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Second Passport

You can hold a second passport only under very specific circumstances in the United States. Passports are tied to an individual and allow that individual to prove citizenship and travel between countries. Under most circumstances, it is vital that a United States citizen only holds one active passport at a time. However, if you are a frequent traveler or travel at times to states at war with each other, then your current passport may impede your travel. It may become necessary to get a second passport in such cases.

The Department of State will not issue a second passport for US citizens for convenience or as a back-up in case the first is lost. There is no second passport application or form available, as a second credential is considered an exception to the rule. To learn how to get a second passport, citizens must contact the Department of State or a U.S. embassy and explain the circumstances regarding their travel.

What is a second passport?

A second US passport is a duplicate US passport that contains the same information as your original passport. However, unlike an original passport, your duplicate is only valid for two years. This temporary passport enables you to travel when you cannot use your original passport or when your original passport would bar you from entry.

Americans cannot request a second U.S. passport for convenience or out of concern they will lose the original passport. Americans also should not try to get a second passport if they have lost their original passport. If a passport is lost or stolen, then the holder must instead report the passport as missing and apply for a new passport. A second passport is exclusively for Americans who require a duplicate passport in order to travel because their primary passport is not available or will hinder their travels.

Who qualifies for a second passport for US citizens?

The State Department will approve someone’s request for second passport service under only two circumstances. Applicants who do not fit either circumstance will not receive a duplicate. In addition, applicants must have evidence of confirmed travel plans that will require the second United States passport.

The first reason you may qualify for a second passport is due to visa application delays. Some embassies require you to submit your original passport for several days, weeks or months to receive a visa. The process can leave you without a passport in the meanwhile. However, you can seek a duplicate US passport if you are planning another trip that will require a passport during the visa-waiting period. With a duplicate passport, you can still travel internationally as you wait for your visa request to be completed.

The second reason you may qualify for a second passport is international conflict. Multiple countries in or near the Middle East will refuse you entry if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. Some countries will even deny you access if you have stamps from the border crossing between Israel and Egypt or between Israel and Jordan. The list of countries that will deny you access due to ongoing political tensions includes the following:

You can request a duplicate US passport if you wish to enter those countries but have an Israeli stamp in your passport. Your duplicate passport will have blank visa pages, allowing you to travel uninhibited among those countries. Some countries like Iran may ask you to verbally declare if you have ever traveled to Israel after checking your passport. However, with no stamps on your second passport indicating you traveled to Israel, you can say no without repercussion.

How to Get a Second Passport

The Department of State does not supply a separate form for a second passport for US citizens. As well as additional documents clarifying the need for a second passport, citizens must supply documents to renew a passport instead. To request a duplicate passport, citizens need the following documents:

After gathering the necessary documents for a second passport, make an appointment at your local U.S. embassy or passport agency. Bring the documents and your method of payment to the appointment to request your duplicate US passport. After meeting with an agent, explaining your request and submitting your documents, wait for the approval. Your second passport will arrive within three to six weeks, depending on whether you are requesting it domestically or abroad.

Before you complete the second passport application process, contact the State Department or your local embassy. Details on the process may change depending on the embassy you are working with. Confirm what forms and fees are required to apply for a second passport. Additionally, some embassies may require you to apply in-person.