Friday, November 09, 2007

Machine Readable Passport Standard

The Australian government introduced ePassport in 2005. This supposedly uses an international standard, but it is remarkably difficult to get details of that standard. I ended up finding an open source program wzMRTD which can read electronic passports and store the data in an XML file. I read the C source code for the program and found the names of the data fields. When I entered those field names into a web search, much to my surprise I ended up at the Australian Senate web site, with a full copy of the standard in 102 pages of details:
This first Volume of Part 1 of Doc 9303 defines the specifications for machine readable passports (MRP) which allow compatibility and global interchange using both visual (eye readable) and machine readable (optical character recognition) means. The specifications lay down standards for passports which can, where issued by a State or organization and accepted by a receiving State, be used for travel purposes. ...

From: "Machine Readable Travel Documents - Part 1 Machine Readable Passports
Volume 1 Machine Readable Passports without additional data storage
", Sixth Edition, 2005, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)



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