Public Register of Travel and Identity Documents Online
PRADO - The Council of the European Union Public Register of Authentic Travel and Identity Documents Online
PRADO is a website containing technical descriptions, including information on some of the most important security features of identity and travel documents of countries within the European Union, all Schengen Area countries, as well as of some neighbouring countries.
With Council Joint Action 98/700/JHA from 3 December 1998 the European Image Archiving System "FADO" (False and Authentic Documents Online) was set up. The first part of the system, "Expert FADO", went online at the end of 2004 for secure communication among document experts. In 2007, iFADO and PRADO were released. iFADO (intranet FADO), contains the most important information from "Expert FADO" for access restricted, governmental use, while in PRADO a small subset of this information is published for the general public.
PRADO is hosted by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union (GSC), General Directorate for Justice and Home Affairs (DGD 1A).
PRADO contains technical descriptions, including information on security features, of authentic identity and travel documents. The information is selected and provided by document experts in the Member States of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Switzerland; part of the information contained in the classified, restricted "Expert FADO" system is made publicly available via the PRADO site. The steerring committee in the Council of the European Union is currently the Working Party on Frontiers in the formation of False Documents Experts.
The travel and identity documents are categorised into the following categories:
- A Passports (national passports - all types)
- B Identity cards
- C Visas (necessary to enter a country)
- D Stamps (passport stamps)
- E Entry papers (re-entry for own (& other EU) nationals)
- F Driving licences
- G Vehicle licences / log books
- H Residence permits
- I Seaman's books
- J Travel Documents issued to non-nationals
- P Civil status documents
- X Other travel and identity related documents
Information on practically all important documents of all EU and Schengen countries is present, but the overall number of described documents differs widely from country to country (information is added every week). In addition, document info is available on passports from the British overseas territories which are not part of the EU, from São Tomé and Príncipe and from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova.
In PRADO users also find links to websites with information on invalid document numbers provided by some EU Member States as well as third countries and other useful information related to identity and document checking and fraud.
PRADO is currently available in 22 official languages of the European Union. Documents are introduced by document experts in the 30 participating countries in any of the 22 languages and the standardised descriptions are translated automatically; thus, documents are immediately available in all supported languages. Additional free text information contained is translated online by specialised linguists of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.
The website is published by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union not only for transparency reasons, but also to provide an important service to many users in Europe, especially to non-governmental organisations with a need or legal obligation to check identities, for example:
- Banks and credit institutions
- Mobile phone providers
- Notaries and lawyers
- Postal services
- Security and guarding companies
- Vehicle rental companies and agencies