How to verify documents
Verification methods leverage the various types of security measures the different document categories contain.
Passports are very rich in security features and usually require the dedicated readers you see at border control.
Other ID documents are made of special paper or in ID-1 sized plastic card format. If the card contains a barcode, the holder’s data can (at minimum) be compared to the printed, human-readable data on the document itself. If it embeds a chip, you will likely gain access to chip data by providing an OCR-decoded string or another type of key; then you may verify the collected data – even a picture and/or a fingerprint – against the holder. Digital documents – such as the mDL (mobile Drivers’ License) in the U.S. – are the mobile, immaterial version of chip-inclusive ID documents, and they transmit digital data, when authorized, via NFC or barcode.
Finally, ID documents – even the ones with no barcode nor chip – can be scanned with white, infrared and/or ultraviolet light to leverage security features embedded in the printing such as watermarks, holograms, and font conformity. Machine learning technology is used to train verification engines and continually improve their ability to detect clues of possible fraud or forgery.