Passport Book Number

All you need to know about the Passport Book Number

What is the Passport Book Number?

The United States Passport Book Number is a unique number on the passports issued to every individual passport holder by the US Department of State. It is an integral part of the passport that identifies the specific passport booklet making it unique.

Where is my Passport Book Number on the Passport and how to identify it?

Passport booklet numbers and their locations may vary from country to country and the United States has its own. It is a 9-digit long number located on the top edge of the main page on the right hand side on the passport where you have your picture and information and is under the “Passport No.”, which is a “black labeled” title.  It is also present on the ‘machine-readable zone’ or MRZ at the bottom of the same page. This is issued by the US Department of State to eligible individuals to identify the booklet in specific. 

There is a particular format that the United States has adhered to when it comes to its Passport Book Number. Each country has its own ideas and thoughts with respect to its Passport Book Number. In the United States, number, black color imprint consisting of only numbers. The first two numbers indicate the US office that issued and accepted your passbook application.

Why is Passport Book number important?

The book number is unique in this way as it identifies that particular passport booklet. Therefore, every time a new booklet is issued, the book number will change. It is necessary for an individual to make a note of their number as they might need this to fill in their DS 160 forms or apply to any embassy for any country you are planning to travel to. It is also useful in case you misplace your passport.

With the help of this book number one can retrieve all the details about the passport booklet like the validity of your passport, when it was issued and in which county it was issued.

It can also be termed as ‘Inventory Control Number’ or simply ‘Booklet Number’.

Is the United States passport book number and Passport card number the same?

No, both are different numbers issued by the department. While the Passport book number is used for the purposes of travelling anywhere, a United States passport number is only used to travel on land or for entry through the ports on the coasts of the United States or Mexico. It also opens pathways into Canada and few other nearby Caribbean territories. Passport card numbers can only be used as a photo identity proof so don’t bother using it as a proof of address.

Eligibility criteria for US Passport book and the United States Passport Book Number

Passport books are issued to individuals who are United States citizens or US Nationals.

About DS 160

DS-160 is the application form you will need for a Visa entry into the United States. This means that this form needs to be filled and provided to the US immigration officers in order to place a visa request for travel to the US or from the US. It costs between $160-$190. It is an online form to be submitted to the US government through website only.  

The form is divided into multiple sections with the mandatory information and has to be provided with truthfulness:

  • Personal information: Details of your name, surname, given name, surname, etc., email address, nationality, residential address, educational qualification, date of birth, etc.
  • The type of visa you are requesting for, address where you will live in the USA or any relatives in the US, 
  • Travel information: You will also have to provide travel information in the form with regards to the number of times you traveled to the US, any sponsor who is paying for your trip, and the relevant details of that individual
  • US Contact information- Any relatives staying in the US and their information, organization name if you are going on a work visa, etc.
  • Family information
  • Work/ education and training details
  • Security and Background Information
  • Current location

The various passport information that you need to keep handy are:

  1. Passport and travel document type and number
  2. Passport Book number
  3. Which country and where was the passport issued
  4. Passport validity, expiration date.

Now, while most of the sections when you are filing a DS 160 are mandatory, they also have some questions with options. You may simply enter ‘does not apply’ if that is accurate in any of the sections with multiple options. Do remember that the system will not let you submit the form if you miss out on filling in any of the mandatory fields.

Can we resubmit a DS 160 form?

In case you have filled in the wrong information in the form, there is a provision to submit a fresh form with the right information. You will need to print the new form for further references, you need to contact their office for additional dates and visa interviews.

Passports and Passport Book Number for other countries:

Indian Passport


Indian Passports don’t have a ‘passport book number’ but have a ‘passport number’ which is 9 digits under the machine-readable zone, which can be read by entering the 9 characters that we mentioned earlier and a second line of MRZ consisting of alphanumeric series. This can be found in the upper right corner near the photo and other identification details. The Indian passport is issued by the Indian Ministry of external affairs to the citizens of India to enable them to travel internationally. It is also used as address proof for the individual.

Some Key Features

The key features of an Indian passport include a bio page that covers your identity information including your your signature, photo, personal details etc. and the demographic page that requires information like Name of Father, Mother, Spouse, Address, old passport number, etc. to apply for an Indian passport the applicant needs to have valid ID proof, Address proof, proof of nationality and genuine personal details as asked for.

Mexican Passport


Mexico has an 11-digit book number on the passport however it is only present in the older version of passports. The department or the Authorities have discontinued adding the book number on the newly issued passports. The various requirements for filling a passport application form when applying for the first time are proof of nationality, personal details, ID proof. The information printed on the Mexican passport is written in English, Spanish and French.

Chinese Passport


The Chinese passport book number is a 10-digit number and is placed differently from other passports. It is imprinted ‘vertically’ in black ink, unlike in the US passport where it is placed horizontally. Appearing on the right-hand corner of the passport right below the photo of the passport holder. It is used for the purpose of identification and for traveling internationally and is issued to the Chinese Nationals by the National Immigration Administration, PRC. The different kinds of passports include ordinary passports, Diplomatic passports, and service passports.

Frequently Asked Questions :

What is the importance of Passport Book Number?

It validates your passport booklet and is specific only to that particular booklet. With the  issuance of a new Passport Book, you will receive a new number.

Is the US passport book number the same as the passport card number?

It validates your passport booklet and is specific only to that particular booklet. With the  issuance of a new Passport Book, you will receive a new number.

Who is eligible for a US passport ?

No, both are different. All US citizens and US Nationals can apply for a US passport.

What is DS 160?

DS 160 is the online visa application form.

What is the other name for Passport Book Number?

It is also called ‘Inventory Control Number’ or simply ‘Booklet Number’.

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