What are the best practices of verifying passport in a web app?

I'm currently designing a verification process where user has to take a picture of the passport and upload it. But pictures are usually made with phone and uploading it via desktop could be a hassle. Is there any way to make it easier?

  • 1
    Have you considered allowing the user to email the picture from their phone instead? Nov 15, 2019 at 16:26
  • That method could easily be faked
    – Rob
    Nov 15, 2019 at 18:59
  • I guess any method involving the photo of the passport could be faked, I'm not after being 100% sure that there is no fraud as there is no harm that can be done with a fake ID other than for themselves. I'm after the most user-friendly way to do that. So how should it be? The user opens account and gets a screen with something like "Attach a photo of your passport or send it to our email [email protected]" right? Nov 16, 2019 at 4:27
  • 2
    As a user, I'd be swerving any app that asked me for a picture of my passport! Even the online US ESTA waiver procedure just wants the number.
    – mgraham
    Nov 18, 2019 at 9:54

3 Answers 3


Passport upload is usually also supplemented with other documents such as rental agreement/ State ID etc. In my experience, banks/ government sites ask for passport and people trust them enough to send them over. Thus apart from the upload experience, your platform has to evoke trust. However, verification of these documents is done by a human in the loop. So to answer your question.

There can be multiple scenarios:

  1. people who already have a copy of their passport on their desktop: the web experience will not be much of a hassle for them.

  2. people who click a picture of their passport to upload - the web app can have a mobile friendly version for this.

  3. People have a copy of their passport but they are working on a public computer/ only have it on mail: As mentioned by Jeff Zeitlin, emailing can be an easy option.

User testing would help to formulate the solution even better.


The best and most friendly way would be for them to 'attach a photo of their passport' when they are opening their account.

Asides from being customary for various account opening platform, they'll know it's almost a one time thing and would be pleased to finish all the account opening and verification once and for all.


So far there is no foolproof of doing this, but one possible way of doing so is to ask the user to take a selfie holding their passport(ID) in front of them and uploading that photo (better with a small clip of person holding his/her id but this may not be possible for many services)

On the other hand, attaching passport and their photo can be easily faked as these may not belong to the person uploading them.

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