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The passport bio data page is usually the second page of your passbook book, containing your passport-sized picture and personal information. An easy way to identify the biodata page is to look for your picture in the passport book and a machine readable zone right at the bottom of the page.
But, what is the bio data page? In simple words, the bio data page is the page that contains all the personal information about the passport holder such as name, date of birth, passport number, passport expiration date, etc.
Most of the personal information included in the passport bio data page is taken from the DS-11 form you fill to get your first passport or the DS-82 form for renewing your passport.
Initially, the bio data page will contain the most necessary information from the DS-11 form you filled out. However, if there are any changes that you have updated in the DS-82 (passport renewal form), the new changes will reflect in the bio data page of the new passport, given that the changes are made in the personal information that is typically shown in the bio data page.
Why does the bio data page contain an MRZ or Machine Readable Code?
Modern technology makes it easy for criminals to alter identification documents and steal personal information from its owners. Fake passport gangs in Europe and around the world are frequently reported in the media.
The introduction of a machine-readable zone in passports and other forms of identification is a key step in preventing the unlawful alteration of these papers. This also has the added benefit of expediting the verification process.
A consistent format for personal information allows you to recognise and verify holders more easily, which is why using MRZ is so beneficial.
In the biometric passport’s machine-readable zone, an RFID (Radio-frequency identification) chip can be accessed. The I.D. holder’s personal data is stored on the chip. This is a much faster way than the manual one. In addition, there are virtually no risks of making a mistake.
How does the machine read MRZ Code on the passport bio data page?
Checksums are encoded machine-readable lines/codes that incorporate a document holder’s information as well as forgery detection numbers.
There is a particular equipment that is used to detect the MRZ and read the encoded information that is contained within. Text recognition and conversion technology (OCR system) is used to read and validate MRZ data on travel documents such as passports.
Encoded data from MRZ must first be scanned and saved electronically before it can be accessed. In order to complete this process, there are two main steps:
- Scanning of Data
The image of the bio data page of the passport is scanned at this point.
- Extracting data from a Machine Readable zone
The embedded text is identified and parsed to extract the data fields after the I.D. document has been scanned and the machine-readable zone has been collected. Using an OCR system, the retrieved data can be checked against a predetermined value. Finally, the derived checksums are compared to the original checksums to verify the integrity of the data. Data can be exported for further examination and verification on an external device.
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