Examples of Data encoded in Barcodes
December 14, 2023 by Sarah

Examples of data which is encoded in barcodes

There is a variety of barcodes encoding different types of information, ranging from basic product identification to more intricate data like serial numbers and contact details. In the following, we want to showcase different examples of data that can be encrypted in different barcode types. The different barcode types were already presented in the article Barcode Types at a glance.

For all examples presented, the Docutain Barcode Scanner SDK can be used, which scans and extracts the information securely and reliably for further processing.

Check out our Docutain SDK
Integrate high quality barcode scanning, text recognition and data extraction into your apps. If you like to learn more about the Docutain Barcode Scanner SDK, contact us anytime via SDK@Docutain.com.

Barcode on driver's licenses

In Canada and the US, barcodes on driver's licenses contain a wealth of information as they also serve to prove identity.

Structure wise, the US driver's licenses typically feature a barcode on the back. The most used standard is the 2D barcode type PDF417, a stacked barcode capable of storing a large amount of data. The data encoded in a US driver's license barcode follow the AAMVA standards (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administators) and include the following mandatory data elements:

  • DCA: Vehicle class the cardholder has privilege to drive
  • DCB: Restrictions to driving privileges (e.g. airbrakes, automatic transmission…)
  • DCD: Additional privileges granted to cardholder beyond the vehicle class (e.g. transportation of passengers)
  • DBA: Document Expiration Date
  • DCS: Customer Family Name
  • DAC: Customer First Name
  • DAD: Customer Middle Name(s)
  • DBD: Document Issue Date
  • DBB: Date of Birth
  • DBC: Physical Description – Sex
  • DAU: Physical Description – Height
  • DAG: Address – Street
  • DAI: Address – City
  • DAJ: Address – Jurisdiction Code
  • DAK: Address – Postal Code
  • DAQ: Customer ID Number
  • DCF: ID of the document
  • DCG: Country Identification
  • DDE: Indicator that last name is truncated
  • DDF: Indicator that first name is truncated
  • DDG: Indicator that middle name is truncated

Besides these mandatory data elements there is also optional data of the license holder, such as height, weight, organ donor status etcetera.

With the aid of a Barcode Scanner SDK, all the mentioned data can be read and extracted within seconds. This is helpful to do cross-references with databases or other identity verification systems to ensure its accuracy and validity. Use cases where an age or identity verification is necessary could be opening bank accounts, purchasing age-restricted products or applying for certain services.

Barcode on Bundeseinheitlicher Medikationsplan (BMP)

Since 1st October 2016 all patients in Germany are entitled to a federal medication plan if they take or use at least three treatments at the same time, for at least 28 days. The idea behind the BMP is to provide patients with an easy-to-understand documentation of their drug therapy.

The BMP includes a Data Matrix Barcode, which is a 2D barcode type typically used in healthcare to store a large amount of data in a small space. The Specification for the BMP by the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung explains following data point to be encoded in the Data Matrix Barcode:

  • Instanz-ID
  • Seitenzahl
  • Gesamtseitenzahl
  • First name of patient
  • Last name of patient
  • Title of patient
  • Vorsatzwort
  • Namenszusatz
  • Patienten-ID
  • Geburtsdatum (des Patienten)
  • Geschlecht (des Patienten)
  • Ausdruckender des Medikationsplans
  • Lebenslange Arztnummer
  • Apotheken-IDF
  • Krankenhaus-Institutions-kennzeichen
  • Straße
  • PLZ
  • Ort
  • Telefonnummer
  • E-Mail
  • Datum und Uhrzeit des Ausdruckes
  • Erläuterung zum Parameterblock
  • Gewicht (des Patienten)
  • Körpergröße (des Patienten)
  • Kreatininwert (des Patienten)
  • Allergien & Unverträglichkeiten (des Patienten)
  • Stillend
  • Schwanger
  • Parameter Freitext
  • Modifizierte PZN
  • Wirkstoff
  • Arzneimittelname
  • Wirkstärke
  • Darreichungsform
  • Darreichungsform Freitext
  • Dosierschema
  • Morgens
  • Mittags
  • Abends
  • Zur Nacht
  • Freitextdosierung
  • Dosiereinheit
  • Freitextdosiereinheit
  • Hinweise
  • Behandlungsgrund
  • Gebundene Zusatzzeile (Medikationseintrag)
  • Zwischenüber[1]schrif
  • Freitextzwischen[1]überschrift
  • Freitextzeile
  • Rezeptur
  • Gebundene Zusatzzeile (Rezeptureintrag)
  • Versionsnummer
  • Patchnummer
  • Sprachkennzeichen – Länderkennzeichen

With the Docutain Barcode Scanner SDK, data of the BMP can be quickly scanned and encoded. This use case is explained in the Success Story of Docutain SDK with Mediteo, an app that is designed to help patients manage their medications in the app. With the integrated Barcode scanning functionality from Docutain, Mediteo app users can scan their BMPs easily and store the data safely.

EPC QR code initiating SEPA credit transfers

In countries such as Germany, Austria, The Netherlands and others the EPC QR code is used on many invoices and payment request. EPC QR Code is a 2D barcode containing information concerning SEPA credit transfer information in clear text. Its goal is to enable the payment after scanning the barcode without manual input. As to the EPC guidelines from the European Payments Council, the content it structured as follows:

  • Service Tag
  • Version
  • Character set
  • Identification
  • BIC
  • Name
  • IBAN
  • Amount
  • Reason
  • Ref of invoice
  • Or text
  • Information

For Switzerland, there is a specific QR code in place, the Swiss QR Payment.

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code assigned to each motor vehicle when it's manufactured. The VIN serves as a distinctive identifier for the vehicle and is used for purposes such as registration, tracking recalls, warranty claims, theft prevention, and assisting law enforcement in vehicle identification. VIN is standardized in the US since 1981 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The VIN is an alphanumeric code, and it typically consists of 17 characters. The structure of the VIN is defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in the ISO 3779 and ISO 4030 standards. Each character in the VIN has a particular significance and follows the structure below:

  • World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI): The first three characters of the VIN are designated to the manufacturer of the vehicle
  • Vehicle Descriptor Section (VDS): Characters 4 through 9 provide information about the vehicle's attributes
  • Check Digit: The 9th character is a check digit that is calculated based on the other characters in the VIN. It is used to verify the accuracy of the VIN.
  • Vehicle Identifier Section (VIS): Characters 10 through 17 form the Vehicle Identifier Section, which provides additional information such as the model year, assembly plant, and the vehicle's unique serial number.
  • Model Year: The 10th character represents the model year of the vehicle. It could be a letter or a number, and it typically cycles every 30 years.
  • Assembly Plant: The 11th character identifies the manufacturing plant where the vehicle was assembled.
  • Production Sequence Number: The last six characters (12 through 17) represent the unique serial number assigned to each vehicle as it comes off the production line. This number distinguishes one vehicle from another.

The VIN is often stamped on various parts of the vehicle, including the dashboard, the driver's side door jamb, and the engine block. Additionally, it is encoded in a barcode format on a label visible through the windshield, making it easier to record and scan the VIN number during various stages of a vehicle's life, from manufacturing to registration and maintenance.

Digital sick note: Electronic certificate of incapacity for work (eAU)

The "Elektronische Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung" (eAU) refers to the electronic version of a medical certificate of incapacity to work, known as "AU" in Germany. This certificate is issued by a healthcare professional, usually a doctor, to confirm an individual's inability to work due to illness or injury. The "Elektronische Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung" can be transmitted electronically, streamlining the process for both healthcare providers and employers.

The electronic version is part of efforts to digitize administrative processes in Germany's healthcare system. It was issued on 1st October 2021 and entails following information as to the Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV):

  • Formularcode
  • Formularcodeergänzung
  • Versionsnummer
  • Versicherungsschutz Ende
  • Kostenträgerkennung
  • Versicherten-ID
  • Versichertenart
  • Besondere Personengruppe
  • DMP-Kennzeichnung
  • (N)BSNR
  • LANR
  • Ausstellungsdatum
  • Erstbescheinigung
  • Folgebescheinigung
  • Arbeitsunfall
  • Durchgangsarzt
  • arbeitsunfähig seit
  • voraussichtliche AU bis
  • festgestellt am
  • sonstiger Unfall
  • BVG
  • Rehabilitation
  • Wiedereingliederung
  • sonstige Maßnahmen
  • Krankengeldfall
  • Endbescheinigung
  • Diagnosen
  • Hinweise zur Diagnose

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment identity)

The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is a unique identifier assigned to mobile phones and some satellite phones. It is a 15-digit code that serves as a distinct serial number for each individual device. The IMEI is used for various purposes, including tracking stolen phones, facilitating lawful interception, and ensuring the authenticity of mobile devices. It is defined and required by GSM standards.

The encoded information in an IMEI is structured as follows:

  • Type Allocation Code (TAC): The first eight digits of the IMEI represent the Type Allocation Code (TAC). This portion identifies the device's manufacturer and model. Each manufacturer is assigned a unique TAC by the GSMA (Global System for Mobile Communications Association).
  • Final Assembly Code (FAC): The next six digits represent the Final Assembly Code (FAC), indicating where the device was assembled. It helps in tracking the manufacturing location of the device.
  • Serial Number (SNR): The following six digits represent the device's unique serial number within the production line. This makes each IMEI globally unique.
  • Check Digit: The last digit of the IMEI is a check digit, calculated using the Luhn algorithm. This digit is used to verify the accuracy of the other digits in the IMEI. It helps prevent errors and ensures the integrity of the identifier.

Here is an example of the IMEI structure: "123456-78-901234-5":

  • Type Allocation Code (TAC): 12345678
  • Final Assembly Code (FAC): 90
  • Serial Number (SNR): 12345
  • Check Digit: 5

Check out our Docutain SDK
Integrate high quality Barcode scanning, text recognition and data extraction into your apps. If you like to learn more about the Docutain SDK, have a look at our Developer Documentation or contact us anytime via SDK@Docutain.com.

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