What is a blocked passport ?
A blocked passport is an non standard security feature which is used by several passport issuers which will render your passport unreadable by standard means.
What causes this to happen ?
As this is non standard it is not easy to give an precise answer to that, but generally it should be triggered by a number of read attempt where the incorrect keys are used and are intended to protect you from brute force attacks on you passport to get access to personal data. In practice this is rarely the reason it is triggered the most probably explanation is that your passport has been subject to some legit NFC reading terminal that does not behave nice like a stupid app on your phone.
How can I tell ?
if you try several times to read your passport with no success there are generally 4 possible explanations for this in decreasing probability.
- The MRZ was read incorrectly. To eliminate this possibility check what is captured during the OCR capture to what is actually in your passport.
- You did a mistake during NFC read like placing the passport incorrectly or by moving the phone while reading.
- Your NFC Chip or antenna has been destroyed. This happens rarely but placing the document in a microwave will do the trick.
- The passport has been blocked.
How to unlock
If you have eliminated 1 and 2 the next step is to unblock the passport. To do this you should contact the provider of the solution you are using to get instructions on turning on unblocking or you can use our demo app where unblocking is enabled by default.
After two unsuccessful attempts the demo app will present the following screen.
You should follow these instructions and after scanning the MRZ you will get screen and pay attention to the text in red.
After this the read operation will take much longer time than normal and will unblock your passport. If this does not resolve your issue I am afraid you will probably need to get a new passport.