ISO/IEC Identification cards — Recording technique is a set of nine ( to ) standards describing the recording technique on identification cards. Cartes d’identification — Technique d’enregistrement —. Partie 1: Estampage. STANDARD. ISO/IEC. Reference number. ISO/IEC (E). BS ISO/IEC is one of a series of International Standards describing the parameters for identification cards as defined in the terms.

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Below will be found a brief synopsis of some Magnetic Strip Encoding Standards. Other custom utilizations are also possible and appropriate.

Call Abacus 21 for 7181-1 details. As a general rule, data on Magnetic Cards conforms to the encoding format for financial transaction cards ISO Tracks 1 and 3 read alphanumeric data at bpi, while track 2 reads numeric data only 781-11 75 bpi.

ISO defines the physical characteristics of the card. Full copies of these standards can be pruchased from www. The information below is abstracted from these standards. Physical Dimensions of Cards: Physical Plastic Card 2.


The data is read least significant bit first. Note from the table below that Magnetic Stripe Readers used for acquiring Credit Card data need only to io tracks 1 or 2 from the card. Note also the redundancy:.

BS ISO/IEC 7811-1:2018

In the early years of Magnetic Stripe technology, data was recorded at lower density to increase read-reliability. Low density data is still recorded on track 2 for compatibility with older-technology readers and provide redundancy when reading with newer-technology readers.

Readers with both track 1 and 2 are recommended for acquiring Credit Card data since redundancy permits the authorization process to compare account information on both tracks and also fallback to the lower density track data if the reader is unable to decode track 78111-1 due to damaged track data on the card. Track 3, originally an alternate numeric-only track, is no longer used in the Banking and Credit Card format.


Track 1 and 2 of the Driver’s License Magnetic Stripe format conform to the original formatting standards used by the Banking and Credit Card industry. In order to encode the additional alpha-numeric information required on the Driver’s License, the specification was revised to permit alpha-numeric information to be encoded on track 3.


While the iiso contained on each track may be only slightly different, the field order, field lengths, and method of field separation and termination differs significantly. This table is only an overview of what data fields are contained on the three tracks of a magnetically coded driver’s license.

Iwo Density bits per inch. Character Configuration including parity bit.

Information Content including control characters. Track 1 contains the customer’s name in addition to the account number and expiration date recorded at higher density. Lower-density data recorded on track 2 contains only the account number and expiration date. Magnetic Strip Encoding Standards. Account Number Name Expiration Date. Account Number Expiration Date.

ISO Specification – No longer in use.