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Introduction

The world today has become a much smaller and well connected place and people can travel anywhere in the world for work or pleasure and experience different cultures and enhance their knowledge. The key to such travel is a valid passport. Passport is the most essential document for overseas travel. It is not only used for travel abroad but is also important with respect to providing KYC documents that are needed in many areas like banking services, e-commerce websites, e-wallets, etc.

The passport application process in India is centralized by the Government of India under the Ministry of External Affairs. Applicants have to apply for their passport through the official online portal of the Ministry for the same. Applicants will then have to submit the printout of the application along with the necessary documents to the nearest Passport Seva Kendra for further process. At this time they will be given a unique number as an acknowledgement for the application received. This unique number is known as the Passport Reference Number.

Given below are the details of the Passport Reference Number and why it matters.

Who is eligible for an Indian Passport?

The passport application can be made only by eligible applicants in the country. The eligible applicants for this purpose are the citizens of the country over the age of 18 years.

The guidelines of passport application also provide the benefit of passport application for a minor i.e. a child below the age of 18 years. Such minor can also be a new born provided the application is validated by accompanying the necessary documents that are mandatory as per the presiding rules and regulations in this regard.

A person who is a resident of the country but not the citizen of the country will not get the national passport of that country but may get a refugee document or a valid travel document as the case may be.

What is a Passport Reference Number?

Passport Reference Number is the 12 digit unique number that is allotted to the passport applicants against the application submitted by them. This number is in the combination of alphanumeric and is a system generated number.

The breakup of this Passport Reference Number is explained below,

  • The first four digits of the Passport Reference Number represent the city or the place from where the application is made.
  • The next two digits represent the year of application. 
  • The remaining digits refer to the number of the application that is made in that particular city or place.

This file number is a temporary file number that is generated as an acknowledgement of the application and the documents that are physically submitted by the applicant at the scheduled appointment taken by him/her at the nearest Passport Seva Kendra.

When is the Passport Reference Number generated?

Passport application is a centralized process and is governed by the Ministry Of External Affairs. The applicants have to first fill the online application form for the passport. This application has to be attached with a predefined set of documents that are specific to the category of the applicant and has to be mandatorily submitted to ensure that the application is complete.

The documents needed vary according to the category of the applicant and the details of the same can be available at the official portal for passport application under the following link.

www[dot]passportindia[dot]gov[dot]in

Home>> Document Advisor 

After submitting the online application, the applicant will have to pay the requisite fees through any of the available online modes like,

Post this step, the applicant will have to select an appointment to the nearest Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) from the available time slots to physically submit the printout of the application form and the attached documents. It is to be noted that senior citizens need not book a prior appointment for this step and can directly walk-in to their nearest Passport Seva Kendra to submit the physical copy of the application form and the required documents.

Once the applicant submits the application form and the documents along with the required biometrics, the system will generate a Passport Reference Number. It is an internal reference code that is temporary in nature. As mentioned above, it is a 12 digit alphanumeric code that is a direct reference to the applicant. It can be used to track the status of the passport application of the applicant.

What are the uses of the Passport Reference Number?

One of the main purposes of the Passport reference number is getting to know the status of the passport application. Once the application is approved, the passport is received typically within two to three weeks of application in case the passport is applied under the Normal Scheme. If the passport is applied under the Tatkal Scheme, the time taken for receiving the passport is within one or three days of application.

If due to some reason, the passport is unduly delayed, the applicant can track the status of the application through the passport reference number provided at the time of physically submitting the passport application and the relevant documents.

The link for tracking the status of the application is mentioned below

www[dot]passportindia[dot]gov[dot]in

Home>> Track Application Status

If the processing of the application is held due to some reason like issue with any of the documents submitted or police verification, the same will be notified to the applicant on the basis of the passport reference number. The applicant can then sort out the issues that have cropped up and resolve them as per the guidelines in this regard.

The applicant can also get information about the estimated time taken that can be taken for the issue of passport and the finally receiving the same.

Hence, the passport reference number is very essential and has to be kept safely by the applicant till the time of physically receiving the passport.

FAQs – Passport Reference Number

1. What is a passport reference number?

Passport Reference Number is a distinct code that is allotted to every applicant after successfully submitting the passport application and the relevant documents required to complete such application.

2. What is the Passport Reference Number made up of?

The passport reference number is a 12 digit unique code that is the combination of alphabets and numerals. The composition of the Passport Reference Number is detailed below,

  • The first four digits of the Passport Reference Number represent the city or the place from where the application is made.
  • The next two digits represent the year of application.
  • The remaining digits refer to the number of the application that is made in that particular city or place.

3. How to track the status of the passport application using the passport reference number?

The passport application status can be easily tracked using the passport reference number by going to the website or portal of Indian passport application and clicking on the following link. www[dot]passportindia[dot]gov[dot]in. Home>> Track Application Status. After clicking on the above link, the applicant will be taken to a new page where he/she will have to follow the steps given below.

  • First step is to select the application type from the available options in the dropdown menu.
  • The applicant will have to select the option ‘Passport/ PCC/ IC/ GEP’
  • After that the next step is to enter the File number which is the passport reference number allotted to the applicant at the time of successful submission of the passport application.
  • Finally, the applicant will have to provide his/her date of birth as per the records provided for passport application
  • After providing all the above details, the applicant will have to finally click on ‘Track Status

After following the steps given above, the applicant will be able to know the exact status of the passport application and the estimated time of receiving the passport upon its sanction.

4. Can a passport reference number of two applicants be the same?

No. The passport reference number is a unique number and is specific to each passport application. Hence, the passport reference number cannot be the same or common for any two applicants.

5. Is the passport reference number the same as the passport number?

No. The passport number is the permanent number that is allotted to the passport of an individual upon its sanction while the passport reference number is the temporary number that is allotted to the applicant upon successfully making the passport application.

6. What is the maximum time duration taken for police verification?

The maximum time taken for police verification during the passport application process has been significantly reduced and is now only a maximum of 16 days.

7. Is a passport reference number allotted even in case of passport application of a minor?

Yes. Passport reference number is allotted for every passport application, whether it is the passport application of an adult or a minor.

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