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Best passport scanners

Person placing passport into black bag

Last updated on December 4th, 2023 at 02:55 pm

Passport scanners are an essential tool for businesses that need to verify identity. They are the preferred tool for bars, nightclubs, and dispensaries which serve a global clientele and regularly need to scan documents other than driver’s licenses. They are also used

Having the ability to scan passports provides flexibility for customers who may not have a driver’s license or ID. A passport is often used as a backup identification document when someone loses their wallet.

Additionally, post-pandemic, travel has rebounded. Border restrictions have been lifted and international travel has grown due to years of pent-up demand. International travel, border crossings, and international identity verification all requires passport scanning.

Here’s our top picks for passport scanners to help you quickly scan passports, parse data stored inside the passport MRZ, and verify identity quickly and securly.

Best overall passport scanner | Thales (formerly Gemalto) AT10K

The Thales AT10K is a full-page passport and document reader with a flatbed. It is the best-in-class passport scanning device, designed to meet the needs to high security environments such as border management, banking, hospitality, and travel. The desktop passport scanner is perfect for those locations needing to capture and authenticate passports, green cards, and other print identity documents. While it does capture passports, it can also authenticate driver’s licenses as well, so you’ll be able to scan passports in addition to catching fake IDs with ID authentication.

The AT10K is efficient from a business perspective, but also a customer perspective. With built in LED “landing lights”, customers are easily guided to proper placement of documents upon the scanner, as well as a green signal when they are able to remove their document from the scanner. The anti-glare technology is able to reduce document reflections and ambient light so that the images are captured with as much accuracy as possible, making it the perfect option for kiosks, airport eGates, cruise terminals and more.

Read more about the AT10K here.

Best countertop passport scanner | IDWare Falcon

We created the IDWare Falcon tablet passport and ID scanner specifically to help customers looking to create a countertop check-in solution. It is perfect for those establishments that need accuracy, but also mobility. A fantastic feature of the IDWare Falcon is that it can either be mounted on a stand for a desktop solution, or you can attach the hand strap and it instantly becomes a mobile solution for scanning passports on the go. This passport scanner can also be used on or offline which makes it a great option for those with spotty WiFi. 

The IDWare Falcon has a whopping 8 LCD inch screen, and the built-in scanner is able to read 1D and 2D barcodes, PDF417, NFC and MRZs. This makes it especially good for those businesses that get a lot of international visitors that may not have a United States driver’s license. The built in VeriScan ID scanning software comes with visitor management, which lets you classify patrons into categories such as VIPs, frequent guests, and banned individuals. It is important to note, however, that while the IDWare Falcon is able to scan, validate, and verify the age and expiration date of an identification document, it is unable to authenticate identity documents. So if you need a scanner that will authenticate documents, there might be better options out there for your business. 

Best affordable passport scanner | Unitech SwiftScan TS200

Unitech recently released the next generation of its TS-series Windows-compatible ID scanners. While the TS100 was known for easy setup and lightning-fast ID scanning, it lacked passport-scanning capabilities. The latest iteration, the SwiftScan TS200 offers full-page passport scanning in addition to ID and drivers licenses reading capabilities.

The TS200 is a passport scanner designed to lower the barrier to entry with a low up-front cost. It also does not require a hardware driver, allowing customers to simply plug in the scanner and easily connect it to their ID scanning hardware. However, the device does not include image capture functionality, so images of the ID cannot be imported into the software.

Best passport scanner for authenticating global documents | Regula 7017

Another solid desktop solution is the IDWare 7017. This scanner is another option that is able to scan passports, green cards, visas, driver’s licenses, etc., as well as RFIDs with an available upgrade. This scanner is able to automatically detect documents when they are placed upon the flatbed surface. The passport scanner then captures images in white illumination mode and the data is sent for further processing via SDK.

This is a great option for those businesses that get a lot of customers with international driver’s licenses, but not necessarily passports. It is able to scan the international IDs with VeriScan Global. The only downside is the relatively large profile, meaning you need desktop space to accommodate this passport scanner.

Best handheld passport scanner | Unitech PA768

A great option for a handheld scanner is the PA 768. Similar to the Falcon, it has the capability to scan both driver’s licenses and passports, and features an extended run time. This device can be used both on or offline which can be an essential function for companies delivering age restricted products, or even for bouncers that are too far away from the Wi-Fi inside. This scanner also has the built in VeriScan visitor management system, so if the classification of patrons into categories such as VIPs, frequent guests, and banned individuals is an important feature, this is another great option for you. This is an easy handheld option for those that will be holding the scanner for hours on end. For those businesses that need to verify age such as bars, nightclubs, etc., this is and ideal solution.

Best Passport Swiper | Thales CR100

The Thales CR100 is a popular passport scanner choice due to its easy, swipe functionality. The passport MRZ symbology is printed on the bottom of the passport page, and the CR100 is configured to pick up, read, and parse the data from inside the MRZ during the course of a rapid swipe. The CR100M also contains a magstripe reader, which allows it to do double duty as a credit card reader.

However, the CR100 cannot capture images, authenticate documents, or scan IDs. It is a fantastic device for high volume passport reading, but is limited in its capabilities beyond that core function.

Need help choosing the right passport scanner for you?

Whether you are a bank needing to authenticate the passport of your newest international client, or a bar on the Vegas strip trying to verify someone’s age before allowing them in for a night of fun, the options above provide a range of functionality that will work for any business. If you still need more guidance and information before making your final decision, be sure to contact one of our industry experts, and we will be more than happy to help you make the best decision for your business.