Reading NADRA’s CNIC, NICOP & POC Barcodes

CNIC Sample

NADRA’s CNIC (Computerized National Identity Card), NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) and POC (Pakistan Origin Card) contain a 2D barcode. This 2D barcode contains a lot of information about the card bearer.

This 2D barcode is built over an ISO standard. This barcode can be read by a 2D barcode reader device made for this purpose or by processing the image of scanned copy of the card. I don’t know how, but someone managed to put an ad of a CNIC reader, with NADRA written on it, online on OLX ( One can easily find barcode readers for this ISO standard on alibaba or ebay for 150USD - 300USD. Here is the information encoded in the barcode:

After this there is some gibberish which I was able to decode easily. This encoded information contains following information in Urdu:

I did this decoding only for research/educational purposes. I am not sure if its legal or not, so I am not publishing decoding details here.

What is the utility?

  • Healthcare: Patient comes with his CNIC, receptionist scans the card and all history/lab reports are available immediately.
  • Security: We normally see a guard at the entrance of corporate offices or some residential areas sitting with a register in his hand, writing down name/address of all visitors. We can reduce the time and effort of this whole process.
  • Anywhere else, where user’s information is entered manually.


Removed the barcode standard name for security reasons