6 Best ID Scanners: Top Picks for Every Need

Best ID Scanners for Your Business Need

Believe it or not, ID scanners can make or break your business.

Today’s digital landscape has allowed fraudsters to create flawless fake IDs that can slip through the ID scanner without raising alarm. Such inadequate ID scanner devices with fewer security measures may lead businesses into legal compliance and penalties.

ID scanners have versatile uses for businesses. From verifying age, which is their primary function, to preventing identity theft and online fraud.

A robust ID scanner app can safeguard your business by preventing unauthorized access, or making illicit transactions, or restricting them to buy age-restricted products.

Before presenting you with the list of best ID scanners (at the bottom), we will explore what ID scanners are, how they work, why your business needs one, and how to choose the best one for your business.

Let’s begin.

What Are ID Scanners?

An ID scanner device is an electronic device that automatically extracts data using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software or a barcode scan and displays this data on the system.

ID scanners can be of various types such as barcode scanners, magnetic stripe scanner, smart card, and RFID chip reader.

Devices such as barcode scanners simply capture the data from 1D or 2D barcodes and print it on a touchscreen.

The ID scanning software instantly fetches personally identifiable information (PII) from ID documents such as government IDs, passports, driver’s licenses, military IDs, voter IDs, etc., provided by the client.

ID scanner machines have evolved over time, and now, the term is broader and applies to various solutions.

Depending upon the context of use, it can be an ID scanning software for desktops, ID scanner apps, or SDKs that allow you to scan and verify an ID via a mobile app or simply a handheld ID scanner.

Regulated businesses such as nightclubs, pubs and bars, tobacco/vape shops, liquor stores, casinos, etc., must strictly adhere to local, state, and federal laws. You should check the various ID scanning laws by state.

How Do ID Scanners Work?

How Do ID Scanners Work?

In general, ID scanner machines are often referred to as document readers. They work in conjunction with multiple components listed below.

ID Scanning: The first step involves scanning the image, detecting electronic coding and other security features of IDs under different light sources. The identity scanner reads barcodes, has a magnetic stripe reader, or both.

Data Extraction: All the text-based information is then automatically extracted using OCR software along with data encoded in barcodes, and chips.

Authentication: After performing multiple security checks, the ID scanner device displays the result on the screen.

The primary purpose of the identity scanner is to:

  • Identify the document type
  • Authenticate the data
  • Check the data validation against the government database

Why Does Your Business Need an ID Scanner?

ID verification is a validation procedure businesses use as part of broader KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) measures to prevent financial fraud and identity theft.

ID scanner software helps to check and accurately determine whether the proof of identity submitted is legitimate.

Let’s explore a few noteworthy benefits of an ID scanner app for businesses.

1. Enhanced Security

ID scanning solutions add an extra layer of security by accurately verifying individuals’ identities, whether they want to access building premises, open a bank account, purchase age-restricted products, or so on.

ID scanner apps or devices provide instant results in combating identity fraud, thus significantly reducing financial or identity risks.

2. Increased Efficiency

The ID scanning software can integrate with your existing system to optimize operation and data across every aspect of your business.

Additionally, it can also reduce wait times, eliminate the need for manual entry, spot suspicious/fake IDs, and allow staff to engage in other productive tasks.

3. Improved Compliance

Identity scanner solutions can help maintain compliance with various regulatory requirements.

The best ID scanners or document readers can read and identify several types of ID documents and conduct identity checks in accordance with local laws and regulations.

4. Data Accuracy

Technology can outperform human efforts when it comes to repetitive, tedious, and high-volume tasks. Information extracted through OCR technology remains precise, further simplifying operations.

5. Reduced Risk

Reducing fraud risk linked with underage individuals is the primary reason for businesses to have an ID scanner machine.

Sophisticated fake IDs crafted by professionals are on the rise and are hard to detect with the naked eye. An ID scanner for age verification can help determine whether these real lookalike IDs are fake.

ID Scanners: Best Use Cases

ID Scanners: Top Use Cases

The ID scanner market is segmented into two categories.

  • Stationary ID Scanner
  • Handheld ID Scanner

The former are fixed devices found usually at entrances, checkout points, or tabletop counters. The latter are designed to withstand high-volume environments, such as airports, nightclubs, events, etc.

Let’s discuss a few businesses where ID scanner devices are commonly used to verify individuals’ identities, prevent underage access, and maintain compliance.

1. Retailers

Retail establishments or convenience stores (c-stores) often employ identity scanner solutions for quick, easy, and precise verification of IDs.

The primary function is to verify a customer’s age and prevent the unauthorized sale of age-restricted products such as tobacco, alcohol, and lottery tickets.

These retail ID scanner devices usually employ a barcode or magnetic stripe reading technology to extract information such as name, date of birth, and address.

2. Bars & Clubs

Heavily crowded business venues such as bars, clubs, and taverns must use ID scanners for age verification.

As a part of compliance and regulations, these establishments must verify the identity and age of the individuals willing to enter the facility and order alcohol.

A handheld ID scanner or mobile ID scanner app can pave the way for bars and clubs to speed up operations with efficiency.

3. Event Organizers

From music events to conferences and trade shows, event organizers need help capturing and managing attendee data.

Event badge scanners, including QR codes, barcodes, or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips, help streamline operations, enhance attendee engagement, and provide valuable insights.

Event ID scanner solutions present benefits such as efficient lead capture, enhanced attendee tracking, real-time data and analytics, improved operational efficiency, networking opportunities, and increased ROI.

4. Financial Institutions

Banks and financial institutions see the highest implications of ID scanner software. These businesses must adhere to regulatory compliance, fraud prevention, KYC, AML, and customer identity protection.

One such regulation is the BSA (Bank Secrecy Act), which requires banks to verify customers’ identities and monitor their accounts for suspicious activities.

Identity scanners can help banks to accurately detect fake IDs and further restrict opening bank accounts, applying for loans or credit cards, or conducting illegal transactions.

5. Hospitals & Healthcare Providers

The healthcare industry is another regulated sector that must keep patients’ records safe and secure under HIPAA and other healthcare compliance.

Healthcare scanning solutions have wide applications, including data capture, confirming patients’ identities, administering safe medication, tracking medication and specimens, managing pharmaceutical inventory, and more.

Handheld ID scanners can even prove effective in patient admissions, bedside patient care, medication or meal delivery, and much more.

How to Choose the Best ID Scanner for Your Business?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the best ID scanner for your business.

The scanning solutions allow enterprises to handle multiple functions such as retail operations, warehouse management, bank account opening, customer onboarding, verifying age for age-restricted products, and much more.

Identity scanners are usually fast and accurate, ensuring convenience, boosting customer experience, and ensuring age restriction where applicable.

Here’s how you can choose the best ID card scanner.

1. Identify Your Needs

Different businesses have different scanning needs. ID scanning software comes in all shapes, sizes, and features.

For example, airports need to scan passports, visas, or permit cards, thus requiring an ID scanner device to read MRZ (machine-readable zone). Similarly, a convenience store needs to verify a driver’s license to comply with age-legal requirements.

To begin with, ask the following three questions to identify the best ID scanner for your needs.

  • What type of IDs will you be scanning?
  • What functionalities are essential?
  • Do you need a movable/handheld ID scanner, countertop, or standalone?
  • How many scans will you need to perform daily/weekly?
  • Can the scanner store and retrieve data?

2. Integration

Even the best ID scanner machines will not increase productivity if they cannot be integrated with your existing system.

Compatibility with your existing hardware and software is another factor to consider when purchasing an ID scanning machine.

Go for the one that works seamlessly with your existing network and all the other devices.

3. Cost

Another important aspect is the cost of ID scanner software. The price may vary depending on features, size, portability, durability, scanning range, etc.

Thus, it’s crucial to find a scanner that’s falling within your budget while still satisfying your business needs.

4. Ease of Use

Just because you found the best ID card scanner app doesn’t mean it’s easy and straightforward to use.

The device should scan IDs quickly and accurately. It should also have a clear and large display screen and the facility to set an alarm sound to easily identify underage and fake IDs.

5. Data Management

Authorities may ask a few establishments to show and/or send data for audit and other purposes.

Amid such a situation, if your ID scanning solution only reads and displays details then your business may have face consequences.

Investing in an ID scanner device with built-in memory is best for storing the data for future reference.

Best ID Scanners for 2024

Here are some recommended ID scanners suitable for every need. Our focus is to ensure that these devices go above and beyond your business’ needs. We have curated the list based on criteria such as accuracy, ease of use, speed, compatibility, cost, size and portability, customer support and data security.

Here are a few trusted names in ID scanning technology:

1. FTx Identity

Uses advanced facial recognition for accurate identity verification and offers online and in-store sign-ups. FTx Identity verifies users in the app (with a selfie and facial recognition) and allows the establishment to accept this created profile for verifications online or in-store.

FTx Identity is the best solution for e-commerce age verifications, for stores that sell online and in-store, for accepting mobile IDs as verification, and for selfie-based verifications. Many brands also use FTx Identity for scan data age verification, to qualify for tobacco manufacturer incentives. Bottom line, FTx Identity is an ideal ID scanner for liquor stores and tobacco shops, and age-restricted retail.

2. Age Visor

A contactless solution from Tokenworks, in which users wave their ID in front of a scanner. This is ideal for businesses that need to check ID to enforce age restrictions, such as bars and nightclubs. And the contactless set-up works well for high-volume establishments.

3. IDVisor

Another option from Tokenworks, IDVisor is a handheld ID scanner that verifies government-issued IDs. Simply point-and-shoot, and the ID details appear on the screen. Quickly extracts age, displays if the ID is expired, and shows address and name details on the mobile device. A useful option for bars and liquor stores.

4. IDWare 9000 Plus

This point-and-shoot scanner is cost effective, and a useful ID scanner for door staff. The scanner works great, as the card doesn’t have to leave the user’s hand. Just point and scan the barcode. Plus, it compares IDs to on-file ID documents to verify against fake IDs. Great for high-volume establishments.

5. Minor Decliner

Specifically designed to identify and deny access to minors. This is ideal for businesses that need to strictly enforce age restrictions. The company offers a variety of options, including a contactless countertop-based scanner, as well as mobile app scanners.

6. IDetect

A budget-friendly ID scanner, IDetect offers handheld and ID scanner machines. The mobile handheld displays information, including age, expiration, and state, making it easier for bars and nightclubs to quickly verify patrons. Also includes a countertop barcode reader for retail applications.

Wrapping Up

The global ID scanner market will scale in the future with the integration of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. This will enable ID scanner devices to be more efficient in verifying individuals’ identities and reducing fraud.

Recently, the best ID scanners in the market have been those with mobile ID scanner apps, which allow for greater flexibility in industries such as banking, healthcare, bars and clubs, etc.

Compact designs and lightweight and durable scanners with enhanced security features are the few developmental aspects manufacturers consider.

  • Best ID Scanners
  • ID scanner app
  • ID scanner devices
  • ID scanner software


Not all ID scanner devices in the market can detect fake IDs. Fraudsters can easily acquire cross reference from digital footprint available on the internet. Thus, ID checks are easy to falsify.

Various factors, such as features, storage capacity, size, etc., play a part in deciding the cost. However, the average price of an ID scanner machine usually starts from $500.

Most ID scanners for age verification are easy to use. Choose one that requires minimal training and set-up. You must also check whether it comes with customer support, just in case you need help later.

Various types of ID scanners are available, each with a unique set of capabilities. Some common ones are Barcode Scanners, Magnetic Stripe Scanners, Smart cards, and RFID Scanners.

There could be numerous reasons for an ID scanner not reading an ID. First, check if the scanner is not malfunctioning or giving you a good read sign, such as a beep or vibration.

If the ID scanner device works fine, it could be one of the following reasons.

  • The photo in the ID must be blurry
  • There is too much glare or reflection on the ID
  • The background of your ID and where you placed it have a similar color.