a high-resolution camera and advanced optical character recognition (OCR) technology, which allows it to accurately scan and read government-issued IDs, passports, and other secure documents.

Person swiping ID on a Thales CR100M

Identity documents compatible with the Thales CR100 Passport Reader

The Thales CR100 reader is capable of scanning and reading a variety of secure and government-issued documents that contain any of the three types of machine readable zones:

  • TD 1 – 3 line ID cards
  • TD2 – Certain visas and travel documents
  • TD3 2 line passport booklets


The CR100 was designed specifically to read passport MRZs quickly and efficiently. It can read full passport booklets in a single swipe. The user must scan the passport on the first page with the MRZ facing inward towards the scanning camera. The CR100 can then transmit the parsed data into databases or visitor management applications.

Passport cards

The CR100 is also capable of scanning smaller passport cards. Passport cards contain a smaller MRZ that has less data, but are still used for travel in certain scenarios. Thes

Magstripe (msr)

CR100M only. The CR100M is also capable of scanning magnetic stripes as used on credit cards. This makes the CR100M ideal for duty free shops where a passport and credit card are scanned in quick succession. Other cards which store information in a magstripe symbology can also be scanned using the CR100M, depending on the software it is integrated with.

It’s important to note that the specific types of documents that the CR100 reader is capable of scanning may vary depending the software being used. While the hardware has robust capabilities, in order to ingest the fields the software must have mappable fields.

What is the difference between the CR100 and the CR100M?

The CR100M is also capable of reading MSR (magstripe) which allows it so scan credit cards and other documents which use a magstripe symbology/

Security features of the CR100 and CR100M ID readers

In addition to its advanced verification capabilities, the CR100 reader is also equipped with a number of security features that protect against tampering and unauthorized access. The device is designed with a secure housing that is tamper-proof, and it also features encryption technologies that protect the data stored on the device. This helps to ensure that sensitive information is kept confidential and secure at all times.

Another benefit of the CR100 reader is its ease of use. The device is designed to be user-friendly, with a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy for operators to use. The CR100 reader is also designed to be portable, making it possible to use the device in a variety of locations and situations. This makes it an ideal solution for organizations that need to verify the identities of individuals in remote or unconventional locations, such as polling stations or disaster relief centers.

The CR100 reader is also highly customizable, with a range of options and configurations that allow organizations to tailor the device to meet their specific needs. For example, the device can be configured to work with a variety of different languages and scripts, making it possible to use the CR100 reader in a variety of different countries and regions.

Person scanning a passport on CR100M

In conclusion, the Thales CR100 passport reader is a secure, reliable, and user-friendly device that is designed to meet the demands of organizations that need to verify the identities of individuals in a variety of applications. With its advanced verification capabilities, secure design, and ease of use, the CR100 reader is an excellent choice for organizations looking to improve the security and efficiency of their identity verification processes.

The 3M CR100 Reader is a standalone USB-connected device that will read any MRZ encrypted passport or document.  Combined with our VeriScan or ParseLink software, you can quickly scan any passport and collect information including name, gender, date of birth, and nationality.  

Thales CR100 hardware driver

You can download the CR100 and CR100M hardware drivers on our hardware drivers page.