Biometric technology has been widely acknowledged as an effective means for enhancing private and public security through applications in physical access control, computer and computer network access control, medical records protection, banking security, public identification programs, and others. Nearly all of these applications involve use of a biometric token to control access to a physical entity or private information. There are also unique benefits to be derived from attaching a biometric template to a physical entity such as a document, package, laboratory sample, etc. Such an association allows fast, reliable, and highly accurate association of an individual person's identity to the physical entity, and can be used to enhance security, convenience, and privacy in many types of transactions. Examples include authentication of documents, tracking of laboratory samples in a testing environment, monitoring the movement of physical evidence within the criminal justice system, and authenticating the identity of both sending and receiving parties in shipment of high value parcels. A system is described which combines a biometric technology based on iris recognition with a printing and scanning technology for high-density bar codes.