Checking the information on the Passport
When you are reviewing a passport you have to check the following information and make sure it matches the information in the application.
- Date of birth (DOB)
- Expiry date
- Passport number
- Microdots match the passport number
- Photograph (although we cannot match this to the application, we do have to make sure there is one and that it matches the person in the selfie)
TIP: The microdots appear on each page of the passport. They are tiny holes created by laser to spell out the passport number. These are difficult to fake. If these are in the image, always check if this number matches the passport number
Any additional information that is on a passport (like a middle name) needs to be added to the application.
Checking the authenticity of a passport
Certain factors on a passport can prove its authenticity.
- Watermarks and Holograms
- Many passports have holograms or watermarks that are security features that prove the passport is real.
- The font needs to be consistent throughout the document and has to match the font on the sample passports in our database or on document checker.
- Passports must be in color but the color must be correct to prove a passport is not faked
- Many passports have microprinting on the passport to prove authenticity.
- We need to see the passport is actually a physical document and not a printout.
- Passports, unless very recently issued, should have a degree of wear and tear. People put them in their wallets or pull them in and out of cases. This creates a certain degree of wear on the passport.
- If the passport was issued a long time ago but there is no wear and tear (in other words if it is in pristine condition) this is somewhat suspicious.
- The microdots that appear at the top of each page need to match the passport number.
- When a user takes a photograph of a passport, it is expected that there will be shadows in the image. it is important that these shadows are in the expected places.
- When parts of the passport have been altered there will be a mismatch between the information on the passport and the information coded in the MRZ
For tier 1 we do not collect US passports. Instead, we request a state ID. To see more about US-specific issues, please see the dedicated article.
Reviewing the MRZ
When you review a passport you have to match the information within the passport to the information in the MRZ. All this information has to match the information in the application.
To read the MRZ please see the following article.
MRZ Exceptions: Russian Domestic Passports
Sometimes the information in a Russian domestic passport MRZ may be unusual. Here is how to read these special exceptions.