Saturday, January 03, 2009

The Passport Process

SodaBoy and I went to the mall yesterday evening, for what will hopefully be our last visit there for a few months at the very least. I am always happiest to avoid the place altogether. Yesterday our mission was simple: passports. Even though we both have expired passports, it has been too long for them to be considered simple renewals, and we had to start the process from scratch. We'd picked up the application forms previously, so we could have them all filled out when we arrived, and hopefully streamline the process.

However, when we sat down yesterday afternoon to do our paperwork, we discovered more information is required than we remember providing in the past. Parents birthdays were easy enough, but SodaBoy and I both stumbled a bit when it came to our parents birth places. We knew the general areas where our folks were born, but weren't certain if they were born in the small towns where they grew up, or the nearby bigger cities where the hospitals are located.

So we starting placing phone calls, and it was a few hours before we tracked down all the pertinent data. Hence the need for the trip to the mall, to get to the post office and accomplish the goal of getting the passport applications completed. See, the post office branch located at the mall has extended hours compared to all other branches in the area: it is open evenings and weekends, even Sundays. I would even go so far as to say it would seriously rock, if only it wasn't located at the dreaded mall.

The line was super long, and super slow. Several people had called in sick, stranding one sole postal clerk to staff the entire branch alone. I have decided postal workers get a bad rap. This man was practically a saint, he was so calm and patient. With his help, we accomplished our goal! The application process is complete... now we just have to wait for the passports to arrive in the mail.

The only part that was a little weird is that they kept our birth certificates, to be returned with the passports when they arrive in the mail. SodaBoy and I each only have the one copy of our birth certificates, and mine is the original, with the raised seal and real signatures. I feel vaguely bereft without it -- hopefully it will all work out, and I won't need it in the interim. To quote the hilarious Lanes123, I'm sure it's fine.

Translation: I won't start panicking for at least a month.

13 comments:

Electronic Goose said...

I always feel for the workers at the DMV and the post office. Retail is hell.

Weird about the birth certificates ... I wouldn't want to leave mine.

Momma Val said...

Ooh, I hate the mall too. Think we had copies that we sent of our birth certificates when we applied for our passports back back when. Let's hope that nothing gets lost in the mail. I agree with EG. BTW, where ya headed?

Nadine said...

How exciting! I hope someday to acquire (and use!) a passport.

Momma Val said...

Hey Berrybird,
I have a crockpot lasagna recipe if you are interested. Also, I gave my friend a second hand crock pot and when I went tot he website to download the user's manual for her they had a ton of recipes on the website too. Just in case you are looking for recipes. They may even have some for your specific model??? :) Good luck!

Mom to Baby J said...

I just had to renew my passport too and send in my original marriage license (mine was just a name change actually). Just so you aren't freaked out, my passport came the same day, but in a separate envelope than my marriage license. I'm sure it will get back to you! And where are you going? :)

coffeypot said...

I don't think my parents were ever born. I thing they just 'were.'

BlackenedBoy said...

I would have given them copies. Bereaucracies are notoriously incompetent.

That whole process sounds like such a pain in the butt.

Where are you going?

BerryBird said...

Yeah... a copy would have been the thing to do, I just hadn't done enough homework first and was under the false impression that the clerk who interviewed us would simply look at the documents and then give them back. Silly me.

I think I should save our destination for its own post. Bwahaha! [By which I mean: stay tuned.]

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Did they accept a copy> Bb had to turn his original in and then while they still had it, he got turned back at the border crossing into Canada and had to drive all the way around the long way and didn't get home til after midnight. And had to get up at 4:23 AM.

Hope it works out better for you.

Glad you got the process underway.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

BB DID get the original back and so did I.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

My reader said there were no new items on your blog but there were (I use google reader).

jo(e) said...

When my two oldest kids got passports, they had to send in the original birth certificates. They did get them safely back in the mail.

lanes123 said...

Thank you for the shout out! Before I got to that point, I had actually chuckled that phrase to myself several times.

I'm sure it, ahem, will be fine, but I know you'll breathe a lot easier when you actually have the birth certificates back in your hands.