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When & How to Get Passport Reference Number

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Last Updated On :
  • 08/05/2024

A passport is an essential document for international travel and other verification processes. Individuals who travel abroad for work, tourism, studies, and other reasons need a passport.

To get a passport, individuals need to carry out the passport application process. At the time of applying for a passport, individuals get a file or reference number.

Using a passport file number, individuals can track their passport application. In this blog, we will learn in detail about a file number in passport tracking.

Eligibility for Getting a Passport

Applicants who are 18 years of age or older can apply for a passport. Minors under the age of 18 or newborns can also get a passport if the proper procedure is followed.

What is a Passport Reference Number?

All applicants get a unique passport identification number or file number to track their application status.

  • Basically, a passport document number is a 12-digit alphanumeric code given to the applicant after the passport application process.

  • It is the unique number given by the regional passport office after the submission of a passport application.

  • The passport file number format contains a combination of letters and numbers. Below is the breakdown of the 12-digit passport identification number:

  • The first four digits of passport file number represent the residential or current city of the passport applicant.

  • The following fifth and sixth digits of the passport reference number represent the year of the application.

  • The remaining digit of the passport reference number indicates the serial number of applications made by the applicant in a particular city or place.

Use Of Passport Reference Number

The passport reference number holds a significant importance in tracking a passport. Generally the passport application in India takes 2 to 3 weeks in the normal scheme. However, if you have applied for a passport under a Tatkal scheme, it will only take 3 days.

However, sometimes, the passport procedure can be delayed due to reasons such as bad weather, strikes, etc. In that case, applicants can use their passport reference number to track the application.

By entering the passport reference number on the portal, applicants will know the exact status of their application and how long it will take to get the passport delivered.

A unique passport identification number is also useful at the time of police verification. Getting a police clearance certificate is crucial in obtaining a passport.

However, the process takes time, and in such situations, applicants can use the reference number to determine the police verification status.

How to Get the Passport File Number?

The passport application process is governed or centralised by the Ministry of External Affairs. Applicants need to be eligible before applying for the passport. After knowing the eligibility, applicants need to submit the passport application form online and submit all the required documents.

Once the applicant has applied, they need to pay the required passport fee. Applicants can pay their fee online using a credit or debit card or through a bank challan. Once the passport fee has been paid, applicants need to book a slot for the passport appointment.

On the appointment date, applicants need to submit the required document and biometrics to the authorities. After obtaining biometrics, a system will generate a unique passport file number for a particular application.

This 12-digit code is the passport reference number, which can be used to track the passport application. The number is mentioned on the acknowledgment receipt, or applicants can get it on their email and phone number.

However, for any reason, if the reference number has not been issued, then the applicant can contact the Passport Seva Kendra in their area. Such situations generally occur due to technical errors.

How to Track Passport Application Using File or Reference Number?

To track the passport application using a file or reference number, individuals need to follow below-mentioned Steps:

Step 1: Visit the official Passport Seva website.

Step 2: Next, scroll to the “Track Application Status” on the homepage.

Step 3: Now, choose the suitable options for the application type, then enter the file number and date of birth.

Step 4: Enter the correct details. After entering the details, click on the “Track Status” option.

Step 5: The portal will display the exact passport information.

Need for Travel Insurance Policy While Travelling Abroad

A passport is an essential travel document while travelling to any foreign nation. However, besides passports, travellers also need to consider purchasing overseas travel insurance. A travel insurance policy offers financial coverage to travellers against various unforeseen situations in foreign nations.

From trip cancellation insurance to medical emergencies to baggage loss and more, everything is covered under the policy. Tata AIG offers a budget-friendly travel insurance policy catered to individual-specific travel needs.

Explore our website to buy travel insurance online in a few simple steps!


A file number in a passport application is essential for checking the passport status. The number is only issued after the successful submission of the passport application.

However, a passport reference number is only temporarily issued for the submitted passport application. The reference number or file number represents that the passport authority has acknowledged the application.


Can I get the same passport reference number for two different applications?

No, every applicant has a unique file no in passport application receipt. The passport reference or file number is a combination of 12-digit alphanumeric numbers.

Can a minor have a passport file number?

Yes, all the applicants, adults or minors who apply for a passport will get a unique passport file number.

How much time does it take to get the passport reference number?

A passport reference number is only issued after the successful submission of the passport application. The whole procedure may take some days to weeks.

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