Documents security features: All for One and One for All


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Document security features

Last updated 25 June​ 2017

​The increase in international travel, growing threats from terrorism, high levels of identity fraud as well as illegal immigration means that our travel documents, ID and healthcare documents must be highly secure.

At Gemalto we take these threats seriously by ensuring that the secure document selected can be trusted, by using technologies and materials that are difficult to copy, use and come by.

We believe document security is key for public authorities since fake ID's and related documents can be used to gain unauthorized access to critical areas and information. Fake identity can also allow criminals and illegal aliens access to government services and resources, putting a further drain on taxpayer's money.

​Defending ID documents against attack

Security features can be overt and covert, visible and invisible.

Traditional high security features available for all Gemalto documents include guilloches background printing, rainbow printing, invisible fluorescent printing or mixed into visible ink, intaglio printing and micro-printing, OVIs and modified fonts just to name a few. These security features can be found on the Swedish e Passport for exemple.​​

But there's more.​

Unique document security features

At Gemalto we recommend 100% polycarbonate datapages or cards, tamperproof solid card bodies that are impossible to delaminate and that enable the deployment of some ve​ry unique security features.

  • ​​A strong visible security feature is the Gemalto Window - a transparent window created inside the card making it impossible to copy and enabling quick checking. Laser engraving and several optical elements can also be combined within the window. Any attempts by forgers to tamper with the document will be immediately visible.We detail, in our March 2017 report on transparent elements, the future of "windows" and how it can improve ID fraud prevention​.
  • Window Lock is a highly innovative securi​​ty concept which is easy to see and verify with the naked ​eye.
  • True Vision reveals brilliant true-color images under UV light. 
  • The new family of Gemalto’s innovative Secure Surface features enhances the security of polycarbonate identity documents by combining different effects: light reflection, movement and tactile effects.​
  • Unique in the market, Edge Sealer is a laser engraving process applied during the personalizationstage. Documents are laser-etched with markings along the edge of the document, thus adding an additional layer of security. The laser engravings ideally relate to the holder’s personal information, using their name, serial number, or other unique information. Making forgery even more difficult, the  Laser Sealer feature insures that criminals can’t change or add laser engraved information after personalization has taken place. The laser engraved image, signature or data is digitally manipulated to include slightly visible security marking. Post-lasering will be revealed by visible marks in the document.​
  • Color in PC is the first laser printing solution to deliver an unalterable color image combined with the high security and exceptional durability of polycarbonate at personalization stage.
Sealys Window 

Sealys  Window

The Swedish eID (zoom on CLI) 

The Swedish eID
(zoom on CLI)

Sealys Edge Sealer 

Sealys Edge Sealer

Sealys Color in Polycarbonate 

Sealys Color in Polycarbonate


Gemalto se​cure documents have the highest electronic level of security with  its embedded software for electronic passports and other electronic identity documents, further enhancing the security of the document itself.​

As you will see on our web site, Gemalto has a wide variety of innovative security features that are available. These features are customizable according to your needs.​

Sadly, there is no "silver bullet" of document security.

So, how can we really help?

Document security and design 

Our knowledge is combined with close co-operation and consultation with security experts and forensic laboratories, as well as the know-how of Gemalto's own dedicated team of engineers.

We offer extensive experience and support, enabling our customers to meet their expectations for distinct and robust documents that are as secure as they are attractive. As a result, we're proud to have designed some of the most secure and attractive passports, IDs and driver licenses to appear in recent years.

 An optimal level of document security advocates collective defensive elements as part of an integrated approach to document protection that involves: 

  1. Materials
  2. Product structure
  3. Technologies
  4. Security features
  5. Graphical design.​​

The various component elements can be made to reinforce each other’s effects to provide enhanced security on any document. ​​In other words, the value of an integrated approach can be summarized by Alexandre Dumas' fammous quote about the value of Unity: "All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall."

Collaboration with customers lies at the heart of our process. We are therefore pleased to be able to share our best practices with you, in the Guide to Passport Security Design published by Gemalto in September 2016 in particular.​

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