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  #1  
Old 12 Mar 2008
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Getting a second British Passport (my experience)

I received my second British passport (ie; simultaneously valid with my other one) through the post recently so I thought I'd share what to expect.

I rang up the passport office and asked what the procedure was, they told me that I could only get one for business purposes and needed a letter from my company explaining why I needed one. I asked if they were sure about this as I'd heard of people getting one for personal visits, he asked his boss who confirmed that I was right.
He then told me to send off a normal passport application filled out as if I was getting my first adult passport and to include a letter stating why I needed a second passport.
I did so, and assumed that I needed to include all the relevant supporting documents (birth certificates etc) though I was later told this was not necessary. (I had put my reason for needing a second passport as "Visiting incompatible countries" as apparently applying for multiple visas simultaneously is no longer an acceptable reason)

Unfortunately it was apparently insufficient and I was called by a rather nice lady at the passport office telling me I'd need to supply a complete itinerary of my travels and proof of travel.
I pointed out that the only proof of travel I could possibly supply (as my trip is from the UK to India) would be a ferry booking, and I was told this was sufficient!

I wrote up a letter explaining my plans (I had no idea when I'd be going through what countries so I made up some dates that fitted with the sizes of the countries and my ferry booking) which you can find here.
Application letter #2

After sending that letter off I was pleased to receive my second passport shortly afterwards.

So to get your second passport send off the following

1) Proof of travel (ferry booking ticket or something)
2) A standard "new passport" application form filled out as if it were your first passport (I still chose to include my current passport number in the "Other passports held" section of the form (no supporting documents necessary)
3) A letter stating your itinerary down to the dates of travel through each individual country (obviously including the incompatible countries in this list!)
4) Postal order (not applicable if you're using the post-office passport checking service which allows you to pay then and there by debit card)

Then you should get your second fully legal passport with no issues at all!
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  #2  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Good info - thanks for sharing this . I didn't even know it was possible to run two passports like this.
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  #3  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toukakoukan View Post
. (I had put my reason for needing a second passport as "Visiting incompatible countries" as apparently applying for multiple visas simultaneously is no longer an acceptable reason)

Then you should get your second fully legal passport with no issues at all!
I agree with Gecko, a good factual account of upto date information - just one question. What is the "real" reason/advantage to want a second passport?

Well OK, second question: does it cost the same as the first passport?

Cheers,
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  #4  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Two passports

I've been using two passport since 1994 and when one of them runs out I pay the normal fees to get it renewed.
The only problem I've ever had was when I renewed in Nairobi and a year or so later when I came to renew my other one in London they refused as my old Nairobi one wasn't cancelled by them and they thought I now had three passports.
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  #5  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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It costs exactly the same to get a second one as the first (I chose to get a "diplomatic passport" ie; extra pages).
You can't renew second passports any more now according to the passport office, you have to prove you need them again.

My reason for getting a second passport? Primarily that I'm going to be messing around in europe for a while before heading on through SE asia, I can leave one passport here with all the Iran/Pakistan/Indian visa forms filled out and get my dad to send them off for me, then forward it on to me before I leave the EU. Saves dealing with foreign embassies in foreign countries .
And at some point in the future I intend to visit Israel, which will cause no end of problems
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  #6  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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Thanks for that: it is about what I thought. The only "legitimate" reason that I know of is the Israel/Syria issue.

On the downside, you are paying twice the cost for passport services - on the upside, you always have an indate passport for travelling at short notice!

Now, 3 passports has to be the way ahead!
Dual nationality anyone?
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  #7  
Old 13 Mar 2008
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I had no problems with getting a second passport, I was truthful with the lady on the phone and explained that I was planning a world trip and that I would need a second passport for hotels that demand they keep it until you have checked out, and for getting visas while away.

It's also a good way of getting around the countries that won't let you in if you have a certain other countries stamp in your passport, just hand over the spare, and play dumb.
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  #8  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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also possible for US

I've got 2 US passports - all I had to do was say (true) that I travel frequently on short notice for work, and need the second because my passport is often stuck in some embassy waiting for a visa. An important thing to remember if you have 2 - make sure to always enter and leave a country using the *same passport*. Don't come in on one and then leave on another - numbers don't match and then they aren't sure you've left!
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  #9  
Old 14 Mar 2008
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Has anyone had any problems with 2 passports when crossing borders?

When I exited from Congo DR to Angola, my Congo and Angolan visas were in separate passports. To get exit stamp from Congo I only presented one passport that had Congo visa (I imagined showing 2 passports will make things more difficult, so I first only presented one). After a while they told me there is a problem because I don't have Angolan visa in my passport. Only then I got out my second passport that had Angolan visa. The guys were very surprised I had 2 passports. They tought that it was some kind of scam. I needed to visit boss of the bosses a few times, he kept telling me "no"! After 2 hours the boss decided to solve the problem by stapling my 2 passports together so they form one unified passport that contains both Congo and Angolan visas. Problem solved (African way)!
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  #10  
Old 20 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toukakoukan View Post
I received my second British passport (ie; simultaneously valid with my other one) through the post recently so I thought I'd share what to expect.

I rang up the passport office and asked what the procedure was, they told me that I could only get one for business purposes and needed a letter from my company explaining why I needed one. I asked if they were sure about this as I'd heard of people getting one for personal visits, he asked his boss who confirmed that I was right.
He then told me to send off a normal passport application filled out as if I was getting my first adult passport and to include a letter stating why I needed a second passport.
I did so, and assumed that I needed to include all the relevant supporting documents (birth certificates etc) though I was later told this was not necessary. (I had put my reason for needing a second passport as "Visiting incompatible countries" as apparently applying for multiple visas simultaneously is no longer an acceptable reason)

Unfortunately it was apparently insufficient and I was called by a rather nice lady at the passport office telling me I'd need to supply a complete itinerary of my travels and proof of travel.
I pointed out that the only proof of travel I could possibly supply (as my trip is from the UK to India) would be a ferry booking, and I was told this was sufficient!

I wrote up a letter explaining my plans (I had no idea when I'd be going through what countries so I made up some dates that fitted with the sizes of the countries and my ferry booking) which you can find here.
Application letter #2

After sending that letter off I was pleased to receive my second passport shortly afterwards.

So to get your second passport send off the following

1) Proof of travel (ferry booking ticket or something)
2) A standard "new passport" application form filled out as if it were your first passport (I still chose to include my current passport number in the "Other passports held" section of the form (no supporting documents necessary)
3) A letter stating your itinerary down to the dates of travel through each individual country (obviously including the incompatible countries in this list!)
4) Postal order (not applicable if you're using the post-office passport checking service which allows you to pay then and there by debit card)

Then you should get your second fully legal passport with no issues at all!

Using this approach, could I get a second passport so that the USA visa I have in my current one is not defaced by having the corner cut off ?
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  #11  
Old 21 Mar 2008
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Hi Bruce,

Yes you probably could get a second one this way and thereby retain any valid visas in the first passport. A useful strategy if one passport is nearly full and want to keep it for use with a particular visa.

I've been running two passports since 2000 for business purposes - main reason fro this is that getting visas for certain countries may leave you "passportless" for a few weeks when you need to travel.

The only trouble I have had is going into the US - I had crossed out into Canada at Niagara and mistakenly showed the other passport on the way back in. I quickly rectified the problem by producing the first passport. Unfortunately the homeland security officer suddenly thought he was Sherlock Holmes and had just solved the nation's security problems once and for all. I was invited into the office where I was subjected to some pathetic questioning as to why I had two passports. Allegedly they had not heard of this before but I believe it is pretty common in the UK.

Matt
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  #12  
Old 22 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattpope View Post
Hi Bruce,

Yes you probably could get a second one this way and thereby retain any valid visas in the first passport. A useful strategy if one passport is nearly full and want to keep it for use with a particular visa.

I've been running two passports since 2000 for business purposes - main reason fro this is that getting visas for certain countries may leave you "passportless" for a few weeks when you need to travel.

The only trouble I have had is going into the US - I had crossed out into Canada at Niagara and mistakenly showed the other passport on the way back in. I quickly rectified the problem by producing the first passport. Unfortunately the homeland security officer suddenly thought he was Sherlock Holmes and had just solved the nation's security problems once and for all. I was invited into the office where I was subjected to some pathetic questioning as to why I had two passports. Allegedly they had not heard of this before but I believe it is pretty common in the UK.

Matt
I'll probably have to send it off to get Russian visa, and although not full I want a new one before the new biometric ones come in (after?) 2010 as well
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  #13  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Waiting times...

Quick question - how long did it take to get your second passport issued?

I applied over 6 weeks ago now and am still waiting. Having called the passport office on a number of occasions they keep spouting the same line that they're performing 'checks', and that more than 6 weeks is not an unusually long time to wait. Be good to know if they're telling the truth or just fobbing me off.

Cheers and thanks for a useful post.
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  #14  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Wow, this is my kind of thread! Getting a second passport outside the UK is extremely easy. I lost mine in Costa Rica, and the embassy gave me a new one in a week. Same price. No questions, no hassles. I'm thinking perhaps this is the way to go for obtaining a second one.

I'm a dual national, and my US one is water damaged, and so haven't used it. Maybe I should get a new US one over here... Of course, the US is usually far more persnickety, and then I'm stuck with juggling passports, and I never could keep that straight!
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  #15  
Old 25 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorraine View Post
Wow, this is my kind of thread! Getting a second passport outside the UK is extremely easy. I lost mine in Costa Rica, and the embassy gave me a new one in a week. Same price. No questions, no hassles. I'm thinking perhaps this is the way to go for obtaining a second one.

I'm a dual national, and my US one is water damaged, and so haven't used it. Maybe I should get a new US one over here... Of course, the US is usually far more persnickety, and then I'm stuck with juggling passports, and I never could keep that straight!
Lorraine
I know it is possible to get a second US one though, Glenn Haggstadd (or however you spell his name) had one I'm sure of it.
So you could have 4 passports I suppose
But the downside of saying you lost yours to get a second one is that it's /technically/ illegal I believe, or at the very least invalidates the stolen passport I should imagine...
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