Monday, May 26, 2008

Passport Renewal

My passport renewal experience...

When i reached the passport office at 8:30AM I was surprised to see a mile long queue. There were 150+ people ahead of me. I wasn't prepared for the long wait - no umbrella (sun was already sharp), no book. At around 9:05AM i experienced a 'stepping into God's favor moment' (in Joel Osteen's words) - a teenaged boy approached me and said he had reserved two spots up front and now one spot was open as his friend wasn't coming. He asked if i wanted it. No prize for guessing what my response was :). In moments i went from 150+ to 22nd position. Apparently people at the front had been waiting since 5:30AM...

Passport Office opened at 9:30AM and they started issuing tokens - they do preliminary check of the documents before issuing the token. After that comes the more detailed review and then form submission.

When my turn came to submit the form, they wouldn't accept the form because i didn't have address proof. I had to got to Citibank Suvidha Customer Care Center on MG Road for the letter. God bless Citibank! Within an hour i was back at the Passport Office and thereon flow was smooth - submitted the form, met the Deputy Passport Officer which is an additional step for Tatkaal applications, paid the fee (Rs. 3000 for Jumbo booklet with 50 pages) and was out at 12:40PM. Am supposed to receive the new passport by post on Thursday.

About the meeting with Deputy Passport Officer, Mr. Ramesh Bhat. He was extremely nice - polite, professional with human touch. At the end of the interview he said, 'Best of luck Beta. God Bless You!' How often do you meet government officials who are that pleasant?

List of documents required for passport reissue/ renewal if you already have the ECNR seal:
(a) Application Form # 1 - can be downloaded from
(b) Two copies of the first and last four pages of the passport PLUS valid/ active visa pages
(c) Address proof like voter id, BSNL phone bill or letter from the bank (see website for complete list) is required if current residential address entered in the app form is different from the address in the passport. New passport will be delivered to the current residential address and that address will appear in the new passport as well
(d) For Tatkaal applications (delivery within 3 days) you need to submit couple other documents: Annexure I on stamp paper and attested by Notary (i got this from BCD Travel. Ph: 080 4040 6720). And a hand written request letter addressed to the passport officer

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