The centrosome is the principal microtubule organizing center (MTOC) of animal cells. Accurate centrosome duplication is fundamental for genome integrity and entails the formation of one procentriole next to each existing centriole, once per cell cycle. The procentriole then elongates to eventually reach the same size as the centriole. The mechanisms that govern elongation of the centriolar cylinder and their potential relevance for cell division are not known. Here, we show that the SAS-4-related protein CPAP is required for centrosome duplication in cycling human cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that CPAP overexpression results in the formation of abnormally long centrioles. This also promotes formation of more than one procentriole in the vicinity of such overly long centrioles, eventually resulting in the presence of supernumerary MTOCs. This in turn leads to multipolar spindle assembly and cytokinesis defects. Overall, our findings suggest that centriole length must be carefully regulated to restrict procentriole number and thus ensure accurate cell division.