Yesterday I applied for my “no-fee” passport. Not knowing the difference between a no-fee passport and the passport I already have, I decided to do some research. Here’s what I found.
The Special Issuance Agency issues no-fee passports to citizens traveling abroad for the U.S. Government. The type of no-fee passport issued (diplomatic, official, or regular no-fee) depends upon the purpose of travel.
No-fee passports are used by Peace Corps volunteers for all travel during their service. We are required to have a no-fee passport even if we already have a personal passport.
I may use my no-fee passport only when going overseas with the Peace Corps. I’m not permitted to use the no-fee passport when I leave the U.S. for personal travel. For personal travel, I need to use a regular fee (tourist/business) passport. Furthermore, the no-fee passport does not confer diplomatic status, which would have been cool to have.
The only thing that I can find that makes the no-fee passport different than my personal passport is that I didn’t have to pay the $45 application fee. Other than that, there is no added benefit.