A diplomatic passport is a passport which is issued to someone who must travel internationally on official state business. Diplomatic passports are classically given to diplomats and consuls when they are posted overseas, and they may be issued to other people within the government as well, depending on the circumstances. Diplomatic passports are usually a different color from other types of passports, making them very easy to identify; black is a classic color for diplomatic passports. Carrying a diplomatic passport does not entitle someone to diplomatic immunity.
In order to receive a diplomatic passport, someone must indicate that he or she will be traveling overseas on state business, representing a national government in another nation. Many nations issue diplomatic passports and other special passport types through an agency which is separate from the regular issuance agency, and these passports also require special application forms along with forms which confirm that the bearer specifically needs a diplomatic passport, rather than a regular passport or another type of special passport.
If someone qualifies for a diplomatic passport, his or her immediate family qualifies as well. Once the passports have been issued, the bearers must apply for diplomatic visas, although some countries allow people to travel visa-free with diplomatic passports. Generally, visa information is provided when someone is given a new international posting or assignment, and it doesn't hurt to confirm visa information with a consulate or embassy.
This passport can only be used for someone who is on official business. If a diplomat wants to travel as a tourist, he or she will need a regular tourist passport. Some diplomats carry both, as for example when someone is posted to Saudi Arabia, but wants to visit Egypt as a tourist. In these instances, it is important to get both passports stamped when entering or exiting with a diplomatic passport, and to make sure that the stamps match up. In other words, someone cannot enter a country with one passport, and exit with another, as this will cause an incongruity in the visa records.
Some companies claim to be able to provide diplomatic passports, along with diplomatic immunity, for a fee. These business enterprises are fraudulent. People are only entitled to a diplomatic passport if they are an official state business, and they will be provided with information about how to get a diplomatic passport if they are given an international assignment. Furthermore, diplomatic passports are no-fee passports, and people should not have to pay for their diplomatic passports and visas.