Home: Do you need a second passport?

Why would anyone other than Jason Bourne or James Bond need more than one passport? Can a regular person even legally have more than one passport? Yes, they can and there are two main reasons for applying for a second US passport: 1) Frequent travel necessitates having a second passport available to apply for visas while traveling on the other passport. 2) Safety/security concerns if you travel between Israel and anti Israeli States.

There are at least ten countries that will not ordinarily allow entry into their country if your passport includes a stamp from Israel: Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The steps necessary to getting the second passport can be a bit confusing. Technically, you should be able to do this through whichever US Post Office also processes normal passports. But, after an hour of waiting and discussions, my local postmaster told me he had been in his job more than 25 years and had never heard of a “normal human being” obtaining a second passport. He refused my application.

I then chose to use a passport/visa commercial service, Passport Visas Express . To get a second passport, you need two copies of the DS-82 Passport Application, your current passport, two passport photos, evidence of immediate travel (copy of itinerary or copy of ticket), or a business letter stating the need for a second passport. I chose to include both my itinerary and a business letter from the NGO I was working with. You will also need a personal letter stating your reasons for a second passport.

As far as the costs, the government fee is $170.00 and the Passport Visas Express fee is $99.00. Remember, you can skip the $99.00 fee if your post office is a bit more accommodating.

One final thing you need to know is that your second passport is only valid for two years.

Photo ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman

6 thoughts

  1. Well, who knew? Obviously not your local postmaster. But this makes so much sense! And I too have found that using an expediter, although not cheap, for visas and passports makes everything smoother. Have even gotten a passport in one day.

    And in my case, I am also a national of another country (UK) so I have a British passport too. I can’t leave or enter the US on my British passport – but it’s perfectly legal for me to use my British passport to enter the UK or to travel elsewhere. Of course, this necessitates having been born in another country, which is hard to go back and do, so don’t bother trying to get one from somewhere else. Just go get a second one, if you need to.

  2. Hi Gary!
    Thanks for the interesting blog! I’ll keep this in mind if things get a little too hectic on the travel front. Still looking forward to a trip together with you documenting how clean water can be a blessing to so many people.

    God bless you brother!
    Bill

  3. The US can, and has, blocked entry when a non-US passport holder has a passport containing a Cuban stamp.

    Cuba does not, as a rule, stamp Canadian tourist passports for this reason. They will, if asked, though (some folk slike to collect those stamps.) And the stamp is tiny little mark that is often barely discernible as originating from a Cuba office.

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