National identification number

National identification number on the ESTA confirmation

The ESTA confirmation has a field that says "National Identification Number". Some countries have a national identification number, where every citizen is centrally registered with a particular number, such as the Citizen Service Number in the Netherlands. Not all countries have such a number. Additionally, the "Personal Identification Number" that may appear in the ESTA confirmation does not apply to travellers of all nationalities.

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Countries with and without a national identification number

Citizens of countries that do not have a national identification number, such as the UK and France, do not need to fill in anything, or simply "UNKNOWN", when applying for an ESTA when asked to enter a national identification number. If something is entered here that is not correct, this will not be a problem. The US Immigration Service knows that countries such as the UK, Austria, Switzerland or France do not use a national identification number and ignores what is entered in this field for citizens of these countries. No Personal Identification Number is used in any European country. Citizens of countries within the European Union therefore do not need to fill in this field, and it will not appear on the ESTA confirmation.

Various websites state that Germans should enter the number of a German ID card, but this is incorrect. A French social security number is not meant here either.

Citizens of countries that do have a national identification number should always enter this in the relevant field in the application form. Is this not the case? Then the ESTA application may be rejected. This may result in the need to apply for a visa at a US embassy, which will cost additional time and money.

Do you have the nationality of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg or Spain? If so, you probably have a national identification number.

Do you have the nationality of Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Austria, Switzerland or the United Kingdom? Then you do not have a national identification number.

Does your ESTA say "UNKNOWN"?

Do you not have a national identification number? Then your ESTA will show "Unknown", as shown in the red square in the example at the top of this page. This is normal and therefore not a problem.

Do you have a national identification number? If so, you must enter it to ensure that the ESTA is granted. Did you not fill in anything, and you still received an ESTA? The ESTA is valid even if "Unknown" appears next to your national identification number. Make sure to check that all other data on the ESTA is also correct. Incorrectly filled in passport data can lead to an ESTA that is granted but not valid.

Do you not yet have an ESTA?

You can apply for your ESTA travel authorisation to the USA using an online application form.

Apply for your ESTA now