“A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
My former commanding officer in the U.S. Air Force had that quote boldly emblazoned on a plaque on his desk. Today that is quite vivid in my mind as I find myself in a dilemma of my own making.
My Double Whammy Passport Dilemma
I’ve had trips on the calendar for months. A lot of them. And they are spaced out such that I really cannot surrender my passport for more than a few days at a time in order to obtain visas.
As I look at the next 30 days, the math simply doesn’t work. I need to obtain a visa that will take several days and I don’t have a window in which to surrender my passport.
But this issue gets more complicated.
I was in Germany last week and received a good lecture from the passport control agent upon leaving the country.
I’m out of space in my current passport, which is less than five years old. Yep, all 52 pages have been filled with stamps, mostly from Germany…
That was unexpected. Word to self: next time, check your darn passport. The U.S. no longer adds extra pages to a passport, meaning my only solution is to renew it early.
The Plan: Two New Passports
I don’t see much of a choice other than to renew my existing passport and request a second one at the same time. I say request because you are allowed to hold a second passport, but under limited circumstances, including:
- Multiple international trips which require a visa
- Stamps in your passport that may result in denied entry to another country
- A job which requires frequent travel (e.g. flight attendants, pilots, journalists)
I’d say I qualify for all three in this case, though it will still be up to the State Department to accept or deny my request.
Since I have travel…this week…I am going to head down to the National Passport Center in Los Angeles and attempt to secure two same-day passports.
Whether I succeed in obtaining both passports, it will be an interesting experience to apply for a passport in-person. I’ll cover my outcome in detail here.