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When we're talking about ID or passport, do we use "date of issue" or "date of issuance"?

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  • I wonder if either of them is wrong. It's "Date of Issue" on my passport, though. Mar 20, 2016 at 16:26
  • @DamkerngT. I think only Germans start the nouns in Uppercase. In English, it may be done for Emphasis, though
    – MAKZ
    Mar 20, 2016 at 16:38
  • @MAKZ, on my passport it says "Date of Issue". Capitals verbatim .
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 20, 2016 at 17:13
  • @MAKZ For your information, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_case#Case_styles Mar 20, 2016 at 17:13
  • According to NGram, "Date of Issue" is significantly more common in the UK, but for our friends across the herring pond "Date of Issuance" comes a very close second.
    – JavaLatte
    Mar 20, 2016 at 17:16

1 Answer 1

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The two are synonyms. The word issuance is used pretty much only in a bureaucratic context, whereas issue is a common English word with many other meanings (but “date of issue” is not ambiguous). You may find that a particular administration uses “date of issue” and another uses “date of issuance”, that's a stylistic choice.

“Issuance” is mostly used in the US, it's rare in British English. The Cambridge dictionary lists it only in a business sense, e.g. “bond issuance” (“bond issue” is also used, but unlike “date of issue”, it is ambiguous, since “bond issue” could also mean “the problem/concern with bonds”). The American Merriam-Webster defines issuance as an “official act”. Google Ngrams shows that “date of issue” and “date of issuance” are about as common in modern US English whereas “date of issue” is by far the more common in British English. “Date of issuance” seems to be on the rise in British English, but looking at the citations, a lot of them look like they're actually texts from the US, so the rise of issuance may just be due to the rise of publications crossing the Atlantic.

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