Passage fee is a donation given by a newly dubbed knight in celebration of his investiture into the knighthood. During the Crusades, passage fees, known as droit de passage, were used to cover the cost of travel to the Holy Land. The passage fee is still present in some modern chivalric orders, such as the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. In the medieval era, the passage fee for the Knights Hospitaller was around 360 Spanish pistoles. The large passage fee of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which was rumoured to be $50,000.00 USD in the 1950s, may have led to the creation of self-styled orders, such as the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Oecumenical Knights of Malta, that mimic the genuine chivalric order of knights.
- "Glossary of Chivalric and Nobiliary Terms". Order of Malta Studies. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
- Mifsud, A. (1914). Knights Hospitallers of the Ven. Tongue of England in Malta. AMS Press. p. 62.
- Foster, Michael (2 September 2003). "Information on the Russian Grand Priory at a glance". St John of Jerusalem Research Web Site. Retrieved 16 October 2018.
The history of the survival of this tradition has been complicated by various Russian Mimic Orders. The large passage fees (alleged in some cases to be in the region of $50,000) collected by the American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in the early 1950s seemed to have tempted a Charles Pichel to create his own "Sovereign Order of St John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller" in 1956. Pichel avoided the problems of being an imitation of "SMOM" by giving his organization a mythical history by claiming the American organization he led was founded within the Russian tradition of the Knights Hospitaller and dated to 1908, a spurious claim, but which never-the-less [sic] misled many including some academics. These organizations have led to scores of other mimic Orders.