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Although it’s not widely publicized, it is possible to get two US passports. Not everyone, however, can do so — and the perk of a second passport is limited to pretty specific situations.

You can only get a second US passport if:

  • You have more than one international trip coming up and you need to get visas, meaning your current passport will be out of your possession for some time.
  • You have stamps in your passport that may result in denied entry to another country (e.g., an Israeli stamp in some countries).
  • If you can prove your job requires you to travel frequently. Flight attendants, pilots and journalists covering foreign news, for example, likely qualify for a second passport.

To apply, you’ll need all the same paperwork required for a passport renewal or replacement:

  • Two passport photos that are distinctly different from those in your first passport.
  • Your original passport.
  • Completed DS-82 passport form (the same form you’d use to renew).
  • $110 fee, or $170 if you need it expedited.
  • A letter clearly explaining why you need a second passport.
  • Proof of reason you need the second passport (e.g., copies of your flight itineraries or the problematic passport stamp).
  • Another form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.
Photo by Blake Guidry on Unsplash

Like with a passport renewal, travelers can apply for a second passport via mail, a post office or designated application center, or through a passport agency. The latter, however, can only be utilized in situations where the second passport needs to be expedited (think: same-day service).

TPG himself, Brian Kelly, recently got a second passport because he needed to apply for a visa while traveling elsewhere at the same time — and it’s been a great help to have the two. He used external passport and visa service agency Allied Passport and Visa to make the procedure less of a hassle. If you mention The Points Guy on your order form, you’ll get an exclusive $5 discount just for TPG readers.

Keep in mind, there’s no guarantee you’ll get a second passport, and your application may be denied. If you are approved, your second passport will only be valid for four years (it used to be two), whereas your original passport is valid for 10 years. Your second passport will also have a different number from your original passport, and cannot be renewed.

If you have Global Entry linked to your primary passport, you can change it to link it to your second, four year passport in your Trusted Traveler account. Simply log in and, in the Update Documents section, replace your primary passport info with your secondary. Just remember, if you travel again later using your primary passport you’ll have to change it back. If you’d like to have both passports saved in your account, you’ll need to visit a Global Entry Enrollment Center for assistance.

Featured photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash 

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