Passports were earlier used as travel documents, to establish the holder’s country. With time, a passport has also increasingly become a proof of identity and address.
However, passports have an expiry date, and upon renewal, a new passport is issued with a new passport number. This is extremely inconvenient, as one now needs to remember the new passport number while filling travel documents (every time one enters and exits a country) and sometimes at other places in a foreign country. Additional mess can be created if the passport renewal date and travel dates are close to each other, or there are valid visas on the old passport (to which passport number is the visa attached? :=( ).
My driving license number remains the same, even when it is renewed. So does my PAN number with the Income Tax Department. My Aadhar number will not change when I apply for a renewal (due to change of address or replacement of my mugshot). So, why can’t my passport number remain the same over my lifetime, as long as I continue to hold the passport of the same country?
Before one starts attributing the situation to the state of the Indian bureaucracy, this is true of the US, the UK, Australia, and most other countries.
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