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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.
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:
TO: U.S. Department of State
I, the undersigned, am the bearer of valid U.S. passport
number_________________ issued on ________________.
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.
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.
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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