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Extracting Data from Passports & Driving Licences: A Guide

Miranda Hartley
February 9, 2024

Why Extract Data From Passports & Driving Licences?

Many businesses require extraction from ID documents, such as passports and driving licences, for identification purposes. They may need customers to submit scans of their IDs for activities such as:

  • Loan applications
  •  Money transfers (e.g. for high-value items or international transfers)
  • Opening a bank account
  • Online casinos/gambling industries
  • Purchasing alcohol

Businesses carefully screen these processes in line with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. Often, the verification process involves at least one manual element from human operators, such as comparing the identification data with public or private records.

However, verification processes are continually evolving to become faster and more user-friendly. Among the simplest elements of these automation processes is the extraction of data from passports and driving licences.

Using AI & OCR Technology vs. Manual Data Extraction

Firms often bake manual data extraction into the cost of business. However, using highly-skilled employees to complete administrative tasks is unsustainable for growing organisations. In response, technology vendors have developed various data capture tools for enterprise use over the last few years.

Of course, data management technology is only worthwhile if it is scalable. A report by Dell estimates that 43% of IT managers fear that their current IT architecture won’t be able to handle future data demands. Therefore, carefully evaluating which type of data extraction technology will serve your business better in the long term – OCR or AI – is essential.

Let’s weigh a few pros and cons. Though OCR software has a strong legacy in enterprise environments, AI is a more robust solution. AI deploys OCR and validates its output, learning from any errors so the algorithms never repeat them. In contrast, the limitations of OCR - without the implementation of AI algorithms - make it an unwieldy tool for organisations looking to increase the efficiency of their processes.

Case in point – if the output of a batch of passports contained a missing digit from the main passport number, it would be time-consuming to retrain the OCR. As for AI? Retraining the model may only require a single click.

How Do Machine Learning & AI Algorithms Extract from Passports & Driving Licences?

In the last few years, strides in computational power have made it straightforward for AI to extract data from passports and driving licences. Now, advanced AI models can easily pull the relevant data from scans of passports & driving licences, including:

  • Date of issue 
  • Given names 
  • Surnames
  • Nationality
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth 
  • Date of expiry, and more 

Regardless of the nationality of the passport or licence, AI algorithms can extract and download the data in just seconds. 

One of the key advantages of AI is that it can process skewed, blurry or incomplete images. AI’s corrective capacity is beneficial in an age where most people snap casual photos of their IDs with their smartphones.

Is Extracting Data from Passports and Driving Licences Secure?

Using a third-party vendor may be a source of apprehension for organisations handling sensitive data from identification documents. Some organisations may even want to build an extraction solution to avoid risking data security. (Note: that option rarely yields success).

For one, if not carefully maintained, automated data capture tools can spawn a continuous supply of errors, glitches and breakdowns. Instead, a security-conscious data extraction vendor can offer you both efficacy and safeguarded data.

You’ll also want to select a provider that regularly completes security updates on their software (find out more here). You can also confirm the vendor’s dedication to data security by checking their certifications. Examples of certifications the vendor may possess include:

1. The U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

This certification requires companies that handle protected health information (PHI) to adhere to physical and network security measures.

2. ISO 27001

Formerly known as ISO/IEC 27001:2022, ISO 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems.

3. System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2)

SOC 2 is a type of audit affirming the security and management of customer data.

Evolution AI: Our Solution

Before deciding whether automating data capture from passports and driving licences is right for your business, consider the following:

  1. How much are you currently spending on manual data extraction? Is it as much as $21 per document?
  2. How much time could your team save with immediate access to clean, structured data?

Even midsized organisations waste hundreds if not thousands of pounds each year on manual data extraction or inferior data extraction technology.

In contrast, presenting your staff with actionable data will boost your business’s productivity. For example, Evolution AI reduced invoice processing time by 90% for DF Capital Bank. As a result, they could expand their team and redirect resources to more value-adding activities.

If you’d like to discuss the benefits of automated data extraction from passports and driving licences for your organisation, please book a demo or contact our team at

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