EASY PASS

How do I recognize an electronic passport?

You can easily recognize an ePass by the following symbol:

ePass-Symbol

How does biometric face recognition work?

A programme compares the digital data taken from the live image with the data of the image on the chip and can thus determine whether the faces in the images match one another by looking at their individual characteristics.

How is the authenticity of documents checked?

Electronic travel documents have a number of machine-verifiable safety features which are automatically checked by the eGates’ document reader. In addition, the automated border control system checks the digitally stored and signed data to determine whether it has also been signed by the authorities.

What should I do if I do not have an electronic travel document or if I do not want to use EasyPASS?

As an alternative to EasyPASS you can use the manual border control.

Does it cost anything?

No. The use of EasyPASS / EasyPASS-RTP is free of charge.

Which data is captured by the automated border control system?

As with manual border checks, the document reader will read only those data from a travel document needed to

  • check the eligibility of the holder to use the system (EU/EEA/CH, USA and Hong Kong citizens, aged 18 or above, valid electronic travel document);
  • check the information against police databases in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code; and
  • compare the live image with the biometric passport photograph stored on the chip.

No personal data is stored during the EasyPASS border control process.

During registration with EasyPASS-RTP the personal and passport information of the applicant will be recorded.

Are there any health risks?

No. Recording the live image is equivalent to taking a photo with a digital camera and is completely harmless.

Are passenger entry and departure data stored with EasyPASS?

No. All data generated during the control process will be deleted immediately after it is completed.

Is the photo used in the border control system also used for police investigations?

No. As stipulated in the Passport Act (Passgesetz), the biometric face recognition used for passport control only serves the purpose of identifying a person based on the passport photograph stored on the chip.

Is it possible to trick the system by holding a photo in front of the camera?

These types of tricks do not work on EasyPASS. The system’s ability to recognize such attempts is constantly tested and further developed. Technical innovations are immediately integrated into the EasyPASS system. In addition, police officers monitor the EasyPASS automated border control system – and immediately intervene if an attempt is made to trick the system.

Why face recognition and not fingerprint recognition?

Face recognition has proven to be reliable. In addition, the face image is already stored on the chip of the biometric passport.
Fingerprints have only been stored in German passport chips since November 2007.

What does biometrics mean?

Biometrics refers to the registration and measurement of the features of a living thing. EasyPASS uses a biometric facial recognition system. It involves a camera capturing an image of a person’s face, computing its characteristic properties, and using this to identify the face and distinguish it from the faces of other people.

Which nationalities can use EasyPASS?

Citizens of the European Union:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Citizens of the European Economic Area:
Iceland,
Liechtenstein,
Norway.

as well as citizens of Switzerland.

In addition, third-country nationals (after successful registration with EasyPASS-RTP):

  • United States of America,
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region People’s Republic of China.

What do I need to know to use the EasyPASS border control system?

Using EasyPASS is very simple: place the electronic passport on the document reader with the passport photo page facing downwards. EasyPASS then scans the data in the document and afterwards opens the entry barrier. For face recognition you look straight into the digital mirror which is located in the EasyPASS exit door. If you are wearing a hat or sunglasses, please remove them beforehand. Changes in appearance, for example using heavy make-up or wearing thick-rimmed glasses, may affect face recognition.

As a third-country national you will see a stamp symbol after face recognition. You will proceed to the police officer behind the eGate who will stamp your passport.

Additional Information

Logo: External Borders Fund

© German Federal Police 2016. All rights reserved.