I recently got Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) approved to travel to Canada by air. One thing I worry is that one alphabet letter in my passport number in the eTA approval email is not capitalized Should I reapply for the eTA in this case?

1 Answer 1


No, you don't have to re-apply.
The case of the letters in passport number does not matter.

This follows from the ICAO 9303-3 standard which has this about the characters used in the Machine Readable Zone:

Printed characters are restricted to those defined in Figure 4.

Figure 4 does not have separate upper and lower case letters: enter image description here

And 9303 part 4 which talks about travel documents mandates the passport number to be in the machine readable zone:

enter image description here

So if there would be two passports with the same characters except one of them in lowercase and the other in uppercase this would not be discernible for any machine readers which is clearly unacceptable. Perhaps you've seen when the border official scans your passport it's only the lower edge which gets swiped? That's the MRZ. Here's an example:enter image description here

  • I am quite sure that this is correct, but it would be a far better answer if you could find a source.
    – phoog
    May 10, 2017 at 20:33
  • 1
    @phoog interestingly enough the standard does not explicitly say this for the passport number -- but everything in the MRZ is case insensitive so the passport number is so as well. Added.
    – user4188
    May 10, 2017 at 21:03
  • @chx the calculation for the check digit also ignore case; letters A through Z have the values 10 through 35, respectively.
    – phoog
    May 10, 2017 at 21:44
  • That's another good point!
    – user4188
    May 10, 2017 at 22:50

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