How To Get A Second Passport

by on September 24, 2013 · 30 comments

in Allied Passport, Points Guy Pointers

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If you’re like me and constantly traveling, one of the issues you might run into is that your passport gets filled up pretty quickly – especially if you travel to countries that require visas that take up an entire page. Although it will be valid for a few more years, my passport is pretty much filled up now and it takes immigrations agents several minutes to find some free space in it for a stamp- and even more time when I leave for the immigration officials to find my entry stamp. My current passport is also several years old, so it doesn’t have the current chip technology in it that expedites the immigrations process.

I’ve also recently had issues scanning it at Global Entry kiosk and even airline check-in kiosks, so I thought I’d have to get a new one and be stuck here in the States for a few weeks while I sent away for it and lose all those valuable visas and stamps that I’ve collected over the years. However, it is possible to hold two passports- here’s how:


Getting a second passport is easy with a service like Allied Passport.

TPG reader Steve works at Allied Passport & Visa and I’ve used them several times to get visas and most recently for a second passport and while they charge fees, they’ve saved me time and money which can make it more than worthwhile. You don’t need to use an agency, but if you want to avoid trips to passport offices/consulates, using one can make a lot of sense.

Allied Passport & Visa can help you get a second passport.

Allied Passport & Visa can help you get a second passport.

  • Complete Passport Application Form DS-82. Applicants requesting passport service must now use an online version of the form DS-82, rather than handwriting the required personal data. Click here to get the Passport Wizard.
  • Include two recent professional passport photographs of yourself.
  • If using a visa agency, include two letters authorizing Allied Passport & Visa to act on your behalf at the Passport Agency. You can e-mail Allied at [email protected] for the form. Also include the Allied Passport & Visa order form.  Click here for this form.
  • Submit your most recently issued valid 10 year passport. Your passport won’t be cancelled, but be sure to plan accordingly and do not to apply for a second passport if you are taking an upcoming trip within 2 weeks. All 10 year US passports are considered proof of citizenship (passports issued for less than 10 years are not considered proof of citizenship by themselves).
  • Include proof of the departure date from the USA such as a flight itinerary.
  • Explanation of Requirement for Second Valid Passport. This is a letter signed by the applicant addressed to the Passport Agency explaining why a second passport is necessary Click here for sample

Approval of a second valid passport in determined solely by the US Passport Agency based on the applicant’s requirement for the passport and they charge $170 for expedited processing or $110 for regular processing, which takes about four weeks.

Stamps like this one for Morocco can quickly fill up a passport.

Stamps like this one for Morocco can quickly fill up a passport.

Reasons To Get A Second Passport

As I mentioned, one of the reasons I need a second passport is that my current one has deteriorated a bit and can slow me down through customs and immigrations. The State Department also lists several other reasons you might be eligible for a second passport including:

You may sometimes need another passport if a foreign country denies you a visa due to political tensions because you have stamps in your passport from another specific country, such as Israel (some countries won’t allow you in if you have an Israeli passport stamp).

When a passport needed for immediate travel is unavailable due to prolonged delays in processing a foreign visa application or some other foreign government process for which the passport is needed; or the need to obtain multiple visas on a current or ongoing basis as is often the case with flight personnel, executives of multi-national corporations, or journalists.

A second passport may also be issued to prevent the cancellation of a current passport containing a valid visa.

A passport issued to replace a lost or stolen one, or one that is temporarily unavailable (like locked in a safety deposit box and inaccessible to you) are not considered second passports.

Note that there are some restrictions however to second passports including that they are only valid for two years, and cannot be renewed – when it expires you have to get a new second passport. If it fills up, though, you can have pages added if necessary.

Speaking of adding extra pages, I know a lot of you are probably wondering why I don’t just do that with my primary passport. But I’ve already added pages to it (you can read about my experience doing so at the US passport office in Manhattan here – it basically took me a single day to do) and that’s part of why it’s not functioning so well at kiosks, plus those pages are already filled up.

I plan to get a second passport in the next few weeks since, as I mentioned, my current passport is getting very full and not having the chip in it is becoming more and more of an issue. I don’t want to give it up entirely for the processing time getting a new one would take since I do travel internationally so frequently, so getting a second passport is a great option for me to have that means I don’t have to put my travels on hold while updating my credentials.

Do any TPG readers have second passports? Any tips for a first time applicant?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Michael

    I assume you already added extra pages to your main passport? I usually do that and get a lot more time and use out of it. My last passport was full of stamps and visas after just a few years, and sending it i for additional pages got me right up to its expiration date. And no problem with GOES scanning at all.

  • James

    Your visas are all still valid after you get a new passport. You just travel with your new passport and your old one with all the Visas in it. Your old passport should be returned with your new one. You should ask for it to be returned to avoid any confusion. I have had all of my old ones returned.

    Also, getting the pages added is pretty straightforward. If you do get pages added, I recommend doing it at an embassy instead of in the US. Getting pages added at an embassy is quick and easy. The whole process doesn’t usually take more than a couple of hours. Often, you can make an appointment on the Embassy’s web page. Just figure out where you are going to be in the next few weeks where there is easy access to a US Embassy and make the appointment.

  • JonathanIT

    You can order a new passport with extra pages already included, saving the time and cost of adding then later. It’s important you let your agency know to request this!

  • Glen Campbell

    It’s a lot easier just to get an extension to the existing passport. Having lived overseas, I filled up a passport in a year, but they then attached a 1/2″ binder of extra pages to it at the US Embassy in London. The only reason you need a second passport is if you travel to a country that may deny you entry based on your previous visits; for example, many Middle Eastern countries will deny entry if you’ve ever visited Israel. I had a friend that was an archaeologist, and she had a passport for travel to Israel and a second passport for everywhere else.

  • thepointsguy

    I already have extra pages and it is filling up and the barcode now isn’t functioning well so I’d rather have a new fresh one

  • thepointsguy

    Awesome tip- will do that!

  • Dorian

    You should preface posts such as this with “If you’re American”….

  • keith_mar

    Many Americans (and Canadians, Australians, Kiwis, Brits, etc) will also qualify for a second nationality, which can be a smart way of getting a second fully-valid passport.

    If you have a parent or grandparent born outside your country of principal nationality, it’s reasonably likely you qualify for citizenship wherever they were born too. E.g. if just one of your grandparents was born on the island of Ireland, you qualify for Irish citizenship, regardless of where you or your parents were born. That alone encompasses around 10m-20m people worldwide (outside Ireland). Other countries may only allow parental inheritance, but it’s worth investigating.

    Most countries have no obligation to renounce one citizenship to claim another (notable exceptions include China and Netherlands).

    So, go find old Grandma O’Reilly’s paperwork and you could be in luck!

  • Craig

    Just for the record iirc, Israel no longer stamps passports, they will hand you a piece of paper to attach to be used for exit. Even the last time I was there several years ago, I’m pretty sure they didn’t. (You can always request that they don’t regardless)….

  • Steve Gempeler

    FYI, a lot, actually most visas are considered void if they are in an expired passport. Only a handful of countries have their visas remain valid in an expired passport.

  • James

    That is a good point. Schengan Visas, Brazil Visas and USA Visas are all still valid in expired passports. But I don’t think a Russian visa is, and I’m sure that there are plenty of other countries with their own rules too.

  • Charlie

    A couple of additional points:

    1) The second passport can easily be added to your Global Entry profile so you can use either one.
    2) Using a passport office is definitely the way to go if you want it in any amount of haste. They can issue it the same day (if necessary) otherwise, it will take about 3 days. To use a passport office, you will need to pay the expedite fee.
    3) Another bonus to using a passport office is that they do the printing in house so you can make sure they put some note on your existing passport to not cancel it.
    4) Be careful when traveling with both that you use the one to exit a country that you used to come in to it. Also, be careful carrying both when you are visiting a country that is at dispute with a country you have a visa for in the other passport – your second passport states that it is a second passport and may prompt officials to ask after the other.

  • lance

    I got a double page upgrade prior to my trip around the world. You can add twice the normal amount of extra pages if you show that you travel extensively. I believe this adds 52 pages. I will always ask for this whenever renewing my passport. I hate having active visas, because then you have to carry your old voided passport anyhow…

  • Pauly

    Realize they will not always honor this request. If your new passport is not almost full and you request a new passport with extra pages they will not give it to you and you will have to get additional pages added. It is only when you renew that passport will they give you the pages up front. It’s held true for myself and two work colleagues,so not sure if its official policy but we’ve had no luck….

  • gpuzzi

    Or some people may have the option through heritage to claim dual citizenship and get a second passport that way. Makes life a lot easier with two passports issued by different countries. I discover new benefits every year!

  • Jeremy

    Two items of note:
    1. When I applied for my last passport they gave me a 52-page book with 2 sets of extra pages (one in first half and one in second half.) Although you have other reasons for a second passport, it is possible to get a second set of additional pages.
    2. If the government shuts down due to Congressional gridlock, passport applications (and Global Entry interviews) will likely NOT be processed until there is a budget.

  • rebekah

    Why tout an agency when getting a second US passport through the regular application process is just as easy?

  • LiberaceLikesObama

    This article is misleading. It implies a second passport but talks about another passport book. I have dual nationality and can go in and out of Europe like a EU national. Italians and Irish passports are easy to get if you can prove that one of your grandparents was a citizen.

    Getting another passport book is not the same as getting a second passport…. so here you have a good topic for next time.

  • BobChi

    Agreed if you enter and leave by air. But if you cross in or out by land, Jordan or Egypt will still stamp the passport, and the border crossing will be a dead giveaway that you were in Israel for those nations who care about that.

  • Buck futter

    Good stuff.. my 1st just ran out and mu new on I got the extra pages. The Morocco stamp got me thinking… You should consider doing a post where people submit screenshots of their stamps. Not points related but might be pretty neat. I’ve go Brazil and Egypt and Syria and Lebanon. -just think it would be cool to see stamps from crazy places!

  • Garyst16

    Commission for referrals?

  • anon

    Obviously. The real question is how much cash he was paid up front to write this article (with the not so subtle mention of the agency thrown in). These blogs can get so shady.

  • Michael T

    Obviously? I believe he’s blogging about his experience and this is the agency he used. I suppose it is possible he’s reimbursed so I’ll grant you a “maybe,” but no way an “obviously” and I think your comment in reckless.

  • leftpinky

    if you clear customs with say an Irish Passport, the US govt will not help you if you have any issues. be careful

  • s2spero

    yes, i have had a second passport since they wouldn’t give anymore pages in my existing passport. I use it for visa mostly since using it otherwise is kind of embarrassing since its so thin and new looking. I feel like a newbie traveler, lol. I found going to the passport office quite easy and no extra charge or having to leave my existing passport behind.

  • s2spero

    oh, and global entry recognizes both passports.

  • Dean

    I am very glad he did mention the name of the agency. I am getting ready to apply for a Russian Visa and was looking for a good agency. Allied has a good BBB rating and is very inexpensive compared to others.

  • paige

    I am American and had to get a second passport. My work has me traveling about 9 months out of the year. Sometime I have to send my passport off for visas – while traveling internationally this doesn’t work to well.

    I went through Global Access in LA and it was worth the money to ensure it was done correctly and get it done quickly.

  • Jen

    I need to get a second passport because I just graduated school to be a travel journalist. I submitted my original passport to a consulate a few weeks ago and it’s taking them much longer than they said to process my visa. I have a trip coming up and I will need a passport in order to go. Is it possible to get a second passport without submitting your original 10 year passport with the application? (Since the consulate currently has mine)

  • richard ramlall

    I did all this and they cancelled my primary passport which was just issued this year and sent me another new passport but not my second passport.. Giant screw up. Now visas that rely on my previously valid passport have to be renewed all over again. I did everything including the letter.

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