How do I read the correct name/data from the passport/ID card?

Modified on Wed, 17 May 2023 at 08:46 PM

The German identity card is recognized as a travel document by many countries, especially the Schengen countries. You can enter these countries with your identity card instead of with a passport. This applies regardless of whether you have decided to have your fingerprints stored in your ID card. 

You need a biometric passport (ePassport) to enter many worldwide destinations in order to participate in the visa-free entry programs. The biometric passport usually has a signet printed or embossed on the front of the passport.

All travel-related data can be found in the machine-readable part between “<<<<” and “>>>>” on both ID cards and biometric passports (e-passports). In the case of a passport on the lower part of the front, in the case of an ID card on the back. 


Order of data in passport:

  1. Line: passport number

  1. Line: Date of Birth (backwards), Validity Period (backwards) and Gender 

  1. Line: Surname(s) and First Name(s)


Order of the data on the ID card:

  1. Line: Surname(s) and First Name(s) 

  1. Line: passport number, date of birth (backward), gender and period of validity (backward)


This data from the machine-readable part of the passport, apart from the passport number and passport validity, is mandatory for the flight ticket and is required to report the name to the airline. 

And again and again travelers ask themselves when they have to enter the passport number: Is that the letter "O" or the number "0"?

It's very simple, because for passport serial number only digits 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 and letters C, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, R, T, V, W, X, Y, and Z allowed. So it is never the letter "O", but always the number "0". 


Please remember to find out about the entry and vaccination regulations for your travel destination in good time.

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