The paper presents a novel framework for the application of multiple features for handwritten data based identity recognition. Different types of features characterise different facets of the handwriting. We have designed a scheme for multiple feature based identity establishment using multi-kernel learning. A new formulation for multi-kernel learning using genetic algorithm has been presented. The efficacy of the framework using individual and combination of features is demonstrated for Devanagari script input. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.