There are at least two (old) questions about passports asked by Indian citizens. Apparantly, it is illegal under Indian law to posess two passports, which is what these questions circle about. One actually points out that they want to travel to the US, which prompted me to write a tongue-in-cheek answer that tried to only deal with the travelling part as I perceived it. The second question only really asks about whether having a second passport can lose them the first, too. (I dropped a close vote on that.)

Both questions — to me — only seem connected to travelling by the word passport. Personally, I find that too weak a connection to allow on-topicness here. Acquiring (and potentially losing) the passport of the state whose nationality you bear does not ring a travel-bell in my head. Yes, you typically need passports for international travelling but not for every pair of countries. And sometimes you are required to get a passport or similar document even when not wanting to travel.

In my opinion, this type of question is similar to ‘What must I do to register a car in country Y’ — cars can be used to travel, even internationally but also domestically, and vehicle registration is often required and may be tedious paperwork. But I can travel well without a car in many places much like I can travel well domestically in many countries without a passport.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Are these questions and the likes on-topic?

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  • @pnuts Do you not agree because I should have phrased that two Indian passports of the same name or because of something else that I don’t see atm? – Jan Sep 5 '16 at 1:44
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    I think you might be confused by the fact that you live in a country where (a) ID is mandatory and a passport is a valid ID and (b) the national ID card can be used to travel to a great many countries. In many parts of the world, passports are intended and almost exclusively used for travel. In fact, passports and passport-like documents (for refugees, etc.) are typically called "travel documents". – Relaxed Sep 7 '16 at 12:53
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    FWIW, the word "passport" does "ring a travel-bell" in my head. In fact, the picture of a passport is frequently used as a metaphor for travel or holidays in all sorts of contexts. So your question first sounded a little bit like Questions about train tickets are only related to travel by the words "train" and "tickets. Also, it's only two questions, perhaps a few more potential questions, what's the concern? – Relaxed Sep 7 '16 at 13:00
  • @Relaxed (first comment) Your argument may be sound, but I think confused is the wrong word choice. A better one would be something along the lines of wrong conclusion. In no way was I unsure what to think of, I had a pretty clear opinion formed in my mind ;) – Jan Sep 8 '16 at 20:20
  • @Relaxed (second comment) Oh, I just like clear policies as early as possible ;) – Jan Sep 8 '16 at 20:20
  • @pnuts Oh, I interpreted the downvotes as disagreeing with the tone, i.e. people thinking passports should be on-topic. I know it’s technically only feature requests, but I always extrapolate that to meta as a whole. – Jan Sep 9 '16 at 18:07
  • FWIW, I upvoted the question (Yesterday? Not sure anymore...) It's a perfectly valid question and a good way to gauge popular sentiment about this. – Relaxed Sep 11 '16 at 8:24
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    FWIW, I seem to be using FWIW way too often. – Relaxed Sep 11 '16 at 8:25

Passports are documents that were invented to control travel and that's what they are used for so the connection does not seem thin to me at all. The question is fully on-topic and should remain so in my opinion.

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