(Turbulence.org) This SWIPE tool allows you to crack a 2D barcode. Ever noticed the barcode on the backside of your license? Ever wondered what information it stores or why it is even there? Use our online application or the stand-alone program and put an end to the mystery! It is your data, so shouldn’t you have a look? Learn more about the 2D barcode and your driver’s license.

Before you proceed: The Barcode Decoder is still in development. We appreciate your patience during our first week online! If you receive error messages, please send us your
feedback. This will help us fix the bugs faster. Thank you!

1. Check to see if your driver’s license has a 2D barcode. Currently 39 states use the 2D barcode to encode personal information on the backside of drivers’ licenses. Look for a band of black and white squares in a random pattern.

This thing here is a 2D barcode.

2. Make a digital image of your driver’s license barcode. You can either use a scanner or a digital camera to create this image. The image you create must be a color GIF file or a very high quality JPEG without compression artifacts. The image file size should be roughly 500k to 1.5MB and can not be larger than 2MB. The license image should be 1000-1500 pixels wide and make sure it is rightside up. For good results, this image must be in sharp focus with high contrast.

Based on recent use, our Toolkit participants are getting better results with scanned images than images taken with a digital camera. If you use a digital camera, be sure to point the camera directly at the barcode and the license is level in respect to the lens.

See what a good scan looks like.

3. Decide if you want to use the online application or stand-alone program to decode your barcode. We have made two versions of our barcode decoder: an online version and a stand-alone program. They both will return the same results; the only difference is the stand-alone program allows you to decode locally on your hard drive. The online version is a little bit easier to use, but you will have to upload your barcode image to our server.

Note: We are not archiving any image files for future use. We will, however, keep track of the different kinds of information each state encodes on its drivers’ licenses. This research will be made available to our SWIPE Toolkit visitors. No specific data or identifying information will ever be stored on our server.

Now it is time to decode! Please contact us if you have any problems or questions.