Machine Readable Zone (MRZ)

The Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) is a standardized area on identification documents, such as passports, visas, and driver’s licenses, that contains encoded personal information of the document holder. The MRZ is typically located at the bottom of the identification page and consists of two or three lines of characters, which are printed in a specific format using OCR-B font.

The purpose of the MRZ is to enable fast and accurate data entry by machines and to facilitate automated reading and processing of identification documents at various checkpoints, such as border crossings or airport security checks. The encoded information within the MRZ includes the document holder’s name, nationality, date of birth, document number, and expiry date. This information is typically encoded in a machine-readable format using specific combinations of letters, numbers, and special characters. By scanning and extracting data from the MRZ, various systems and applications can verify the authenticity of the document, perform identity verification, and access relevant information about the document holder.

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