Using Chinese ID Numbers in Investigations
Resident ID Numbers
- AAAAAA – The first six digits of the number are a location code that corresponds to one of China’s 2862 county-level administrative divisions. For individuals born after 1985, this location is their place of birth; for individuals born prior to 1985, this location is their officially-registered residence at the time they first applied for a Resident Identity Card. This number does not change when an individual changes residence.
- YYYYMMDD – The next eight digits of the number are the individual’s date of birth, listed in Chinese date order (year, month, date).
- GGGN – The first three digits (GGG) are a code used to differentiate people born on the same day in the same administrative division. If this code is odd, the individual is male; if it is even, the individual is female. The final digit or letter is a checksum calculated from the other digits in the ID number.
Understanding the structure of Chinese passport numbers can help analysts identify whether the passport holder is a government official or a diplomat.
Chinese passport numbers (护照) are 9 characters long – either a single letter plus eight numerals, or two letters plus seven numerals. Electronic passports include in E in the first two characters.
- Diplomatic (D/DE): Used by diplomats. Only good for five years.
- Service (S/SE): Used by government officials who are abroad on official business; this includes families of diplomats and senior government officials. Only good for five years.
- Service General (S/SE): Used by lower-ranking government officials (副处级 and below) who are abroad on official business; also available for anyone else abroad on official business, such as laborers or journalists. Only good for five years.
- General (G/E): Used by the general population for personal travel; the most common form of passport. Good for ten years if issued to a person age sixteen or above.