Can I read passive RFID tag (125/134 kHz) with a NFC tag reader, like the one on Samsung Galaxy S3 ? If not, why: maybe because of the different frequency of the NFC reader (13,56 MHz)? Any way to to excite passive RFID tag with NFC reader?

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    \$\begingroup\$ No, you cannot because they are not the same frequency, but you can buy 13.56MHz passive RFID tags. \$\endgroup\$
    – Samuel
    Nov 5, 2012 at 22:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, i can, but i need to read existing passive rfid 125/134 kHz tag like one installed on the skin of my dog .. :( Thanks for reply ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – Raffaele
    Nov 7, 2012 at 8:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, you can, but not with your phone. You can read what are probably FDX-B tags with the µRFID module or something similar. \$\endgroup\$
    – Samuel
    Nov 7, 2012 at 9:45

2 Answers 2


You cannot read a passive 125 KHz Tag with a NFC reader, because as you have already guessed, they operate on different frequencies.

There are passive RFID cards operating on 13.56 MHz, however, and these will read just fine on a NFC-enabled phone.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Not just different frequencies, either - they speak totally different protocols. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2013 at 10:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ You can get a multitude of different protocols just for one frequency, and the two orders of magnitude difference in frequency makes it irrelevant, but yes, they are of course running different protocols and signaling schemes as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brog
    Feb 22, 2013 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I use Android smartphone with NFC to read dog implants? \$\endgroup\$
    – Boris_yo
    Jul 14, 2014 at 6:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Most likely not, pet implatnts are usually 125Khz tags (or slightly higher, it's been a while since i last checked). \$\endgroup\$
    – Brog
    Jun 23, 2015 at 15:47

NFC/RFID Tags based on operation frequency are divided to many sections. 13.56 MHz and 125 kHz tags are the most popular.

It is obvious 125 kHz reader/writer can detect only 125 kHz tags and the same is true about the 13.56 MHz ones. 125 kHz tags usually are memory-less devices with a unique ID and middle distance detection range. These are used in many application areas like: smart parking, shop, delivery service, etc.

13.56 MHz tags usually have a memory section which enable them to store data. They are used in close distance (usually less than 10 cm) applications like: micro payment, public transportation, AFC, etc.


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