Mexico: Biometric registration improves the country’s civil registry

More than 2,000 mobile biometric units helped authorities build a digital civil database

The Secretaría de Gobernación de México (SEGOB) chose Smartmatic to improve the country’s civil registry (Registro Nacional de Población, or RENAPO) to help safeguard the identity of every one of the country’s citizens.

Safeguarding the identities of 100 million people

We supplied 2,000 mobile biometric registration units to help authorities register fingerprint, iris, facial features and signature images of Mexican citizens ages 5-17. The resulting digital database will give everyone a new identity card.

Smartmatic supplied the solution’s architecture. We also provided systems integration, training and first level support to end users.

Our partner, Cross Match Technologies Inc., provided other advanced hardware and software.

Mexico has an estimated population of 110 million inhabitants, making it the second most populous country in Latin America, after Brazil. Mexican law requires that all the citizens be registered.


Our registration kits contained everything SEGOB needed to capture and store sensitive identity data securely and accurately.

Each kit came with a stand-alone battery that gave it up to two hours’ continuous operation.

Each packed the following items into one tough yet light and easy-to-carry case:

  • Registration software
  • Computer
  • Camera
  • Signature pad
  • Fingerprint scanner (Cross Match Technologies)
  • Iris scanner
  • Scanner
  • Barcode scanner
  • GPS
  • Printer
  • Back banner for photos
  • Surge suppressor


In addition to the technology, Smartmatic also supplied system integrator services, deployed the kits and trained personnel. As is the always the case, these services guaranteed our client, the SEGOB, could use their system by the required date.

Kit set up

Smartmatic configured each individual component to integrate them as a whole in the registration kit. In doing so, we guaranteed everything worked together perfectly.

Pre-deployment testing

Alongside SEGOB technicians, we also performed strict quality control tests before deploying the kits throughout Mexico.


When the registration kits were ready, we took them from central storage to the locations assigned by the SEGOB. Whilst the kits’ carry cases were extremely rugged, it was vital we treated the equipment inside gently. Taking responsibility for distribution in this way helped us ensure that the kits arrive un-damaged – and in perfect working order.

Pre-registration testing

On arrival at their pre-specified locations, we checked all kits with more tests. Our rigorous quality control ensured everything was ready for registration.


To ensure the high quality of the overall solutions, we also trained the personnel in charge of operating the registration kits, to make sure they knew how to use them properly.

We’re not a technology vendor as such. We always provide as much of an integrated, end-to-end solution as we can – and that includes services to operate our hardware and software. This is how we’re able to guarantee quality and successful outcomes.


Stage one: Design

During the planning phase, we analysed all the SEGOB’s requirements so that we could completely fulfil their expectations. Our previous biometric experience proved invaluable here as we were able to address common issues before we’d even begun.

Stage two: Getting ready

Once the equipment arrived in the production warehouse, we could begin configuration and training, before finally completing delivery of all the kits.

Stage three: Distribution

After configuring and testing the registration kits, we transferred them from our own warehouse to that belonging to the SEGOG, as well as to the registration locations.

Stage four: Training

It was vital people were properly trained to handle the equipment and deal with every eventuality. We conducted several training sessions throughout the process, for operators and support technicians alike.

Stage five: Support

While the registration process was under way, Smartmatic continuously monitored the kits and ensured all their components functioned correctly.