Travel Document Number: What It Is and How to Find It

Updated on May 4, 2024
At a Glance:
  • A travel document number is a unique identifier associated with travel documents like passports, visas, and Green Cards.

  • Passports, Visas, Green Cards – each travel document has its own distinct travel document number.

  • Passport numbers can be found in the upper right-hand corner of the passport page.

  • Visa numbers are typically printed in red on the bottom right-hand corner of the visa.

  • And Green Card numbers are printed on the back of the card.
  • Are you excited? Is everything prepared? Soon you’re leaving for a trip abroad and it’s going to be a glorious time. If only you knew what is expected of you in terms of customs and immigration at the border crossings, that would definitely help to settle some nerves.

    We won’t be covering everything here, but we’ll help explain your travel document number. These types of documents are an essential part of your trip. Without it, you won’t be allowed to cross any borders.

    What Is a Travel Document Number?

    When planning a trip abroad, besides your luggage and itinerary, one crucial element you must carry is valid identification. This is where the travel document number becomes indispensable. A travel document number is a unique identifier assigned to official travel documents like passports, visas, and Green Cards. It serves as a key tool for governments to validate these documents’ authenticity, track tourists, and maintain border security.

    Whether it’s a passport, visa, or any other federal ID, each comes with this distinctive number. It’s not just a series of digits; it’s your global identity when you cross international borders, aiding in everything from applying for visas to entering new countries.

    3 Types of Travel Document Numbers

    There are currently three types of documents on which you can find a travel document number:

    1. Passports
    2. Visa
    3. Green Cards

    Read on to learn more about each of the documents.


    A passport is more than just a travel necessity; it’s a symbol of your identity and citizenship on a global scale. In most cases, it’s the primary document required for international travel. Passports come with their unique travel document number, typically found in the top right-hand corner. This number, usually 6 to 9 characters long in U.S. passports, is crucial for verifying your identity and eligibility for travel.


    While a passport opens many doors, a visa is often needed to step into countries where mere passport entry isn’t permitted. The visa travel document number, which you can usually find in a different color on the visa, is pivotal in detailing your travel permissions and duration of stay. This number, often 8 characters long, is a key part of the U.S. visa and is prominently displayed for easy identification.

    Green Cards

    For those looking to establish a more permanent connection with the United States, the Green Card is a critical document. With its unique travel document number found on the back, the Green Card serves as evidence of your status as a lawful permanent resident. This number, comprising 13 characters, is vital for anyone planning to live, work, or study in the U.S. for an extended period.

    In the world of international travel, understanding these various travel documents and their respective numbers is fundamental. Not only do they affirm your identity, but they also dictate your travel capabilities and restrictions in foreign lands.

    The Role and Importance of Travel Document Numbers

    Travel document numbers serve as more than just a formality; they are critical for verifying the authenticity of travel documents and the identity of travelers. Authorities worldwide rely on these numbers to confirm that the documents are valid and not fraudulent. This standardization is key for border security, as it allows for efficient and reliable identification of travelers. The unique nature of these numbers means that no two passports, visas, or Green Cards share the same identifier, ensuring individual tracking and verification across international borders.

    How to Apply for Different Travel Documents

    The process of obtaining travel documents like passports and visas can vary, but understanding the basics is crucial for a smooth experience.

    U.S. Passport Card and Book

    To obtain a U.S. passport card or book, applicants must provide a government-issued ID and proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. The process involves submitting an application form, a photo, and the applicable fee. While a passport card is limited to certain types of travel, the passport book allows global travel by sea, land, and air. The processing time typically ranges from six to eight weeks.

    Visa to the U.S.

    Applying for a U.S. visa involves filling out the DS-160 form online and submitting various documents, including identification and birth certificates. Applicants must explain their travel purpose and duration and pay the necessary fees. An interview at a U.S. embassy is a crucial part of the process for applicants aged 14 to 79. The entire process can take from seven to ten days, and using services like iVisa can streamline it.

    Green Card

    For a Green Card, eligibility must be determined first. The application process includes completing Form I-485 online and providing supporting documents. An interview follows before a final decision is made. The process can take 5 to 6 months, and the Green Card allows U.S. access for up to 10 years.

    Finding and Understanding Your Travel Document Number

    Locating your travel document number is straightforward but varies depending on the document type. For U.S. passports, the number is typically in the top right-hand corner of the identification page. Visa numbers are often printed in red ink and located in the bottom right corner of the document. In contrast, the Green Card’s receipt number is usually printed in the center. Knowing these locations is crucial for filling out travel forms and during immigration processes.

    Read More

    Final Thoughts

    Your trip abroad sounds like an exciting time. You are packed and ready to leave. You’re also much more prepared now since you un

    Travel Document Number FAQ

    So you might still have some questions regarding your travel document number. Here are a few of the more frequently asked questions and some helpful answers.

    1. What is a Travel Document Number?

    A Travel Document Number (TDN) is a unique identifier assigned to passports, visas, Green Cards, and other official travel documents. It’s crucial for authenticating these documents and verifying the traveler’s identity.

    2. Is the Travel Document Number the Same as My Passport Number?

    Yes, in the case of passports, the passport number is the travel document number. However, for other travel documents like visas and Green Cards, the numbers are different.

    3. Where Can I Find My Travel Document Number on My Passport?

    For U.S. passports, the number is usually located in the top right-hand corner of the identification page.

    4. What is the Importance of the Travel Document Number?

    This number is vital for security and identification purposes, helping authorities verify the authenticity of documents and the eligibility of travelers.

    5. How Do I Find the Travel Document Number on a Visa?

    On a U.S. visa, the travel document number is typically found in the bottom right corner, printed in red ink.

    6. What is the Difference Between a Travel Document Number and an I-94?

    The I-94 is an arrival/departure record for foreign nationals in the U.S., different from a travel document number, which is a unique identifier for passports and other travel documents.

    7. How is a Travel Document Number Used in International Travel?

    It’s used by border and immigration authorities to track and authenticate the identity of travelers crossing international borders.

    8. What Should I Do If I Can’t Find My Travel Document Number?

    If you’re unable to locate your travel document number, contact the issuing authority, such as your country’s passport office or embassy, for assistance.

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    Frank Gogol

    I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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