Former President Donald Trump claimed on TruthSocial, his social media platform, that FBI agents “stole” three of his passports – one of which was expired – when they searched his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on Aug. 8.
Court documents later revealed that the FBI recovered “top secret” and other sensitive documents from the Mar-a-Lago search.
A spokesperson for Trump shared an email via Twitter on Aug. 15 that appears to be from an official with the National Security Division, confirming that agents seized multiple passports belonging to the former president.
The passports have since been returned, a law enforcement source told CBS News.
Can you have more than one valid U.S. passport?
Yes, some people can have more than one valid U.S. passport.
WHAT WE FOUND
The U.S. government issues several different types of passports to its citizens. Most U.S. passports fall under the category of “fee passports,” which are blue and also known as “regular” or “tourist” passports. They are valid for 10 years when issued to people 16 years of age and older, or five years when issued to people under 16.
Special issuance passports are issued to U.S. government officials, like the president, and sometimes their family members. These passports may also be issued to third-party contractors working for the U.S. government “in limited circumstances,” the U.S. Department of State says. The passports are valid for up to five years, can’t be used for personal travel and can be issued in addition to a regular passport.
The State Department outlines four types of special issuance passports:
- Black diplomatic passports: Issued to Foreign Service officers and other people with diplomatic or comparable status.
- Maroon official passports: Issued to other U.S. government officials or employees traveling abroad for official duties, and to military personnel when required by their country of destination.
- Gray service passports: Issued on a limited basis to third-party contractors traveling to support the U.S. government whose travel can’t be accomplished by using a regular passport.
- Blue no-fee regular passports: Issued to certain employees within the Department of Defense, American National Red Cross, and Peace Corps volunteers assigned overseas.
A spokesperson for the State Department told VERIFY that courtesy diplomatic passports may also be issued to former presidents, vice presidents, secretaries and deputy secretaries of state, along with some retired government officials such as Supreme Court justices.
Since official and diplomatic passports can’t be used for leisure travel, government officials are “encouraged to obtain a regular passport before departing the United States for official duties,” U.S. Passport Service Guide, a passport and visa service, writes on its website.
The Fort Lee Passport Office, which serves Department of Defense employees and military dependents seeking to obtain official, diplomatic or no-fee passports, says on its website that people can have “both a valid tourist passport and a valid no-fee passport at the same time.”
There are also some situations when U.S. citizens with regular passports may have more than one.
Those who have a valid U.S. passport and meet some additional requirements may be eligible to apply for a second, the State Department says on its website. The “limited-validity” second passport book will be valid for up to four years, rather than 10 years for most regular passports.
The State Department provided several examples of cases when the federal agency may issue a second U.S. passport, including a foreign country denying a visa or entry to a person because their passport has stamps showing travel to certain countries. For example, some countries in the Middle East will deny a person entry if their passport has an entry or exit stamp from Israel.
The State Department may also issue a second passport to those who need multiple visas because of frequent international travel, including people who work for international airlines, people whose application for a foreign visa is delayed and cannot be processed in time for urgent international travel, and those who need a “special validation to travel to a restricted country or area.”
Philip Diack, the founder and managing director of PassportsandVisas.com, told VERIFY that a common reason people obtain a second passport is if they travel frequently and need to obtain visas.
“Typically, when obtaining a visa you submit your passport – so this allows the traveler to use one passport to obtain a visa while they might be using the second passport to travel,” Diack said.
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