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How to Get a Second Passport and Why You Would Need One

Second passports are issued in special circumstances onlyThe official policy of the U.S. Department of State is that "no person shall bear or be in possession of more than one valid or potentially valid passport of the same type at any one time."

However, there are some exceptions to the rule.

In this guide, we will cover the situations that qualify for a second passport as well as the step-by-step process for applying for one.

Acceptable Reasons for a Second Passport

There are a couple of circumstances in which a second, duplicate passport is issued by the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs:

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  1. You need a second passport because of your travel history. If you plan to visit a country that will deny a visa due to the fact that your passport contains markings or visas showing you traveled to certain other countries, you can apply for a second passport.

    For instance, some countries in the Middle East will deny a passport containing a visa stamp from Israel.

  2. You need a passport for immediate travel. If you had to submit your passport as part of a governmental process or foreign visa application, you would typically be unable to travel interantionally until your passport is returned.

    In certain cases, if you can provide both resonable proof of why you are without your passport and proof of your urgent travel need, you can be issued a duplicate passport.

    Most reliable passport expediting services can help you with this application process and get you a second passport faster than the current 6 to 8 weeks you would have to wait for routine service.

Note: A second passport is only issued in the cases listed above if you are unable to complete your travel through a change of itinerary or you cannot cancel your current passport in order to obtain a new one.

The validity of a second passport is limited to two years and cannot be extended.

Uncceptable Reasons for a Second Passport

There are a couple of circumstances where a second passport will not be issued:

  1. A passport that is issued to replace one that is temporarily unavailable for unofficial reasons - If you can't reach your passport for any reason other than it has been submitted as part of an official application or other governmental business, you're out of luck. Your application for a second passport will almost certainly be denied.

    It doesn't matter if our passport is locked in a safety deposit box, packed for moving, or simply left in a different city. These are not valid reasons for a duplicate passport to be issued to you.

    In these cases, or similar ones, you have to submit the form for a lost passport and apply for a new one. This will invalidate your current passport, leaving you with only your newly issued one.

  2. A passport that is issued to replace one that was lost by a foreign embassy or consulate - This can happen when you have to include you passport as part of a visa application or other foreign business. While not your fault, the risk of identity theft from a lost passport is a real concern. As such, if your passport was lost in transit, you have to report your passport as lost and apply for a new one.

Note: If you need a passport fast, expediting your application through a registered passport courier service can get a replacement passport delivered to you as quickly as the same day in some cases.

How to Apply for a Second Passport: Step-By-Step

You need to submit the following items in order to apply for a second valid passport by mail.

  1. Completed Application Form DS-82

    Submit Form DS-82: Application for a Passport by Mail if you already have a valid, undamaged passport.

    If you do not currently possess a valid passport or your passport is significantly damaged then you first need to submit Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport in person. Once the new passport arrives, you can apply for the second passport using Form DS-82.

  2. Your Social Security Number

    If you not currently have an SSN then youo should fill in the passport application SSN box #5 with zeros. You MUST also fill out and sign the SSN Declaration and submit it with the passport application. Absence of the form will result in your application being delayed or denied.
  3. Second Passport Request Letter

    Your application request will not even be considered without a second passport request letter. This must also include a statement to the fact that you will immediately report the loss of either passport to Passport Services or the nearest U.S. embassy, consulate or consular agency.

  4. Provide a Written Statement from Your Employer (If applicable)

    If your reason for a second passport is related to urgent business, provide a formal written statement from your employer,on company letterhead, justifying the need for a duplicate passport. You will need to formally state the bearer's understanding that any loss or theft of either passport will be reported immediately to the nearest Consulate, Embassy, or passport agency.

  5. Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship and Identity.

    Your previously-issued, valid and undamaged passport can be submitted for this purpose. If you will need your passport during the application process, you can submit the original or a certified copy of your birth certificate.

  6. One recent passport photo.
  7. Payment for passport fees.

Again, there is no guarantee that a second passport will be issued. Each request is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Not all applications are approved.

Following the steps above give you the best chance of getting a duplicate passport.

Frequently Asked Questions about Second Passports

How long does it take to get a second passport?

Second passport processing times are the same as the current routine and expedited processing times for new or renewed passports.

Routine processing currently takes 6 to 8 weeks.

Expedited processing currently takes 2 to 3 weeks.

If you need faster service, you have two options:

  1. Visit a Regional Passport Agency - If you need to get a second passport in less than 2 weeks, you can visit a Regional Passport Agency. You will need both an appointment and the time to do so.
  2. Get Help from a Passport Expediting Service - Hiring a passport expeditor can simplify the process of getting a second passport. These courier services can get you your duplicate passport as quickly as the same day. This saves you the time, expense, and stress of having to visit a Regional Agency on your own.

    If you live far from the 26 available Regional Passport Agency locations, or if you simply do not have the ability to get to one, a passport expediting service is your best option.

How much does a second passport cost?

The cost of a second passport is typically the same as for a regular, new adult passport. These passport fees include an application fee and an execution fee, if applicable. Expedited services and courier fees are extra.

How does a duplicate passport differ from a regular passport?

A second passport differs mainly in its purpose and validity period. It's issued for specific circumstances like conflicting visa stamps and has a shorter validity, usually two years.

Are there any restrictions on using a second passport?

Yes. The second passport should only be used under the circumstances it was issued for. Misuse can lead to legal consequences.

Can minors get a second passport?

Minors can obtain a second passport under similar conditions as adults. Parental consent and documentation proving the need for a second passport are required.

Can I renew a second passport?

Renewal of a second passport depends on current regulations and the specific reasons it was issued in the first place.

Generally, second passports are reissued rather than renewed. That said, applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can I replace a lost, damaged, or stolen duplicate passport?

Yes, but the process involves reporting the loss or damage immediately. Replacement requires a new application and may need additional justification for the second passport.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

1. How can you get a passport when you're in a hurry?
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Get answers to these questions and more in our Ultimate U.S. Traveler's Guide to Passport Expediters.

You can also visit our library of articles about passport expediting.

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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