November 22, 2004
Which information is contained on a machine readable passport?

One reader asks a question more people should ask themselves as machine readable passports are rapidly becoming the standard identification documents for international travel, and as remotely readable biometric information is becoming the standard for entry to the US very soon: what information is contained within machine readable passports?

In its current form, machine readable passports generally have two lines of text that can be read using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). An example photo of a current MRP (Machine Readable Passport) can be seen on the pages here. The strips of text contains the holder's basic personal details, eg. name, date of birth, nationality and the passport number; i.e. nothing more than what an old-fashioned passport contains.

However, going forward, the next standard identification documents prepared by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) will contain photo (in JPEG2000 format), name, sex, date of birth, passport#, nationality, issuer, date of expiry, and more. Optional data includes iris and fingerprint-information: says one vendor preparing for the standardization:

It will include a contactless chip of at least 32 Kbytes of memory used to store biographic and biometric data and images. This data can then be instantly transferred in a contactless fashion to a passport reading system.

In order to achieve interoperability between all the passports and readers of the countries that use the e-passport, their manufacturers will rely on the implementation of international standards for compression and formatting of this biographic and biometric data. These standards are defined by ICAO, and will reference ISO SC 37 standards for biometrics.

ICAO has defined what they call the LDS or "logical data structure", which identifies the fields where biographic and biometric data will be placed on the chip in the e-passport. For example, "Data Group 1" holds the biographic data we typically associate with a passport, such as name, nationality, and date of birth. "Data Group 2" holds the "global interchange feature", a compressed facial image which will serve as the universal biometric. Datagroups 3 and 4 are intended for fingerprint and iris biometric images and data, respectively.

Further reading:

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If passport are only meant to be RFID read at checkpoints, then metallic covers could be specified. That should shield the RFID, until the booklet is opened. At least if the RDIF chip is placed near the center of the booklet.

The ICAO document said something about which page to use, but nothing about placement on the page.

What size is an RFID chip, anyway?

Posted by: Jan Egil Kristiansen on November 22, 2004 04:26 PM

Dear Sir
The Govt. of People’s Republic of Bangladesh has decided to introduce Machine Readable Passport (MRP), Machine Readable Visa (MRV) and Machine Readable National Identity Card (MRNID).
Please go through the attached file for detail information.
If you are interested to do this work, please get me back ASAP. We are a well-known Bangladeshi company doing Govt works and Govt. projects having good contacts with all ministries of Bangladesh.
Shantonu Islam
ECO Technologies Ltd
Sky View Bhaban, 1st Fl
150 Shantinagar, Dhaka-1217
Ph: 880-2-8361704, 8361869
Fax: 880-2-8311223

Posted by: Shantonu Islam on August 2, 2005 03:15 PM

i want you to send to me the circuit diagram,and more explanation.

Posted by: innocent agada on October 3, 2005 09:55 AM

i want you to send to me the circuit diagram,and more explanation.

Posted by: innocent agada on October 3, 2005 09:55 AM
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TrackBack URL for this entry: How does RFID work in schools? (March 1, 2005 03:21 PM)
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