Capturing Machine-Readable Zone with ABBYY FineReader Engine


ABBYY FineReader Engine can automatically detect MRZ on the ID document image and extract the encoded data. The extracted data contains several fields with the personal information about the document and its holder, such as:

  • Type of document (Passport, ID, Visa)
  • Issuing country
  • Surname (primary identifier)
  • Names (secondary identifier)
  • Document number (+ check digit)
  • Nationality
  • Date of birth (+ check digit)
  • Sex
  • Date of expiry (+ check digit)
  • Additional date of the issuing state (+ check digit)

With FineReader Engine implemented, your application can be extended by the ability to search through the personal data fields, verify the data and save it to an external file for further processing.

To extract the data from MRZ, image files obtained by scanning, photographing or saved in electronic formats typically undergo several processing stages:

  • Preprocessing of scanned images or photos
You either scan or take a photo of a ID document's identity page with MRZ. Photos made with digital cameras of mobile devices may have low resolution and quality and will need a preprocessing step to provide good recognition results. Also images aquired by scanners may require some preprocessing prior to recognition.
  • Extracting data from MRZ
The text of each of the 2 or 3 lines will be recognized and parsed to extract the data fields. Some of the fields and the MRZ as a whole provide checksums. FineReader Engine offers the calculation of the checksum of the extracted data according to the ICAO standard. The calcualted checksums can be automatically compared with the original checksums, which makes the data verification an easy step. (Only one MRZ may be captured from each image.)
  • Export to an external file

You may save the extracted data in an external format: XML and JSON are supported.

Note: To save your time and efforts, FineReader Engine contains a source code sample for MRZ data extraction (MRZExtraction) which can be used in your application free of charge.

Have more questions? Submit a request



Please sign in to leave a comment.