ID parsing

ID and passport parsing can streamline data entry by taking the fields on an identity document and instantly ingesting them into your software.

The back of a drivers license being parsed into individual fields
ID parsing

Readable fields from an ID

The following are a list of available fields, which can be scanned and parsed from commonly issued drivers’ licenses and state-issued IDs.

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Middle name / middle initial
  • Street address
  • City
  • State
  • Zip code
  • Country
  • Issue date
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Hair color
  • Eye color
  • Height
  • Weight
  • License class / type
  • Expiration date
  • ID number
Sample global passport
Passport parsing

Readable fields from a passport

Machine readable zones (MRZ) on passports contain slightly less data due to limitations of the symbology. The following fields can be parsed from most global passports.

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Middle name / middle initial
  • Country of issue
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Sex / gender
  • Passport number
  • Expiration date

How ID & passport parsing works

Developers for thousands of global organizations use our ID parsing SDKs and APIs to scan IDs.

1
Scan the ID or passport

Our ID scanning technology will autofocus on the 2D barcode or MRZ for a crisp, rapid scan.

Identity integration cog icon

2
Barcode converts to raw data

Our technology turns the barcode data or machine readable data into a text string.

ID parsing icon

3
Parse the data

Import and classify the ID or passport data and sort it into the correct text or numerical fields inside your application.

ID parsing

Build vs. buy

Many businesses attempt to build their own ID parser, and it’s true: reading 2D barcodes and MRZs is relatively straightforward.

However, there are between 10 and 40 new ID formats launched each year in the US alone. Not all of these new IDs conform to AAMVA standards. Maintaining a parser that is capable of reading all valid identity documents is time consuming and challenging. Your in-house parser will need several example documents before it can successfully read and analyze each new format.

The IDScan.net ID parser scans and analyzes millions of IDs weekly, ensuring that we have the most up-to-date document library and new formats are added in near realtime.

New ID formats

We push updates that include new document formats as frequently as twice per month. This ensures you always are compatible with the latest drivers licenses and IDs.

Non-AAMVA compliance

Not all jurisdictions properly follow AAMVA standards when new IDs are released and it can be challenging to integrate IDs which have non-compliant barcodes or security features.

ID authentication

When paired with compatible hardware, our software is capable of detecting up to 95% of fake IDs.

Learn more →

iOS device scanning a drivers license
Apple application logo

iOS ID parsing integration


How do I add ID & passport parsing to my iOS application?

Our ID scanning SDK for iOS will allow you to turn the built-in camera on an iPhone or iPad into an ID scanner, capable of reading 2D barcodes on IDs and passport MRZs. You will need to use both our camera scanning SDK (to allow the camera to read IDs) and the ID parsing SDK (to convert the barcode into readable data).


Can I use this SDK inside a web-based application?

If you are scanning IDs in-browser or inside a web app, we recommend our DIVE API, which provides a near turnkey solution that can be embedded inside your existing workflows. DIVE API performs both scanning, parsing, and 2D barcode security.


Android application logo

Android ID scanning integration


How do I add ID & passport scanning to my Android application?

In order to receive a License Key for our Android ID scanning SDK send an email to support@idscan.net with the Package Name. Please be sure to provide your order number in the email once ready to upgrade from trial to production mode.


Can I use this SDK inside a web-based application?

If you are scanning IDs in-browser or inside a web app, we recommend our DIVE API, which provides a near turnkey solution that can be embedded inside your existing workflows.


ID scanning using an Android device
ID scanning hardware
ID parsing

Using specialty hardware


What hardware can I use to parse IDs and passports?

For the fastest, most efficient scanning, you can integrate ID parsing with any of our best-in-class ID scanning hardware. These devices are purpose-built to achieve fast, accurate scans using specialty lasers and cameras.

In order to read both IDs and passports you will need to utilize a flatbed scanner such as the QS2000, AT9000, or AT10K.


What are the benefits of using a dedicated scanner vs. a mobile device?

Specialty ID and passport scanners come with a host of benefits.

  • Dedicated hardware is high performant and designed for high volume environments.
  • Specialty ID scanners can perform ID authentication.
  • Purpose-built ID scanners are capable of performing image capture, which allows you to ingest an image of the ID or individual alongside the scanned data.
  • Dedicated hardware provides increased legitimacy, as many customers do not want to have their ID scanned by what they perceive may be a personal device.

Benefits of ID parsing

ID and passport parsing saves time, saves manpower, reduces errors, and increases compliance.

Reduce typos

Eliminate typos by parsing ID data directly from the scanned ID with 100% accuracy.

Compliance requirements

Meet compliance requirements for many business types that require digital ID scanning.

Easy logging, tracking

Save and export scan logs which show a full history of each scanned ID or passport.

Save time

Eliminate the need to manually type fields from the ID, and instead ingest them instantly.

ID & parsing scanning FAQ

How does ID parsing work?

ID parsing simply reads barcodes and translates all the data stored in a barcode into readable data, matched to fields inside your system. It works on 2D barcodes (PDF417) and passport MRZs.


Does ID parsing use OCR?

Some ID scanning applications attempt to ingest data on the front of the ID using optical character recognition (OCR), however due to the large number of formats this is not recommended. Parsing the data stored in the 2D barcode on the back of the ID results in far greater accuracy and faster scan time.


What type of camera is needed for parsing?

It is recommended that you use a camera that is at least 5 Megapixels or higher. Most mobile phone camera exceed the required standard.


Are there differences between parsing an ID and a passport?

There are several small differences. The barcode is on the back of an ID, so it will need to be flipped over, while a passport MRZ is exposed directly under the text on the first page of the passport. Passport MRZs also store quite a bit less data, so the fields will need to be mapped differently into your application.


What is the difference between ID scanning and ID parsing?

The ID scanning SDK will essentially turn a mobile device into a scanning device. It is ideal for use cases where specialty scanning hardware cannot be used and users will be scanning IDs with their phone or tablet. ID parsing takes the information captured in the ID scan and turns it into digestible data that can be used in form fields or a database.


Which types of IDs can you scan?

Our technology is capable of parsing all US drivers’ licenses and state-issued IDs, as well as all government IDs. It also works on most Canadian IDs, military IDs, and some Canadian healthcare cards. It can also scan the MRZ on passports for all countries globally. It does not work on QR codes, magstripes, or RFID chips.

View our compatible document library →


Can you provide example projects which utilize your ID parser?

Identity verification developer tools

All of our identity verification and ID parsing tools can be licensed via SDK and API. They allow businesses of all sizes to integrate ID and passport scanning, face matching, third party checks, and more.

View our full library of available APIs and SDKs →

ID scanning

View our solutions that enable ID scanning using both Windows-based and handheld ID scanners.

Digital Identity Verification Engine (DIVE)

Remote identity proofing including ID validation, face match, and third party checks.

ID authentication

Take your ID scanning to the next level with ultraviolet and infrared forensic document analysis.

fintech customer scanning their ID using a mobile phone

Best-in-class ID parsing

Our ID parsing tools are updated multiple times each month to ensure the highest degree of document compatibility and superior parsing results.

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