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AML Checks: Guide to Uploading the Passport.

1st May 2019

The campaign against money laundering has seen the HMRC issue £2.5m of penalty notices since June 2017.

Making sure you’re compliant is vital.

When it comes to carrying out your checks, we supply AML reports as part of our Compliance in a Box service.

Uploading a passport is one way you may check the identity of someone who is living outside the UK.

If you decide it’s necessary to upload a passport, you can minimise your chances of getting a refer or mismatch by doing a few simple checks. Getting a fail or mismatch because the passport quality wasn’t good enough wastes time you could use to get the house on the market.

To help you get it right first time, we’ve put together a checklist to give you some useful tips on uploading the passport.  


  1. Use jpg, tif, or pdf files only.
  2. Ensure all passports pictures are in colour.
  3. Make sure the quality is a minimum of 300 dpi. To find the dpi, right click on the image icon and click on Properties. Go to the Details tab and scroll down to the vertical/horizontal resolution where you can work out the dpi.
  4. Your image should be no bigger than 8MB. Right-click on the image thumbnail and click on Properties. You can find the size about half-way down.
  5. Use only the original image, NOT a photo of a copy. Take the photo directly from above. Distortions of details can lead to failed results.
  6. Make sure the entire passport page is visible. Security data can be stored in the corners and sides so if this is either not in the photo or hidden by a thumb, the document won’t pass. Ensure the whole page is visible but zoomed in as much as possible to ensure all the security checks are clear. For Full Scan, it will need to be detailed enough for the human eye to examine.
  7. Make sure the MRZ code is free from any glare, blurring, fingers or thumbs. This is especially important for the Basic Scan which uses this data as the entire basis for the result.
  8. Any glare can mean a fail. Ensure there is absolutely no haze over the face, name, MRZ code or security checks such as the holograms or design details.
  9. When using a pdf, only use the original image, don’t use a certified copy with a signature or stamp obscuring any part of the passport.
  10. Double-check the spelling of all names, date of birth and any additional information you input. Inaccuracies can lead to needless refers or mismatches.

Click here to download a pdf of this checklist.

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