Passport Reference Number – When and How to Get Reference File Number

bySharath ReddyLast Updated: November 15, 2023

At the time of applying for a passport, an individual is provided a Passport Reference File Number, which is a 12-digit unique number allocated to each applicant. By using this Passport Reference File Number, an individual can check the status of the application online on the official website. Every person who applies for a passport on the Passport Seva Kendra is given a unique number.

To know more about when and how to procure this passport reference number, keep reading.

When to Get Passport Reference File Number?

A Passport Reference File Number is only provided to the applicant once the application has been successfully submitted. Once the application is received, the applicant will be provided a number. The applicant has to pay the passport fee and submit the application. Since the number is key to monitoring the status of the application, it is very important that it is kept secure.

How to Get Passport Reference File Number?

After the application form has been submitted and the registration money has been paid, the applicant will be provided with the passport reference number. The number is important because it helps keep track of the passport application. If the passport file number is misplaced, the applicant can reclaim it from the Regional Passport Office (RPO) with help from an official.

Uses of Passport Reference File Number

Some of the primary uses of passport reference file number have been listed in the pointers below:

  • Track the status of the passport application.
  • The passport reference number is often used at the time of the police verification procedure.

When a passport application is successfully approved, the applicant can receive their passport within two to three weeks if it has been applied under the normal scheme. If the application for the passport has been submitted under the Tatkal scheme, the time taken to receive the passport can range from one to three days.

If the passport is delayed beyond the mentioned time, then the applicant can track the status by using the passport reference number.

Breakup of Passport Reference File Number

The passport reference number comprises 12 digits. A breakdown of these components is:

  • The first four digits of the passport reference number indicate the city or state where the applicant resides and from where the application has been submitted.
  • The fifth and sixth digits relate to the year in which the application was made.
  • The last six digits are the number of the application made in the city or state.

Who Is Eligible to Apply for an Indian Passport?

People who are citizens of India and are above the age of 18 years are eligible to apply for an Indian passport.

A minor or kid under the age of 18 years can also apply for a passport. The benefits of doing that have been stated in the passport application instructions. The minor can be a newborn if the application is approved and the necessary paperwork has been submitted complying with the rules and regulations.

When Is the Passport Reference Number Created?

The Ministry of External Affairs overlooks the centralised passport application process. The application has to be completed by the applicants. To verify application completion, it needs to be submitted along with a list of documents.

If an applicant wants to physically submit the application copy and the supporting documents, then they need to choose an available time slot and visit the nearest Passport Seva Kendra.

The system will issue the passport reference number when the applicant submits the form, necessary biometrics, and the required paperwork.


From the article we can gather what is reference number and that it can be obtained only after an application has been submitted successfully by an applicant. This number lets the applicant track the progress of the application during a delay or it can be of help during a police verification process. The 12-digit number is unique for every applicant so there is no chance of discrepancy.

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