We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Official Passport?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseTour is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseTour, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An official passport is a passport which is issued to someone who must travel internationally on official state business. These passports are issued specifically to people who need to travel, rather than to people who are being assigned or posted overseas. For people who are being assigned overseas for state purposes, a diplomatic passport is issued. Official passports are usually a different color from regular passports, to make them easier to identify, and they do not entitle their bearers to any special privileges.

This type of passport is sometimes called a service passport. It is a no-fee passport, which means that people do not need to pay to apply for it. The application for an official passport typically includes all of the materials needed for a regular passport, along with forms which confirm that the applicant needs a passport for official business. Many government agencies which require international travel will assist people with official passport applications.

The official passport can only be used while traveling for official reasons. If someone wishes to travel as a tourist, a tourist passport is required. While it is perfectly legal to carry both, both will require their own visas, and it is important to make sure that visas match up. If someone enters a country with a tourist passport and tries to leave with an official passport, for example, this can cause problems.

Often, people can get visas for official passports without a fee, depending on whether or not their government has worked out a visa agreement with another nation. However, if someone tries to use an official passport and visa for recreational travel, he or she may face legal consequences. If people are unclear about whether a trip would be considered official business, they should consult a superior or supervisor.

By convention, when someone is deemed eligible for an official passport, so is his or her immediate family. Family members will need to apply for their own official passports, and they will need to observe the same rules, using tourist passports and tourist visas for recreational travel.

One of the most common applications for official passports is military service. Nations which have military cooperation agreements with each other may accept copies of military orders as proof of right to pass, but in other cases, members of the military may need to carry passports endorsed with visas. When members of the military are required to travel internationally, their superior officers will inform them about whether or not they need official passports.

WiseTour is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseTour researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By rob8675309 — On Oct 08, 2014

I am a Department of Defense (non-contractor) employee. I have been issued an Official Passports several times for overseas assignments/deployments. My wife was born in Poland and possesses her Green Card and Social Security card. Her current US citizenship status is Conditional Permanent Resident.

If I accept another overseas assignment, she will be included on the Military Orders for the duration of the overseas assignment. Military Orders allow military and civilians to maintain their home-of-record in the United States while overseas.

Will her current status as Conditional Permanent Resident allow her to receive an Official Passport also? Will her accompanying me on the three to five year overseas assignment endanger her future request to change her status to Permanent Resident? Thank you!

By anon958569 — On Jun 28, 2014

The applicable law is 22 USC Sec. 214 (a). Refer to that for eligibility.

By anon350688 — On Oct 07, 2013

Can I drive to Canada and come back with an official passport?

By anon335529 — On May 21, 2013

You get an official passport when traveling under orders from a department of defense or other entity to an overseas duty station. Civilian personnel only.

By j29layno — On Jun 01, 2012

My wife has a diplomatic card. Is it possible for me to get a diplomatic card as well? She's in madrid now and I'm here in Qatar. How can we get a diplomatic card for me to go to Madrid?

By anon209288 — On Aug 25, 2011

@anon145163: If you get out of a visa in another country,(according to international rule) he or she will be fined US $500 for each day.

By anon145163 — On Jan 22, 2011

my husband is there in turkey and his visa has run out. they have placed him in jail there can you please tell me why? they are wanting $5,000 to release him. I do not understand what is happening. can you please explain to me? I need to understand what is happening.

By zenmaster — On Aug 14, 2010

What are some other ways of getting official passports? Is it primarily soldiers that get them, or could a business man or regular person get one?

Also, do they have official passports for children?

By Charlie89 — On Aug 14, 2010

What happens if you need to renew your official passport? Do they have the same time limit as a regular passport, or is there a different process for renewing them.

I really hope it's the first way, because the passport renewal system is complicated enough as it is! I would hate to think of all the paperwork somebody would have to fill out to renew two passports!

By yournamehere — On Aug 14, 2010

@anon77121 -- I would think that it would depend on if you needed a visa for the country to which you are traveling on your official business.

If you're just asking about traveling with a second passport, then sure, you can do that, as long as you bear in mind that you must declare it every time you go through customs.

You also have to carry it with you, it can't be in your baggage unless its an expired passport that you no longer use.

Finally, although it sounds pretty cool to travel with two passports, it's probably going to cause you a lot of hassle with customs officials, as does pretty much anything that's not cut and dried.

Just make sure that all your documents are in order, and you should be OK though, as long as you allow for extra time to get through customs.

By anon77121 — On Apr 13, 2010

what if i have been a business man and happen to join public service and my ordinary passport has valid visas but am issued with an official passport? can I travel with both of them?

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseTour, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.