What Is an MRZ Code? How Is It Used In Identity Verification?

What Is a MRZ Code?

Passport verification is evolving. Now, digital tools are being used to scan and verify passports, thanks to MRZ codes.

What is an MRZ code?

The machine-readable zone (MRZ) code is an encrypted code that’s added to passports. It contains vital information that scanning machines can read, making it easier, safer and faster to verify passports.

To help you understand the importance of MRZ codes, we’re looking at how MRZ codes work, their advantages, and why MRZ codes are becoming increasingly important in today’s business environment.

How Does MRZ Code Work?

What Is An MRZ Code?

MRZ codes are bits of encrypted personal data found in the final two-three lines of an ID document. The technology, which is present in travel documents like passports and visas, is largely related to immigration security checks.

The value of an MRZ, also known as the checksum, is transmitted by the machine-readable characters in it, which decodes the personal data for identity validation and security checks. Machine-readable passports improve document verification, and make background checks more secure, helping to meet strict immigration verification requirements.

How Does It Work?

The passport identity page is divided into two sections: the Visual Inspection Zone (VIZ), which includes the passport owner’s photo and personal information that humans can understand. The Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ), which is located at the bottom of the page, is encoded with private information that only a machine can decipher.

Optical character recognition (OCR) technology is used as the MRZ code reader. A machine can read and decipher printed characters, such as those on the machine-readable zone code, thanks to OCR technology.

The data on the passport’s electronic chip is then compared to the MRZ code. The personal data found in it is digitally represented on the passport’s electronic chip.

The machine-readable zone code is read from a scanned passport and compared to the data on the electronic chip. The identification of the passport holder is confirmed if the MRZ code matches the data on the electronic chip.

A Closer Look at the MRZ Process

Here is the breakdown of how MRZ OCR data extraction technology works:

  • A person’s data on a machine-readable area is automatically scanned and extracted by the MRZ OCR engine
  • To create a TXT file, the OCR engine receives the scanned MRZ image and uploads it
  • The TXT file is converted into structured JSON format by the OCR machine learning algorithms
  • The machine-readable zone (MRZ) is parsed during the entire procedure
  • The information can then be checked against government-approved databases after being decrypted

The MRZ code is a dependable and effective approach for identity verification since it is made to be easily read and processed by machines. Border control, airport security, and financial transactions are just a few of the situations where it is used. The machine-readable zone code plays a significant role in contemporary authentication procedures since it offers quick and precise credential verification.

In addition to the travel and security industries, MRZ technology is being employed in many other sectors, such as banking and finance. This is important in a world where data security and identity theft are big problems since MRZ technology enables quick and accurate data entry and verification.

machine-readable zone (MRZ) technology

How Long Have MRZ Codes Been Used?

The International Civil Aviation Organization was established by the United Nations following World War II. Its duties included developing a standard format for travel documentation.

They began developing machine-readable travel documentation in the late 1960s. They took advantage of optical character recognition (OCR), which enables a machine to read and interpret scripts just like a human would.

The first machine-readable travel documents with a machine-readable zone were issued by countries in the 1980s. It comprised the holder’s name, gender, date of birth, citizenship, document number, and expiration date, among other basic data.

Still, new additions have been made, such as a biometric authentication chip that contains the data’s owner. Today, the MRZ code is utilized in many types of identity documents, including driver’s licenses and passports. The MRZ code adds an extra layer of security to the personal data by including checksums and syntactic guidelines that help thwart efforts at forging.

MRZ Code in Identity Verification

MRZ Code in Identity Verification: The Advantages

To maintain the safety and security of people and businesses, accurate and efficient personal information verification is crucial. The machine-readable zone code is a trustworthy authentication tool that has a number of benefits over conventional techniques.


MRZ codes are an affordable option for ID verification. The codes are freely accessible by various businesses and may be read by a number of devices, including low-cost ID scanners and mobile devices. Furthermore, the standardization of machine-readable zone codes suggests that it is not necessary to spend money on pricey custom solutions.

As a result, machine-readable zone codes provide a number of benefits when it comes to authentication. Due to these benefits, they are a crucial tool in a variety of sectors, such as travel, finance, and healthcare.

Quick and Accurate

MRZ codes are created to be swiftly and accurately interpreted by machines, improving the efficiency of authentication. Browsers, cameras, and mobile devices are just a few of the gadgets that can read codes. Data can be gathered and checked in real-time in this manner.


Since machine-readable zone codes adhere to a common format, they can be applied to various nations and businesses. The authentication process is streamlined, and personal information is consistently captured and verified by using a common format.

Strong Security

MRZ codes are a fantastic tool for authentication because of their high level of security. Since codes are challenging to forge or manipulate, they inhibit fraud or identity theft. Codes can also be encrypted, which raises the level of security for the authentication procedure.


Since machine-readable zone codes are so accurate, it is possible to reduce inaccuracies in personal data. There is no chance of human error because the codes are made to be read by computers. By making sure that personal information is precisely recorded and verified, MRZ lowers the risk of identity fraud and digital fraud.

Function of MRZ in Threats of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing

Money-laundering and terrorist financing operations have grown in popularity in recent years. Governments and financial institutions all over the globe are looking for effective solutions to address these dangers because these illicit activities imperil the stability of the world economy and present a serious risk to national security.

Identity verification is an essential tool in the battle against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. To stop these illegal operations, it is essential to be able to confirm the identities of the people and businesses participating in financial transactions. This is when MRZ is useful.

A trustworthy method for confirming the identity of people and organizations taking part in financial transactions is MRZ verification. To confirm that the person or company is not involved in any criminal activity, the information in the MRZ code can be verified against government databases.

Not only are passport checks essential at airports and border security checkpoints, but also at hotels, casinos, tourist attractions, healthcare facilities, stores, rental properties, and tourist checkpoints.

Travel companies can comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist funding requirements by using MRZ code passport verification. If they don’t, they risk paying high fines or going to jail.

Businesses can avoid the following with the help of MRZ readable passport authentication:

  • Executing authorized transactions
  • People at high risk who book rooms, flights, etc.
  • Prolonged wait times for reservations from legitimate travelers
  • Scheduling flights for people under sanctions or suspected terrorists
  • Scheduling or planning trips to prohibited locations

Wrapping Up

MRZ codes are a helpful tool for verifying identities, and it is important to understand the basics of MRZ in order to effectively use them. Through its combination of letters and numbers, the machine-readable zone code helps streamline identity verification by providing a secure way for authentication.

Businesses can use this technology to guarantee that personal information is securely safeguarded across different platforms. As this technology continues to be more widely used, understanding an MRZ code will become even more critical to enhancing security measures. With this knowledge, organizations can benefit from using machine-readable zones as an efficient way to confirm identity and keep data safe.

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