Document capture best-practices

How to take good images of ID documents

For the best image quality, we recommend using one of our SDKs designed for document capture. If you choose to manage document image capture on your own, ensure that captured images follow these specifications:

  1. The entire document must be visible including a border around the document. All edges of the document must be visible.

We require that all edges of documents be visible in order to perform authentication since the number one way of hiding fraudulent documents is to crop the document's edges during image capture. In the same way that we hand over our entire document to customs agents at an airport, we request that users submit for processing the entire image of their ID document and not just the portion of it that they choose. For this reason, we ask that our partners ensure that the entire document is visible before upload.

ID Cards: The entire card including all edges must be visible in the photo (both for the front and back).

Passports: The focus of the image must be the passport data page with visible borders around the left, right and bottom sides. Do not include the top page that is opposite the passport data page. When capturing passport photos, please ensure that users are aware of this distinction.

  1. Resolution

ID Cards: A minimum of 1000 pixels should be present across the width of the card.

Passports: A minimum of 1450 pixels should be present across the width of the passport.

It is important to note that the above specifications refer to the number of pixels present on the ID card (passport) itself and not the number of pixels across the image. For example, if an image of width 1000 pixels contains an ID card taking up 80% (say) of the width of the image, then only 800 pixels make up the card itself. For this example, this would be insufficient as we require 1000 pixels across the ID card portion of the image. For this reason, images where the ID card or passport makes up too small a portion of the image are less than ideal since the total image dimensions would be unreasonably and unnecessarily large.

  1. Lighting

Photos must be bright enough to see clearly and have little glare. If a photo is too dark our system will be unable to read the text on the document.

Many documents have a shiny coating that can produce glare. When natural light is low, try to avoid using flash. Instead, turn on a lamp or other form of indirect light.

  1. Angle

Photos should be taken with the camera as parallel as possible to the document.

ID Cards: The card should be shot straight on without tilt or rotation.

Passports: The passport data page should be held as flat as possible and in upright position.

  1. Background

The ideal photo has a solid background in a different colour from the card. If the background blends into the document or has a prominent pattern, it can be difficult to recognize where the card is in the photo.

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