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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Passport Saga....

Hubs and I need to go out of the country on business.  Therefore, I need to get my passport.  Hubs has nagged me to get this done daily for a few weeks, and it's getting old.   Nope, I've never left the country before, except for Cayman and Canada, and you didn't need a passport at the time.  Yesterday, I decide that when I take all of the orders to the post office, I will take care of the whole passport situation.  I go over all of the paperwork, making sure I have my ducks in a row...and head over to AAA to get my passport picture taken.  The ladies there were quite pleasant, and in 10 minutes I was on my way with two pictures *free* because I am some sort of Premier Member.  I'm feeling good....

Then....the Post Office!  Since you can only get your passport at the larger post offices, I had to go to the one downtown.  Stood in the long line, took care of my packages and they tell me there is a different line for passports.  Not a problem...afterall, I'm feeling pretty good.  The little fella (I am being facetious--he was rather large and intimidating, with a booming 'not-so-quiet' voice) calls me over and asks if I have an appointment.  Excuse me?  An appointment?  No, sir, I do not.  I did not know I needed an appointment.  He shows me his pitiful little appointment book and says he is booked.  He does, however, offer up that across the street at the Clerk of Courts office, you can get your passport without an appointment.  Sweeeeet!  He tells me to cross the street, turn down the side street and it is right there.  Thank you little fella!  I'm still feeling good.....

I cross the street, go down the side street and nothing.  I round the block...nothing.  I keep going.  Now, I have walked completely around the block and the door for the Clerk of Courts office...well, it was right where I started!  I'm still feeling good....but quite winded.  I go through the metal detectors and the deputy sends me to the second floor.  I pass through the lines of people waiting to go into the courtroom and make it to the office.  Girl 1 looks at Girl 2....do we do passports here?  (My heart flutters...please....)  No, she says, ask Girl 3.  Girl 3 sends me back down the STAIRS to the Title Office.  She says they do them there.  OK, still feeling good...a little winded...but good.....

I go in the Title Office, take a number and wait patiently for my turn.  Yippee...my number is called.  Passport?  She asks....well, you will have to wait for Carmen.  Carmen instructs me to come through the gate and have a seat.  Oh yeah...I'm almost done....woot woot!  Carmen looks at my application.  Thank you for printing so neatly.  Carmen looks at my photocopy of the front and back of my driver's license.  Thank you for remembering to do this....most people don't read the instructions and forget this.  Carmen asks me if I know that I cannot use cash or a debit card to pay, I must use a check.  I flash my checkbook at her and tell her Yup I've read the paperwork!  She starts to log onto the computer.....and then it happens.  Oh, I can't use this as your proof of citizenship.  WHAT??!!!  But, Carmen, this is what I used even when I got my driver's license.  I'm so sorry sweetie, she says *hmmpf* but that was AND I QUOTE "a few years ago, and things have changed since then".  OK, I think I am going to hyperventilate.....it has the raised seal, it is signed....  But, she says, even though the passport application doesn't say so, you need the raised seal proof from the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  I could try to use this, but they would just reject your application and you would have to start over.  OK, not feeling good anymore....feeling like I got socked in the gut.

I go home and get on the internet.  It takes approx 3-4 weeks to get a copy mailed to you.  I don't have that long!  So, I get in the car and drive 1 1/2 hours to C-town to go to the State office for the Bureau of Vital Statistics.  Twenty minutes later, I have the paperwork in hand and head back home--another 1 1/2 hour drive.  I get back to my world at 10 minutes until 4.  This is relevant because they close at 4!

Soooooooooooo.......guess where I am headed off to this morning!  Nope, not the post office.  I am going to see my new BFF, Carmen....who will undoubtedly make sure that my trip to Cancun goes off without a hitch!  Oh, and I will have my passport before hubs does.....neener neener neener!

Blessings......

2 comments:

Merilyn said...

Getting a Passport is a bit of a 'hulla-baloo' I have to say!!! even here, it can be a pain, but oh! so worth it!!! Have a great trip!!!

Quilter Kathy said...

I understand your frustration. I just got passports last year for the entire family, mother-in-law included and it was a paperwork nightmare.
You'll forget all about that when you're laying in the sun on the beach!