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I'm flying to the US in two days and just realized I made a mistake in my ESTA application (I'm a EU citizen). Specifically, I mistook an O (the letter) for a 0 (the number) when entering my passport number. The O/0 difference cannot be seen on the passport, but it's machine-readable.

Do I have a chance of entering?

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    I'd apply for a new ESTA with the correct passport number if I were you. There is a good chance when they look up your passport, they will find no ESTA and refuse you. – CMaster Jun 10 '16 at 9:50
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    Are you sure it's an O? Many countries do not put O's on passports for exactly this reason. – Belle-Sophie Jun 10 '16 at 10:16
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    Further to @J.Constantine's comment, you should be able to tell O from 0 in the machine-readable zone. The letter is oval, and the digit is like a rounded rectangle. – phoog Jun 10 '16 at 10:37
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    Good lord, you're right! It's actually a 0... And I've always been thinking it's an O! Did it right by mistake when applying for ESTA! Thanks for your help! – mrngsprd Jun 10 '16 at 11:09
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First, check if there really is a typo. As pointed out by @J.Constantine in comments, many countries do not put O's (the letter) on passport numbers for exactly this reason. Germany would be an example.
As pointed out by @phoog again in comments above, you should be able to tell O from 0 in the machine-readable zone. The letter is oval, and the digit is like a rounded rectangle.

If your typo remains a typo, do a new application!

This source (in German) says you will not even get your boarding pass handed over when your airline controls whether you have a valid ESTA upon check-in. However for me that check has never been thorough enough that they would have found a typo so you might be able to go ahead still.
However at immigration in the U.S. this will be noticed and then pray for a nice immigration officer. Here is a report (in German again) of someone who ran into this and was able to redo their ESTA at an internet cafe at the airport. Apparently this mistake is not unheard of but better correcting sooner than later.

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    > many countries do not put O's (the letter) on passport number. I would be very surprised if that'd be a "countries" thing and not an ICAO recommendation / requirement. – chx Jun 12 '16 at 8:15
  • @chx the docu here does not give a limitation on the use of alphanumeric characters for the passport field so I guess it is up to the country but not an expert and if you find a better reference that'd be great here. – mts Jun 12 '16 at 8:37
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    If it were an ICAO recommendation then it's likely that it wouldn't matter whether you put 0 or O as the US secure flight system would treat them as the same too – Berwyn Jun 12 '16 at 9:33
  • And indeed it does matter if you put O or 0 as the last link in the A reports. It also says that the German AA is reaching out to the US to put warnings for that on their (German) ESTA forms. The article being of 2010, it seems in vain. – mts Jun 12 '16 at 9:50

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