Identity document verification confirms the legitimacy of an identity document such as a passport, a national identity card, a driving licence, etc. By carrying out a series of automatic or manual checks in order to verify the authenticity of the document in question. This verification includes checking the documents’ integrated security features.
For maximum efficiency, identity documents should be checked by professionals trained in forgery detection.
Verification can be carried out:
Identity document verification is not a recent practice.
Identity documents have been photocopied, scanned, faxed and checked for decades by companies collecting them through ad hoc procedures.
But in practice, these procedures differ from those offered by specialist companies and particularly those offered by IDCheck.io in terms of customer experience, expertise and capacity to detect false documents effectively.
When a document is submitted to a verification service, an automatic processing chain is executed:
The document type may be recognised automatically. Otherwise, it must be indicated to the service before verification begins.
Information on the document holder and the document itself is extracted from the document
This is the verification step itself during which we check the security features of the document
A verification report is produced. The results of the analysis are sent back to the client.
While most online businesses are not legally required to check the identity of their customers, they may need to do so all the same to combat fraud more effectively.
Some sectors are constrained by regulations, such as financial services, online gambling or any activity that is legally required to check the age of its customers.
Identity document checks can confirm details that are essential to respond to KYC (Know Your Customer), AML (Anti-Money Laundering), PEP (Politically Exposed Person) and CFT (Countering the Financing of Terrorism) requirements.
Many documents can be used to prove a customer’s identity, such as an identity card, citizenship card, passport, visa, residence permit, driving license or even professional cards such as flight attendants’ cards.
In general, these are documents issued by a trusted authority (generally a government or a recognised international organisation, though the task can indeed be delegated) that contain the identity of the holder (full name, date of birth, possibly parentage, address, etc.) and biometric information (photo, fingerprints etc.) enabling the identity to be linked to the individual.
An identity document is issued following a carefully designed and checked process that aims to ensure the document is produced in the name of the right person and given to the right person. This process is naturally subject to attacks from criminals who try to use fraud to obtain identity documents containing their biometric characteristics associated with an invented identity or, even more seriously, the identity of an existing person (see identity theft).
Commonly used identity documents also vary from one country to another. In some countries, possession of an identity document (passport or identity card) is mandatory, while in others it is not. In some countries, there are no identity cards. Each country’s situation displays wide contrasts even within Europe.
There are many techniques for securing identity documents and it is not unusual for a single document to implement dozens of features to deter or impede criminal activity. Here we will present just a few types and principles – hundreds of pages would be required to describe them all in detail.
Found on many documents, this strip of one to three lines of characters, using chevrons to fill in the blank spaces, contains information from that very document in coded form. This includes the holder’s identity, date of birth, document expiry date, document number, etc. It also has the advantage of containing several checksums that can provide additional useful checks.
Whether it is fluorescent, fugitive, iridescent, metallic, optically variable, photochromic, penetrating or thermochromic, ink plays a very important role in securing an identity document.
The use of special fonts that cannot be found in the public domain is an additional security feature.
Bar codes have been appearing on identity documents for several years. First one-dimensional, they are now two-dimensional, often in PDF417 format. The 2D-DOC code invented by ARIADNEXT has been presented to the ICAO and studies are being carried out on its adoption for some identity documents.
The methods used to print the document background or personalise the document are important security features, even though it is often difficult to verify them with the naked eye: offset, intaglio printing, typography, screen printing for the background, inkjet or laser printing, or thermal transfer for personalisation.
Printing a text extremely small, difficult to reproduce precisely enough with a traditional printer, is a fairly effective security feature.
Embedded into the body of a polycarbonate card or the cover of a passport, an electronic chip adds a high level of security to the document in addition to the extra features it provides (such as the possibility of checking the holder’s fingerprints).
This category includes patterns sensitive to ultraviolet light, patterns that disappear under infrared light, holograms, fluorescent plates, etc.
Depending on the quality of the images uploaded for analysis, the IDCheck.io service uses security checking algorithms that can verify the most relevant security features.