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NFC - anyone able to read their US Passport?

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nickles96

Senior Member
Mar 14, 2008
192
27
I grabbed NFC TagInfo from the market. It scans my chase credit card, but can't for the life of me get it to see our passports.
Have the Google wallet apk installed and it works just fine.
Unlocked UNrooted 4.0.2 lte.

Has anyone successfully read a passport?

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using XDA App
 
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waylo

Senior Member
May 9, 2010
1,670
489
I haven't gotten it to work on my US passport either. There are some reviews for the app on the market which claim it does. I think for some non-US passports it may?

I also don't know if ALL US passports are using the same RFID. Mine does have the RFID symbol on the front cover, issued 2007, but it doesn't work.
 
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Royal2000H

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
217
28
Credit cards with Paywave have NFC, and passports are said to have RFID.
I know NFC is built on top of the RFID technology, but the two may be different..?
 

waylo

Senior Member
May 9, 2010
1,670
489
With the aforementioned app, there's a separate section where you can input the bday, passport #, etc. which I think was necessary to get it to read the passport.

I tried filling it out with my own specific information. So I don't think you can directly read anyone's passport without this information punched in already. Regardless, it still didn't work, so not really a concern!

Also, wouldn't the information contained in the chip be similar to what you'd see if someone opened the passport?
 

Evangelion01

Senior Member
Dec 25, 2011
159
36
When I last went through customs at an airport, I remember that the person at the desk first scanned the bottom of the passport with a red laser. This provides the passport number, birth date and passport expiry date. Those details are required to access the information stored in the NFC tag.

In NFC TagInfo, enter your birth date, passport number and passport expiry date in the menu. Once that's saved, tap your passport against your Nexus and make sure you hold it there until your information is displayed - this can take around 20 seconds.

It's pretty cool tapping your passport and then seeing your picture appear on your phone.
 

magnimus1

Member
Jan 5, 2010
21
0
With the aforementioned app, there's a separate section where you can input the bday, passport #, etc. which I think was necessary to get it to read the passport.

I tried filling it out with my own specific information. So I don't think you can directly read anyone's passport without this information punched in already. Regardless, it still didn't work, so not really a concern!

Also, wouldn't the information contained in the chip be similar to what you'd see if someone opened the passport?

When I last went through customs at an airport, I remember that the person at the desk first scanned the bottom of the passport with a red laser. This provides the passport number, birth date and passport expiry date. Those details are required to access the information stored in the NFC tag.

In NFC TagInfo, enter your birth date, passport number and passport expiry date in the menu. Once that's saved, tap your passport against your Nexus and make sure you hold it there until your information is displayed - this can take around 20 seconds.

It's pretty cool tapping your passport and then seeing your picture appear on your phone.


Ah okay...Thanks for the clarifications!
 

fakker

Senior Member
Nov 15, 2006
84
15
Hitchin
I tweeted about scanning my UK passport about a month ago...
I scanned Oyster card too with success
I have a habit of just trying to scan random things now, e.g. work keycard, security fob, etc...
 

Royal2000H

Senior Member
Apr 12, 2010
217
28
When I last went through customs at an airport, I remember that the person at the desk first scanned the bottom of the passport with a red laser. This provides the passport number, birth date and passport expiry date. Those details are required to access the information stored in the NFC tag.

In NFC TagInfo, enter your birth date, passport number and passport expiry date in the menu. Once that's saved, tap your passport against your Nexus and make sure you hold it there until your information is displayed - this can take around 20 seconds.

It's pretty cool tapping your passport and then seeing your picture appear on your phone.

If they have to scan it before using the NFC... what's the point of the NFC? Is there anything there that's not in the passport itself?
 

nickles96

Senior Member
Mar 14, 2008
192
27
Great information here!
I followed suggestions above and entered the passport info in the settings of the app. I tried it on a coworkers passport at the office. It was trying to read it, as it was emitting a sound over and over again like it was waiting to read.. but nothing ended up happening.

Fast forward to home tonight with my own passports. Re- entered my info , but nothing. It doesn't even make any sounds at all.

Scratching head.
I realize this is trivial nonsense and serves no practical use, but it sure would be a gee whiz factor if I could get this working.
Some folks on the gnex say they can, others cannot..
I'm not giving up!

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using XDA App
 

waylo

Senior Member
May 9, 2010
1,670
489
For those of us interested in this parlor trick (let's call it what it is, it serves no real use for the common civilian), we'd like to know from those who got it to work:

1. US passport??! That's the original post and forum title!
2. How exactly are you entering in the data in the app? All caps? Etc.

Thank you.

EDIT: Oops, never mind about #2. Thought there was some sort of text entry for name/etc. It's just #s. So, hard to CAPITALIZE numbers =P.

I sat my phone on my passport for a few minutes without any sign of recognition. Guess my passport's a dud.
 
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    I thought you might be interested in my experiences and the user feedback I received for NFC TagInfo:

    Regarding the passports in general:
    • ICAO compliant electronic passports (i.e. those that can be used for international travel) use ISO/IEC 14443 communication protocols (either Type A or Type B). Therefore they are (theoretically) compatible to NFC.
    • With NFC TagInfo you can read pretty much the same information that is printed on the passport page. Fingerprints (or other sensitive information) usually cannot be read without extended authentication (at least for EU passports).
      • If there is the same information on the chip as it is printed in the passport, why is there a chip at all? Because the chip also contains a signature over the data, which allows (with some flaws) verification of the authenticity of the travel document.
      • Also there is further sensitive biometric information (like fingerprints) that is stored only in the chip.
    • Unfortunately some passports (especially [but not limited to] those using the ISO/IEC 14443 Type B communication standard) do not always read. I assume that this is a problem with energy consumption (i.e. the passport requires more energy than the phone provides over the RF field.)
    • Your passport works if NFC TagInfo displays the insert "Reading tag...". If this is not displayed when you scan your passport, it is likely that you experience the above problem. Sometimes (although not too often) it helps to move the phone a little to find the optimum spot on the passport.
    • If you got that far, it is worth entering the information that is required to calculate the basic access control key (i.e. passport number, birth date & expiry date). The passport number is case-insensitive (yes, it may contain letters).
    • Some countries, like Germany encode the phono in the passport with JPEG2000. As Android does not natively support JPEG2000, those photos cannot be displayed at the moment. However, we already have an unpublished version of NFC TagInfo that decodes JPEG2000 images and we are looking for ways to integrate this into one of the next releases.

    Regarding US passports:
    • Some users reported that the chip is in the back cover page.
    • Newer US passports can only be read when the passport booklet is opened. This is due to some pages (I assume the front cover page, but I'm not sure) contain a shielding metal foil, that prevents the passport booklet from beeing read while closed.

    For some other tag types, se my response in this thread.
    1
    I grabbed NFC TagInfo from the market. It scans my chase credit card, but can't for the life of me get it to see our passports.
    Have the Google wallet apk installed and it works just fine.
    Unlocked UNrooted 4.0.2 lte.

    Has anyone successfully read a passport?

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using XDA App
    1
    I'm using the latter. But it does make some beeping, though never registers.

    Strange. Would be interesting where the beeping comes from. I certainly didn't program this into the app :-o