We present an efficient and effective approach to personal identification by parallel biometrics computing using mobile agents. To overcome the limitations of the existing password-based authentication services on the Internet, we integrate multiple personal features including fingerprints, palmprints, hand geometry and face into a hierarchical structure for fast and reliable personal identification and verification. To increase the speed and flexibility of the process, we use mobile agents as a navigational tool for parallel implementation in a distributed environment, which includes hierarchical biometric feature extraction, multiple feature integration, dynamic biometric data indexing and guided search. To solve the problems associated with bottlenecks and platform dependence, we apply a four-layered structural model and a three-dimensional operational model to achieve high performance. Instead of applying predefined task scheduling schemes to allocate the computing resources, we introduce a new online competitive algorithm to guide the dynamic allocation of mobile agents with greater flexibility. The experimental results demonstrate the feasibility and the potential of the proposed method.