Why I have Two U.S. Passports

by Mike on May 30, 2014

WHY DOES A TRAVEL NEED TWO PASSPORT, ISN’T ONE PASSPORT ENOUGH?

Yes, for most travelers, one passport will suffice. If you’re simply hopping off to another country, say Italy for vacation and returning back to the States, you’ll most likely have no need for a second passport.

Two concurrent U.S. passports with global entry

Two concurrent U.S. passports

On the other hand, some countries require a traveler to obtain a visa in advance prior to arrival. The process times for one visa application could take anywhere between 10 business to 14 days, during which time you’ll be without your passport because it will be in the hands of the consulate.

This will pose two problems:

  1. If a need to travel outside the U.S. arises during this processing time, you’re out of luck and you’re stuck State side until you get your passport back.
  2. If there’s a need to get more than one visa application in a timely manner to accommodate impending travel.

The latter was the reason why I needed a second U.S. passport. With plans to travel in Australia until Late May and my flight to London about 6 weeks later, I was at a very tight time frame to get 4 visas within the six weeks. Most consulates could take up to 10 business days

to process a visa and any subsequent visas can’t be processed until your passport is returned to you.

HOW I APPLIED FOR A SECOND U.S. PASSPORT

I wrote a letter addressed to the State Department explaining my need for a second passport along with any support documentation.

My registration details for the Mongol Rally and flight itinerary for my time in Australia was sufficient enough. My outbound flight for London wasn’t booked at that point so I could illustrate the exact time crunch.

I decided to use a visa processing company(visahq.com) to assist because I thought going through a service company would increase my chances of getting approved. I submitted my passport, application, a check payable to the State department, personal letter, and my flight itinerary.

The turn around time was quicker than I expected, about a week. The total all in cost for the second passport with the service fee and return shipping was $250 USD.

WAS IT WORTH IT?

If I only needed a second passport for this one scenario, it’s debatable whether it was worth it, I could have simply used the $250 to expedite the cost of each visa and could have gotten away with it that way.

The second passport is only valid for 2 years from the date of issuance.  So I don’t foresee a situation occurring again within the two years. I think I much rather have a second passport to expedite the process rather than throwing money at expedite fees.

DOES THE SECOND PASSPORT WORK WITH GLOBAL ENTRY?

Yes, but to get it to work I had to first take the second passport to a Custom and Boarder Protection office to get it registered under my Global Online Enrollment System(GOES) account.

I didn’t need an appointment to do this, I simply walked into the office and explained my situation and was out in 5 minutes. I checked my GOES account on my phone before I left the office and saw that my second passport details added.

I also had my first passport during my visit to the office, but it turns out I didn’t need it at all.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jim October 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I have two passports and have been trying to get the second added to my Global Entry, did you go to the office at your airport just past customs? Do you think any airport with a customs office could handle this? I travel through Seattle so not sure if it is a big enough station. Even though now with the automated Kiosks the global entry line takes longer half the time, their software and questions seems to take longer than the newer kiosks. Pretty frustrating sometimes, but you still get out past the baggage claim agents quicker due to the Global Entry only line.

Reply

Mike October 10, 2014 at 3:50 pm

To get the second us passport added for global entry, you can stop by any global entry office during their office hours, there is no appt necessary

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Kim lardie November 30, 2016 at 9:00 pm

just waited 1.5 hours at Portland airport to be told there is no way two passports can be attached to one global entry number

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