A passport book number is the booklet identifier and is usually located on the second or third page of a passport. It is different from a passport number and also serves different purposes.
Let us go through the details.
What is a Passport Book Number?
A passport book number is an 8- or 9-digit number that identifies the booklet of a passport. It can be all numeral, all alphabet, or a combination of both. Usually, a passport book number is a 9-digit number containing two alphabets and seven numerals.
The sequence may differ depending on the issuing country’s requirements.
A passport book number is called different labels in different countries. Some commonly used names for a passport book number include:
- Passport booklet number
- Inventory or stock control number
- numero de libreta
- de carnet
The different names are usually due to the issuer countries’ national languages. Otherwise, it means the same thing for all passports.
Passport book numbers were commonly used when machine-readable passports (MRPs) were not in use.
However, some countries still use a booklet number on the second or third page of the passport.
Where to Locate the Passport Book Number?
The passport book number or simply the booklet number is usually located on the second or third page of a passport if it contains one. The exact location and format of this booklet number will vary by the issuing country as each country’s passport comes with a unique structure and design.
Commonly, the passport book number is located on the second page bottom right corner along with the personal identification information of the passport holder.
In other passports, it is embossed on the center bottom of the third page.
A booklet number is easy to locate if it is labeled. However, you can identify it on the first three pages of the passport.
It is usually a combination of letters and numbers and is an 8- or 9-digit string with an embossed writing pattern.
A common booklet number will read like, “EF 7125966”, “C 33607529”, or “736413678”.
The easier way to locate is to find it after identifying the passport number. Both these numbers are located on a passport at different locations.
What is the Purpose of a Passport Book Number?
The sole purpose of a passport book number is to identify the passport booklet or inventory for the issuing office. It has nothing to do with the personal identification information of the passport holder.
A passport booklet number or stock control number is used to identify how many passport booklets have been issued to a passport holder.
Issuing authorities in different countries issue passports with a different number of pages (usually 28 or 36). Most passports are valid for five years for the first time and ten years for older citizens.
If the passport holder’s book pages are used fully but the passport is still valid, the holder will ask for a new booklet. The issuing authorities will issue a new passport book but with the same passport number.
In some countries, the last digit or the passport number also changes when issuing a new passport booklet to the holder.
Passport Number Vs Passport Book Number
Unlike the common perception, a passport booklet number is different from a passport number.
A passport number is a unique identifier that is used to identify the passport issued to a specific person. It is directly linked to the personal identification information and the issuing authority.
On the other hand, a passport book number is only used to identify the booklet sequence number. It has nothing to do with the personal identification information of the passport holder.
Both numbers concerning the issuing authorities are noted in their respective records. However, a passport number is used everywhere and is also an important number when issuing visas and other travel documents.
The format of both these numbers is similar. Both numbers usually contain letters and numerals and are commonly 8- or 9-digit numbers.
Every passport contains the passport number but not all passports contain a booklet or inventory control number as it is an optional number these days.
Passport Book Number Vs Passport Card Number
Some countries issue passport cards for specific travel purposes like crossing borders by land or sea.
For example, the US Department of State issues plastic cards called passport cards to its citizens for specific purposes.
A passport card cannot be used for travel by air. It can only be used when two countries have mutual contracts or MOUs regarding the use of a passport card.
Then, a passport card number is similar to a passport number rather than the booklet number. So, a passport card number and booklet are two different numbers.
As a passport card is a single page (plastic card), it does not contain a booklet or inventory identification number.
Passport cards are commonly used as quick identification documents where the entrants do not need visa stamping and other formalities.
Does Every Passport Contain a Passport Book Number?
No, not all passports contain a passport booklet or inventory control numbers. It is not a mandatory number and neither is it part of the personal information of the passport holder.
It was a common number before machine-readable passports. In the past, frequent travelers would require several booklets of the same passport for visa stamping and other information like immigration entry and exit control information.
Nowadays, machine-readable passports do not require much space and have more booklet leaves for visa and immigration information. Also, most of the immigration information is stored digitally these days.
Some notable countries having a passport book number include:
- El Selva Dor
Some countries like the US may use the passport number only. Some other countries have booklet numbers for their older versions but are discontinued in their newer machine-readable passport versions.
Information Provided on a Passport
An easier way to locate a passport booklet number or any other information is to know what is listed on the first few pages of your passport.
Each country has a different design and structure for a passport but generally, the information provided is similar.
Here are a few key passport sections on the first two or three pages.
It is a unique number with a combination of letters and digits that identifies the passport.
Name, Surname, Middle Name
These sections contain the passport holder’s first name, middle name, and surname.
Date of Birth
It denotes the date of birth of the passport holder.
Passport issuing date/place
Some passports contain only the issuing date while others contain the issuing place/country as well.
Passport Expiry Date
It shows the passport expiry date and determines the validity of a passport.
It is a photo space that contains a digital photo of the passport holder.
Most passports these days come with an e-passport symbol or a chip that stores the digital information of the passport holder.
Passports around the world use special ink for safety purposes.
Some lines on a passport may be embossed for further security and safety features.
It is usually a machine-readable barcode and helps immigration authorities worldwide to quickly process the information.
Passport Booklet Number
It is the passport booklet identifier number and is usually located on the second or third page of the passport.
Every passport contains a signature space on the second or third page for authentication of the passport holder.