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For the US department of state visa application, there is a question about the passport book number, which is apparently different than the passport number. What is that referring to? The explanation in the side bar was not very clear and other searches gave answers that seemed to say it was the same as the passport number.

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Update

It would be helpful to have an answer that shows a few example passports from different countries with the book number location marked. I'm also interested in understanding exactly how these numbers are used in correlation with the passport number.

  • "You may or may not have a Passport Book Number on your passport" – Burhan Khalid Jun 20 '16 at 7:05
  • This may (or may not) be one in a new Canada passport. The number, EDH02870 in that example, is punched through each page in the passport but is not the passport number (the latter is always two letters followed by 6 numbers). I assume that is the "book number", though I don't think it is identified as such in the passport. – Dennis Jan 4 '17 at 19:50
  • P.S. The Finnish passport at the bottom of the same page has a number punched through each page too, but I don't know whether the number is the same as or different from the passport number. – Dennis Jan 4 '17 at 20:00
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For UK and US passports the book number is the same as the passport number.

For other countries it is not the same thing as your passport number; and you can see in the sidebar - "You may or may not have a Passport Book Number on your passport".

If you have one, it will state so in your passport's identification page (the page with your picture on it); or on the page immediately following it.

It is sometimes called booklet number; as it does on my passport.

  • For those countries in which a book number is different, how and for what purpose are these two different numbers used? – Suragch Jun 20 '16 at 9:28
  • It is an extra layer of identification to prevent fraud / counterfeit documents. – Burhan Khalid Jun 20 '16 at 9:55
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    Are there any countries that don't number their passport booklets? I would expect that the real difference is that a few countries also have a permanent citizen's identification number that they disguise as a reusable "passport number" -- but most just have the actual passport number (i.e. booklet number) and may display a national ID number separately from the passport number. – Henning Makholm Jun 20 '16 at 9:56
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    You say book number is the same as passport number for UK/US, however the form has a "does not apply" checkbox. Shouldn't you be advising to select that on passports that don't have a book number, rather than saying to put the same number in twice? – Berwyn Jun 20 '16 at 10:40
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    My French passport has only a passport number and nothing else. (Consequently, I checked "does not apply" when I applied for a US visa some years ago.) – fkraiem Jun 20 '16 at 11:28

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