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RedLaser scans PDF417: Drivers licenses, IDs, and more!

Published on | By Miles Skorpen



The RedLaser iOS SDK version 3.4 has an exciting new feature: PDF417 scanning.

PDF417 is a stacked linear 2D barcode, which means it is a cross between a standard 1D barcode (like the well-known UPC) and the most famous 2D barcode type, the QR code. They’re popular for use in areas which sit at the line between industry and consumer usage: unlike QR codes, PDF417 codes are typically read with industrial linear barcode scanners, and they’re used for US postage, airplane tickets, and FedEx tracking labels.

Most importantly, at least for our US users, the PDF417 is the only barcode type approved by the Department of Homeland Security for ┬áRealID-compliant drivers licenses. This is, in part, because a PDF417 barcode can store a lot of information: almost everything on the front of a driver’s license is stored in the barcode.

This means that you can integrate barcode scanning into user registration or shipping flows to increase conversion and avoid user mistakes! Imagine: One scan, and the user’s address is filled in. Or scan, and their birthday, name, and contact information is added to your registration form.

The barcode format is pretty easy. In South Carolina, for example, the data contained in the code looks like this:



From this data, you can gather a name (Driver Credential Sample), address (1500 Park St, Columbia, SC 29201), height (6′ 00″), weight (200lb), and birthday (09/28/1978). Dedicated scanners to get this data can cost over $1,000 per device, so using the RedLaser SDK makes a scanning drivers licenses cheap, in addition to easy.

Get RedLaser now, to start scanning drivers licenses!