I lost my old passport and I’m traveling to Israel at the end of May. Crap. A new one, with expedited service, costs $179. Serves me right for losing my old one that wouldn’t have expired until 2010. Oh well, this one will just last me until I’m 30 or something, so I can hopefully use it on a honeymoon!
So today I did all the things I thought I had to do to get a new passport. Printed out the forms and filled them out. I was ready for a quick (albeit painfully pricey) trip through the passport line at the local post office. But things can never be that simple in my life.
Went to Long’s Drugs to get my passport photo taken. Stood at the photo counter for 5 minutes before a sales clerk noticed me. She called for a customer service rep to come to the counter. 6 minutes later and no rep had arrived. She paged the customer service rep again. 4 more minutes later, a customer service rep comes to the counter and I ask “can you do my passport photo?” I find out the one person who knows how to do passport photos there has gone to lunch. Buger.
Left Long’s and went to Walgreens, which luckily is a few blocks away. Got my passport photo taken fairly quickly there. Was told it would take 10 minutes to print. So I started to wander around the store. The lady who told me that came and found me and let me know that someone else was printing a huge order so it would take more like 25 minutes.
25 minutes later I return and get my passport photos. Pay $8 for them, and I’m off to the post office, which is another 15 minute drive away.
Get to the post office and of course there are a few people in line. I wait, somewhat impatiently, but minimizing my impatience because I know I have every single item I need to get that passport as soon as I arrive at the front of the line, right? Right??
First of all, it turns out I didn’t have the lost passport form filled out. Or maybe I did but I must have lost the lost passport form. (hah). So I stepped aside and filled that out. Then waited a little longer.
Finally, it was my turn again. I handed the woman the various items she needed to see or take to get me signed up for this new $179 passport.
She took one look at my birth “certificate” and informed me that it’s not a certificate at all. It’s a birth registration or something like that.
It was the same stupid piece of paper I used last time I got a passport.
So she told me that I had to call up New Jersey, my home state, and request that they send me a new birth record so I could apply for a passport.
I’m traveling abroad on May 27. I already have my ticket. WHAT???
It should be ok. I went home, and called the NJ agency. They had an online site where I had to pay $38 for the new birth certificate and rush delivery of it. I still have to fax them a copy of my driver’s license before they can send me anything.
I also called up the federal passport agency hotline and was told that it’s wise to include another $17 check in my passport application to pay for rush delivery of the passport once they process it.
So all-in-all my lost passport is costing me about $200 to replace.
It’s my fault for losing it and waiting until the relative last minute, but still, I’m a little p-o’d about all this. Especially after finding out that I owed $1243 on my tax return this year.