Machine Readable Zone (MRZ)

You can see MRZ on the passport and travel documents. It is a code that contains the personal data of the user. Every country uses the MRZ standard feature in official travel documents. You can see 3 lines on the passport written in MRZ. 

Documents that contain MRZ are called machine-readable documents since machines for example Machine Readable Passport. In the following blog, we will discuss MRZ and its importance in verification. So, let’s get started

What Is a Machine Readable Zone?

Machine Readable Zone is a set of lines containing alphanumeric text called MRZ Code. MRZ code is encoded on a document in standard form. So, it can be easily read by Optical Character Recognition. These codes make the verification and onboarding process easy. MRZ readable zones are usually present on passports, licenses, and identity proof. They play a crucial in authentication.

How Machine or Computer read MRZ?

Here is the list of steps that occur during MRZ reading, here we will understand with the help of the MRZ code passport example to explain the whole reading process.

Extraction of Code

The first step towards reading MRZ code involves the below steps

Scanning document data: the document image was captured first, and then simultaneously scanning was done

Data extraction: When the MRZ code gets captured, the text code is recognized by Passport OCR API.

Note: Checksum: Checksum refers to the MRZ lines that contain user data and forgery detection numbers.

Checking and extracting Data: Once the extraction is done the extracted data is checked and compared with the original checked for authenticity verification.

Requirement Of MRZ

In our modern-day technology, document tampering and creating fake documents is easy. Anyone can use another identity for their wicked nature. You must heard about the fake document gangs.

To prevent document forgeries incorporation of MRZ code is mandatory. Criminals can’t copy that.

Types of Machine Readable Zone

Many MRZ codes are available but we will talk about the widely used ones. These types are


It is the commonly used code in ID document verification. It has 3 lines with 30 characters.It includes letters from A to Z and numbers from 0 to 9.


Type 2 has 2 lines with 36 characters


It has 2 lines and 44 words, it is widely used in passports. It contains information like nationality, date of birth, sex, and passport expiration date.

Regardless of the type, all MRZs must comply with Doc 9303, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard.

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Importance Of MRZ

MRZ is an essential component of identity verification. Over the entire globe countries are using national ID cards and passport cards feature machine-readable zones. These coded ones are helpful; sources to determine the legitimacy of a person.

Basically, the coded zone contains information like

  • Name
  • Nationality
  • MRZ passport expiry date
  • DOB

This coded technology is a quick and reliable method of checking authenticity and maintaining security. It is used for background during check-in at airports, hospitals, and hotels.


Here is the use case of  MRZ

Verifying Identity

Makes the ID verification procedure efficient at borders, airports, and hotels

Accurately identification methods with no errors

Age Verification

It is used in Casino to verify the age and prevent underage

Automate KYC

Streamlines KYC and AML processes and offers quick access to customer data.

Prevent Frauds

Verify the customer legitimacy and document legitimacy 

Customer Onboarding

Eliminates data entry work and speeds up the onboarding process, especially in the crypto and finance sectors.


Machine Readable Zones (MRZ) are an important component in identity verification present in passports. License IDs etc. These are alphanumeric codes read by OCT systems. They enhance security and efficiency by immediately varying authenticity.

These codes help prevent document forgeries and are important in individual information verification. It is a secure and reliable solution to maintaining security at borders, airports, and hotels. It is also used in the regulatory process in KYC and fraud prevention in financial sectors.

Surepass offers various OCR and document verification APIs and eSigning APIs. Its OCR can convert images into machine-readable text. We have dozens of APIs and OCRs to streamline the customer onboarding and verification process. If you want to choose a reliable OCR and API provider you can choose us. You can also book a free demo session before buying any product. Our support team helps you get the tailored solution according to your use.


1. What Is MRZ in an Indian Passport?

MRZ is a space present on the machine readable passport it contains information such as name number and dob, expiry, etc.

2. How can I tell if my passport is machine readable?

Check the personal information page of the passport and you will see two lines of text at the bottom. These lines will complete letters, numbers, and symbols that contain information personal information of the passport holder. If your passport contains these details then it will be machine-readable.

3. What is Machine Readable zone name?

Machine readable passports contain coded MRZ space that contains name, dob, nationality, and other details.

4. What is the meaning of MRZ?

MRZ full form is Machine Readable zone, it can be present on 2 or 3 lines containing alphanumeric digits.

5. What is MRZ Code?

Usually, the MRZ code is a set of lines present at the bottom of the passport.

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