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Driver's License




This SWIPE tool allows you to crack a 2D barcode. Ever noticed the barcode on the backside of your license? Ever wondered what information it stores or why it is even there? Use our online application or the stand-alone program and put an end to the mystery! It is your data, so shouldn't you have a look? Learn more about the 2D barcode and your driver's license.

NEW: Interactive map comparing the different types of information US states and Canadian provinces encode on drivers' licenses based on Toolkit usage.


1. Check to see if your driver's license has a 2D barcode. Currently 39 states use the 2D barcode to encode personal information on the backside of drivers' licenses. Look for a band of black and white squares in a random pattern.

This thing here is a 2D barcode.

A Note About 2D Barcodes: Licenses from NC, GA, and possibly UT are encrypted, and we currently cannot decode them. In addition, IL and KY licenses are mostly encrypted, except for a few fields. Older MN barcodes use a different type of barcode that our toolkit does not decode. If you have information about the encryption schemes used, would like to use the decoder to learn more about the encryption, or have any questions or comments about your state's barcode, please contact us.

2. Make a digital image of your driver's license barcode. You can either use a scanner or a digital camera to create this image. The image you create must be a color GIF file or a very high quality JPEG without compression artifacts. The image file size should be roughly 500k to 1.5MB and can not be larger than 2MB. The license image should be 1000-1500 pixels wide and make sure it is rightside up. For good results, this image must be in sharp focus with high contrast.

Based on recent use, our Toolkit participants are getting better results with scanned images than images taken with a digital camera. If you use a digital camera, be sure to point the camera directly at the barcode and the license is level in respect to the lens.

See what a good scan looks like. (Note: This is for visual comparison purposes only. The barcode has been altered to protect the privacy of the cardholder. Please do not upload this image to our server to decode. Thanks.)

3. Decide if you want to use the online application or stand-alone program to decode your barcode. We have made two versions of our barcode decoder: an online version and a stand-alone program. They both will return the same results; the only difference is the stand-alone program allows you to decode locally on your hard drive. The online version is a little bit easier to use, but you will have to upload your barcode image to our server.

Note: We are not archiving any image files for future use. We will, however, keep track of the different kinds of information each state encodes on its drivers' licenses. This research is now available to our SWIPE Toolkit visitors. No specific data or identifying information will ever be stored on our server.

Now it is time to decode! Please contact us if you have any problems or questions.