Having multiple passports is not just limited to the movies and high-ranking diplomats.  Although it is against the law for an American to have 2 valid passports without specific government permission, it is still possible for the ordinary person to have dual valid passports if they know what to do.  I was able figure out how.  Both passports are the same name with 2 different, completely valid numbers.  I can travel on one passport one day and the other the next.

No More High-Anxiety Passport Sendoffs

My second passport recently saved my butt.  I sent my passport to the Indian consulate to get a visa 2 weeks before I had to leave for Asia.  In typical fashion, the consulate took an extra 2 weeks to process my visa and ignored all phone calls.  Most people would be freaking out at this point, trying to figure out contingency plans for all of the end-to-end flights needed to get to Myanmar.  Not me.

Dual US Passports

Dual US Passports

I flew out and bounced around 3 countries in Southeast Asia on my second passport while the Indians were taking their sweet time with my first passport.  A quick and easy $30 international priority letter later and I am reunited with both passports and off to India. 

No More Scrutiny About Where I’ve Been

Worried about getting Arabic visas invalidated after visiting Israel?  Worried about Americans seeing your Cuban Passport stamp?  Not me!  A “Western Passport” and an “Eastern Passport” are highly effective about cutting through these silly country embargos.

How to Get Dual American Passports

There is an obscure section in the department of state’s code that allows anyone to get a second valid passport under certain circumstances.  I qualified under 22 CFR 51.2 (B) when I was living in another country and wanted to travel to a new country every week, but my agent says you can qualify if you have an Israeli passport stamp and want to go to an Arabic country.  I am not a lawyer, so you should have somebody qualified to interpret the regulations for you and handle the approvals with the Department of State.  The actual administrative code can be found here.  http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/94669.pdf

Technically, a person who travels frequently can qualify under this code to get a second passport.  You just have to show that your visa lead times conflict with your need to travel.  Remember to write a nice letter, like anytime you are asking a consulate for a little leniency.  This is typically very effective.

When you get another passport, please be careful when traveling. American passports are worth thousands on the black market and can make you a target if you flaunt it. Also, showing both passports to any official is automatically suspicious, so they don’t need to know about your special privilege.


About the author: Brad Bernard


Brad Bernard has traveled through 92 countries to find off-the-map experiences and authentic adventure travel. He pushes his own personal boundaries by travelling experimentally. Brad’s personal quest to find the most extreme and unique in travel has bred misadventures and moments of enlightenment alike. You can read his craziest stories on his adventure travel blog

Website: https://plus.google.com/+BradBernard340/