Obtaining a Second US Passport - Running with Miles
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Obtaining a Second US Passport

Second US Passport
Written by Charlie

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This is a post from before but I have had some people asking questions about obtaining a second passport so I thought it may help others if I republished it.

I realize this will most definitely not be of use to everyone here but since I couldn’t find that much that was clear to me before I applied for my second US passport I thought it might help at least one person to blog about my experience.

Second US Passport

Why Get A Second US Passport?

That is a good question! There are two main, legitimate reasons why a person would get a second US passport – 1) Because you have to submit your main passport for a visa and you do not have the expectation of getting it back in time before travel to a different country; 2) Because you will be traveling to countries that are at diplomatic odds.

You do have to provide a statement and some proof of one of the above examples. Believe it or not, there are some countries that take weeks to issue a visa and need to hold your passport for that entire period. If you have other travel planned during that time, having a second passport is the only way to avoid travel disruptions. For me, both reasons applied so I knew it wouldn’t be a problem.

How To Apply for a Second US Passport

You can apply through the mail or do it in person at a Passport Agency. Since we now have one very near and I was in somewhat of a hurry, I went down to the Passport Agency. It actually worked out for the best so that I could make sure everything was straight – it turns out that second passport applications are rare enough that sometimes the agents just go ahead and punch a hole in your current passport thinking it is a renewal (that is how they leave a physical mark that it is an expired passport)!

Here is what you need:

  • Completed Passport Application – Form DS-82
  • 1 Passport Photo
  • Your Regular, Current Passport (must be sent in with the application)
  • A Statement declaring your need for the second passport and your assurance that the loss or theft of either passport will be promptly reported (a copy of what I sent is below) – I submitted copies of my reservations that proved why I needed a separate passport
  • Fee for the passport (here is the good part – if you apply for your passport at a passport agency, you can actually use a credit card. That is different from applying at the Post Office where you must have a check)

Here is a copy of the letter that I used as my statement – Make sure you include this! The agent was very surprised that I had this letter because most people do not do this and it is required for approval:

[blockquote]

TO: U.S. Department of State
I, the undersigned, am the bearer of valid U.S. passport
number_________________ issued on ________________.
(number) (date)
However, in view of restrictive entry policies and/or the
time delay required to obtain visas for my current (and
future) travels, it is impossible for me to obtain all
necessary visas or to complete my trip using one passport.
I am therefore requesting the issuance of a second United
States passport. I understand the passport will be valid
only for two years.
Should either of my two passports be lost or stolen, I will
report immediately the circumstances of the loss to Passport
Services, or if abroad, to the nearest U.S. Embassy,
Consulate, or Consular Agency.
___________________________
(signature)
___________________

(date)

[/blockquote]

Using Your Second US Passport

The letter you get with your passports will suggest that you leave one of the passports home whenever you are traveling because you have no assurance that you will not be searched at the entrance of certain countries. If you have both passports because of some stamps that are in your original passport that would cause problems for visiting certain countries, imagine how much trouble you would be in if that passport was found hidden with you!

However, there are certain times that you will need both passports on your because your travel may have you visiting countries on the same trip that are not on speaking terms. In those cases, make sure you have properly stowed the passport that you do not want to use before your flight takes off so that you do not confuse the two and put the wrong information on immigration forms or, even worse, pull out both at immigration. 🙂 Also, if you are using both on a trip, make sure you remember which ones you have used for which itineraries and tickets so that you keep them the same.

Global Entry

Contrary to what some people have thought, you can register both of your passports to your Global Entry account. You can add the document to your account within your GOES profile. You can also stop in at a Global Entry office and have them add your second passport. I can verify that both passports work with Global Entry seamlessly.

One more thing to remember is that your second passport is only valid for 2 years. If you wish to renew it, you must again provide proof of your reasons for needing it. That actually makes your second passport realistically good for only 18 months because so many countries require your passport to be good for 6 months beyond your trip. If you continue to need the second passport, make sure you get an application for another second passport in before the 6 month mark.

One note on applying at the Passport Agency – it was great! Yes, there was a wait but it was not as long as the line at the DMV! Once I finished my application appointment, I was told that they would send it out by Priority Mail after it was completed. If you are in a huge hurry (like leaving within 5 days), you can actually pick up the passport the same day or the next day! In my case, since I wasn’t leaving for a couple of weeks, they were just going to send it Priority Mail. I applied on Monday afternoon and received my passports back Wednesday morning! That was very fast! So, if you have to apply for an expedited passport and are near enough to a Passport Agency, I would definitely apply there instead of mailing it in!

Again, I know this won’t be for everyone but hopefully it will help you if you do need to do it!

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

11 Comments

  • thanks for this post. i feel kinda stupid, but i was not even aware that i could get a second passport and, yes, i have been in that situation where i am waiting for my passport to come back from the Chinese embassy, had it come late, and missed my flight to a different country i was visiting before the China trip. Now that i know i can, i’m going to get a second passport…

  • Having secured a second passport previously only to have had the trip cancelled, the process can be unnecessarily expensive for its short validity. For many folks, Israel is the challenge but it is important to note that you can always have passport control there stamp a slip of paper they slide into your passport that you return upon departure so there is no lingering evidence of a visit in the physical passport. Just an fyi

    • Thanks, Donna. Unfortunately, asking them to stamp a paper instead of the passport is no longer a sure thing. Many reports say that they stamp the passport regardless. However, even if they did do that, the traveler could then decide later if a second passport is needed or not.

  • Another reason to have a second passport is if you have business visas in the first passport that do not expire for years but your first passport only has less than 6 months left on it. I am in that situation and need to add the new second passport to my profile. Does anyone know if I can do that at a Global Entry office as well?

    • After you login, it should be on the left panel to add Additional Documents. You would add your other passport in there. If for some reason they removed that ability, you can always do it at any GOES center. It will take all of two minutes to do. At JFK, you can just walk in and have it done during a layover.

  • Hi miles I would love if I got your advice on this. I’m heading to my passport agency Monday to get a second passport and I’m nervous. The people told me you can only get it for work purposes and I am, I’m just so nervous about this appointment. I don’t wanna mess it up. Please reply

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