Identity verification

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As identity verification (abbreviation: IDF ) or identity check is called the review which personal details are to be assigned (identity) of a natural person.


If the person in question is present, their identity can be determined by comparing them with an officially certified photo (seal), such as an identity card presented . This is also how the police proceed with simple identity checks.

If a person presents an ID that has been falsified by exchanging the photo , the receiving office receives an allocation of the personal details to the person depicted, but this person is not identical with the person who is legally the bearer of the identity and therefore for everyone below transactions carried out under this identity are held responsible. If a fraudster uses a forged ID to obtain other documents or IDs (e.g. registration certificate, customer card, etc.), he will avoid the risk of the photo exchange being recognized in the future. In order to make official IDs more forgery-proof, the EU member states have decided to include biometric numbers in EU passports.

Safe procedures
The safest method for establishing identity is the identification service treatment (ED), i.e. the taking of fingerprints and the taking of a photo, as is practiced by the police authorities around the world. The so-called ED material is then compared with official records (photo on a passport application form, photo presentation for relatives or neighbors, ED treatment on other occasions such as asylum applications )
The TÜViT also assessed the control of the identity card as secure, as practiced by Deutsche Post AG with its service called Postident ; the error rate is around 1.1 percent.
Other providers of identification procedures that are considered secure are:
in Germany: DHL in the post office and at Hermes (after making an appointment by telephone at the customer's home or in the Hermes ParcelShop). With IDnow people can be identified online.
in Switzerland: Swiss Post with the yellow identification procedure
in Austria: The Austrian Post with the Ident.Brief procedure
Unsafe procedures
The verification of the credit card is also widely used to establish identity , whereby it is assumed that the credit institute carried out a full identity verification when the account of a new customer was opened.


Reliable identification is becoming increasingly important in the context of electronic business transactions on the Internet, since it is usually carried out cashless and without personal contact between buyer and seller. By identity theft great damage can occur on the Internet if the user accounts are misused for financial transactions.

  • Direct banks use this process to verify the identity of their customers.


Main article: Establishing identity (law)

If the identification of an authorization is concerned, a legitimation check is used, especially in the area of ​​banking transactions .

In the right to intervene , a competent authority can determine the identity of a person subject to police duties. If this is not done voluntarily, a search of the person and the belongings carried, as well as police custody is possible as well as identification service treatment. The police can enforce this with immediate force . In Germany, for example, this is stipulated in Section 163b (determination of identity) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO).

Identity verification should not be confused with identification, which is used in forensic medicine to determine the identity of the victim .

Individual evidence

  1. Deutsche Post | FAQ Postident. March 14, 2010, archived from the original on March 14, 2010 ; accessed on May 4, 2016 .
  2. The yellow identification identification of the Swiss Post
  3. Ident.Brief ( Memento of the original from April 24, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Identification of the Austrian Post @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /