MRZ SDK: OCR for ID Cards, Driver Licenses, and Passports

Part of the OCR SDK, the MRZ recognition engine is very fast, even on poor-quality documents.

ID documents like passports, visas, and other ID cards contain a Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) which makes them readable by machines. The GdPicture.NET OCR SDK allows you to create applications to extract and decode MRZ characters on all types of documents.

Machine Readable Travel Documents and Machine Readable Zone

The Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) is found on Machine Readable Travel Documents (MRTD) like passports, visas, and other ID documents. It contains mandatory and optional data that can be read by devices using OCR.

MRZ uses OCR-B font and a specific number of characters and lines.

The specifications of MRTD and MRZ are provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its document 9303, which is endorsed by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission as ISO/IEC 7501-1.

Below is an example from the specification issued by the ICAO.

Characters in the MRZ contain the following information:

There are several standardized MRZ formats:

There are also other specific formats depending on the country. For instance, French and Portuguese ID cards don’t follow these standards.


The GdPicture.NET MRZ engine

No matter if the MRZ lines are small, far away, blurred, partially occluded, skewed or slanted, our implementation can accurately detect and recognize every character.

You can use our tool to extract information from local identity cards, passports, enhanced driver licenses, visas, resident cards, and more.

The detector is agnostic and doesn’t decode (recognize/OCR) the text to check it against some pre-defined rules (regex) which means it supports all MRZ types (Travel Documents 1/2/3, MRVA, MRVB) regardless of the font, content, shape, or country.

MRZ recognition capabilities are included in the GdPicture.NET OCR SDK.

Example of usage

OCRSpecialContext Enumeration (MRZ)

    string resultId = gdpictureOCR.RunOCR(OCRSpecialContext.MRZ);
    string mrzRead = gdPictureOCR.GetOCRResultText(resultId);

How to use

Download and install GdPicture.NET package from here.

You will find a compiled demo applications in [Install directory]\Samples\Bin\

You will find an example of a full application in [Install directory]\Samples\DotNet\GdPicture.NET 14\

You will find other code snippets within the online reference guide found here

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