Identity Verification
Passport Verification Online: What You Should Know
Learn how passport verification online works, why it's critical for businesses facing know your customer (KYC) regulations, & how it helps prevent fraud.
October 30, 2023
min read

What is Passport Verification Online?

Passport verification involves digitally verifying that the individual attempting to access a service or perform a transaction is the owner of a provided passport document. 

Passports or other official documents are standard for identity verification. Identity verification can be necessary for businesses in general but is critical for organizations that need to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) or anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

Ongoing passport verification typically validates that the end-user's name matches the name on the passport, that the document has not expired, and that the user's address matches the address on the passport. In addition, advanced passport verification solutions can prevent three types of fraud that may be typical with passport documents:

  • Identifying illegitimate documents—fake passports created by criminals.
  • Identifying false documents—genuine passports which belong to a different person, not the user currently accessing the service.
  • Identifying modified documents—genuine passports with some details changed.

In this article:

Passports and ID Documents: the Key to Online Identity Verification

All states or countries can issue unique or varied documents to their citizens, yet one issue is consistent: identity documents change according to developments in technology.
With the evolution in technology seen in recent years, countries have incorporated modern technologies into documents to verify identity. A current trend is to include biometric technology in identity documents and provide mobile IDs, electronic eIDs, or virtual documents.

In April 2018, the European Parliament put forward a regulation to put the same security measures into ID cards used in passports: biometric details including name and date of birth on an electronic chip that goes along with the document.

Public-key cryptography systems must authenticate the electronic chip that forms part of the document. It is costly and complex to forge a document with embedded biometric identity technology. Therefore, documents with biometric identity features are much more secure than regular paper documents, and it is much easier to spot fraudulent ID documents.

As services and businesses move online, there is an increasing demand for automated, online identity verification solutions, which make use of up-to-date identity documentation, with embedded security features, together with an added element of biometric identification. These two strategies ensure that the individual is who they claim to be.

Modern identity verification systems use identity documents, facial recognition, and other biometric technologies to ensure highly accurate remote identification of customers and employees.


As services and businesses move online, there is an increasing demand for automated, online identity verification solutions, which make use of up-to-date identity documentation, with embedded security features, together with an added feature of biometric identification. These two strategies make sure that the individual is who they claim to be.  

Modern identity verification systems use identity documents, along with facial recognition and other biometric technologies, to ensure highly accurate remote identification of customers and employees. 

Related content: Read our guide to ID check online 

Advantages of Online Passport Verification

Passports are a standard identity document used to identify individuals remotely. Online passport verification provides several advantages. It lets businesses review documents instantaneously, which speeds up customer onboarding. Recognizing fraudulent passports can stop ID fraud, saving companies from reputational and financial losses.

Because passport verification solutions can work on any end-user device, they can smoothly integrate into virtually any business process, such as online shopping, customer onboarding, or website registration. In addition, some passport verification solutions support a hybrid approach—combining automated passport verification with manual verification for high-risk scenarios or suspected fraud.

Essential Features of Online Passport Verification

Digital verification of passports and other ID documents replaces manual checking of the customer documents to verify their identity. The more customer attributes that may be verified via a reliable source, the more sturdy the authentication. The ultimate aim is to gain a robust level of assurance of verification.  

Individuals may scan passports using a mobile phone camera or webcam: a passport verification service screens and extracts essential customer credentials from the document. In most instances, the use of optical character recognition technology (OCR) helps verify more than one document in various languages. 

Document validation involves checking:

  • The entire name of the end-user
  • Tampered/photoshopped passports
  • Passport expiry date
  • Address format

How Can Passport Verification Software Prevent Fraud?

Passport verification systems typically ask users to upload or take a picture of their passport or another ID document in real-time.

The software identifies the documents and gathers relevant data through OCR technology. Then, software reviews the data, which takes a few seconds, and reports the verification process results to the individual. If the customer's information is verified, the customer is permitted to access the platform or perform the transaction. 

 Passport verification solutions can immediately reject fake or counterfeit identity documents. Counterfeit versions of compositions that fraudulent individuals and criminals typically use are: 

  • Illegitimate documents—such documents are entirely fake. They feature missing holograms or essential information that is a core part of a valid document. 
  • False documents belong to a different person, and the fraudulent individual attempts to use them to authenticate themselves. 
  • Modified documents—This is altering an authentic document—the fraudulent individual changes the writing style or font to trick the system. 

Passport verification systems make use of three types of analytics to ascertain whether or not a document is genuine and to notice signs of forgery: 

  • Document authenticity—identifying anomalies or indications of tampering with a document, including rainbow and hologram prints, pixel quality, special ink and paper used with records from the government, font anomalies, micro prints, barcodes, and more. 
  • Data integrity—identity documents granted by the government will generally include several built-in features. Embedded algorithms, encoded MRZ areas, NFC chips, data fields in various locations and certain formats, and more. AI-powered verification of document tools looks at all these data features systematically to check that they match. 
  • Facial biometrics is not sufficient to check the data accuracy and document authenticity. A verification system must also ensure that the individual who uploaded the document is the authorized owner. To do this, a comparison of the photo and identity document to a real-time image via biometric analysis. Advanced systems use liveness analysis, requiring the user to show their face and perform specific actions on a webcam in real-time to prove their identity.

Related content: Read our guide to Passport Verification for KYC and AML

Passport Verification Online with BlueCheck

BlueCheck’s industry-leading identity verification infrastructure enables merchants to grow their business faster. Serving a wide variety of industries, our solutions are custom-tailored to the unique needs of our customers, including PACT Act and eCommerce compliant offerings. 


Schedule a call today with a BlueCheck specialist to learn more about our Age & ID Verification solutions.