Will my passport number change when I renew it?

  • I'm travelling soon but need to renew my passport.

    Given that I have to provide my passport number to the airline to book a flight, I was wondering if my passport number would change if I renew it.

    Or would the number stay the same and the expiry date just change?

    I'm asking specifically as an Australian citizen, although I suspect a 'common' answer (if there is a general way this works) might be useful too.

    Yes the number will change. It's a new identity number with it's own unique identifier i.e. the passport number.

    With regard to the airline, it doesn't matter that your passport number has changed. They'll get the new number when you check in.

    @phoog It's standard practice these days to require passport or similar information up front, for immigration and security checks. If you turn up with a different passport than you provided details for, it's likely to be flagged by computer systems and lead to delays.

    @IMSoP Your first sentence is quite true. Your second sentence is not. I routinely check in for flights using a different passport than the one I used to book, and there's never been the slightest confusion nor as much as one second of delay.

    What difference would it make ?

    @happybuddha Security (theatre). There's lots of automated checks going on behind the scenes, and supplying a different passport is about the easiest possible issue to detect. I expect someone would end up manually clearing it, though.

    It appears most of my favorite Travel.SE people have Australian passports.

  • lambshaanxy

    lambshaanxy Correct answer

    5 years ago

    All biometric passports have serial numbers that change when issued. Per this notice from the Singaporean government, this is an ICAO requirement: https://www.ica.gov.sg/news_details.aspx?nid=12246

    And since virtually all passports are now biometric, even those countries (like Singapore) that did not previously change numbers do so now.

    Update: Here's Document 9303-4 "Specifications for Machine Readable Passports (MRPs) and other TD3 Size MRTDs" direct from the ICAO Machine Readable Travel Documents Programme:

    Field 05/I (Mandatory)

    Passport Number

    As given by the issuing State or organization to uniquely identify the document from all other MRTDs [machine readable travel documents] issued by the State or organization.

    "Uniquely identify the document" means that the number cannot be reused for other documents. And of course it's only a "recommendation", because ICAO only sets standards and does not enforce them -- but if countries produce passports that don't follow the rules, they're not going to be accepted by other countries. In particular, ICAO member states are supposed to ensure that non-MRP passports are no longer accepted after November 24, 2015.

    And a final nit: the standard above is technically for machine-readable passports, which is not quite the same thing as biometric passports, but the standard in question does document the rules of biometric passports, and all biometric passports are supposed to follow the rule above.

    The relevant bit here is the ICAO standard, which is global.

    Also, for those that might not be aware, "ICAO member states" means "nearly everywhere on Earth." The ICAO member states are the Cook Islands plus all of the U.N. member states except Dominica, Liechtenstein, and Tuvalu.

    Historically nearly every bit of official documentation in singapore had the same number - so your birth cert, passport and ID card(s) had the same number.

    Aren't all biometric passports machine readable?

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM