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Successfully applying for and receiving a duplicate passport can be a complicated and time-consuming process. General protocol in the majority of countries dictates that no one person should be in possession of more than one valid passport. The issuing of a second passport is only considered in exceptional circumstances and on an individual basis.
In order to apply for a duplicate passport, it is a general requirement that the applying person is in possession of an existing valid passport. In the United States, it is a regulation that an individual should not be in possession of more than a single valid passport unless officially authorized under review by the Department of State. Due to these regulations, a duplicate passport is often issued for a limited period of time; it is usually the case that secondary passports cannot be extended.
Regulations regarding the application for a duplicate passport vary by issuing country. It is therefore important that the applying individual checks on the specific requirements of his or her home country. The process of applying for a replacement passport — should the original be lost or damaged — is far less extensive than when applying for a second passport.
Acting as an example of the extensive application process, the United States requires several documents to be presented to the issuing office. These documents include the completed form DS-82 for passport applications and the current valid passport of the person applying for the duplicate. It is also required that an official request in writing from the employing organization of the applicant is supplied, which details why a duplicate passport is needed.
In addition to these documents, the application will need to be accompanied by the application fee, two passport photographs, and a statement, signed by the applicant, confirming that the secondary passport will be handed in to a United States consulate once it has expired or the need for it has ended. There are other papers required, such as travel tickets and hotel booking information showing departure or arrival within 14 days of application. The successful submission of these documents is no guarantee that the duplicate passport will be issued.
The most common need for a duplicate passport stems from extensive or regular travel to countries where previous entry visas may prevent the passport holder being granted entry to the country. An example of this would be when traveling through Middle Eastern countries while possessing an Israeli entry or exit stamp. While many Middle Eastern countries now allow entry for people with Israeli stamps in their passports, it has been known to still cause access problems.