NEW ISO/IEC 18745-1:2014 toughens tests for machine readable passports

Stolen passports or forged travel documents…this is a critical issue for airports at the moment; after two men travelling on stolen passports, were able to travel on board the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 plane.


Machine readable travel documents are used to decrease the instances of passport forgery, reduce errors and enable a faster processing time. The problem appears to be that the durability of these documents is unknown. After continual bending of documents, being hammered with border-crossing stamps, changes in light and temperature, it is apparent that the chip can shut down.

The new standard will carry out physical tests methods on the identity documents , and mean that there won’t be any chance of the chip shutting down.

Hartmut Hemme, the ISO expert involved with ISO/IEC 18745-1 development, explains, “The new standard enables a means of ranking and comparing the main factors affecting the service life of travel documents. This has become especially important since the introduction of contactless chips (integrated circuits) that have a life cycle of up to 10 years.”

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