Thursday, October 04, 2007

A new passport... simple.

This isn't the first time I've had to renew my passport since leaving Canada. So I sort of knew what to expect. Even though the process hasn't phased me too badly, it's stunning how complicated it is!

I have to turn in my passport and new-passport application to the Canadian Embassy in the Hague. Even though I'll be in Canada all next week, I can't do it there. Renewals are only allowed in your country of residence. So okay, I fly Saturday and return a week later. I need the passport I have now.

So in two weeks I can go to the embassy. But first I need to go to the dentist! The dentist? Yes, the dentist. Or I could visit my lawyer or my doctor. But I need a signature from a similar notary or witness to sign my application. Fine, I need my 6-month cleaning. So I come home from Canada and go to the dentist to get my passport paperwork filled in.

Then I need to take my passport application and my plane ticket to the Hague. Plane ticket? Yes, I need to get a plane ticket ASAP or else I won't be able to visit Denmark.

I've got plans to visit Denmark 2 weeks after Canada. But the passport (which they'll have and I won't) will take 15 working days... three full weeks. So I also need a temporary passport issued to me before I hand in my application for a real one. And to get the temporary passport, you've got to fill in more forms, pay extra fees, and show proof of travel, ie. a plane ticket. So if I want to leave Holland I need to have a ticket purchased well in advance.

So I'll take my two forms (renewal and temporary), my dentist's signature, my plane ticket, about 160 euros (cash only, no credit) and half a day off work (not including the dentist's appointment) and hand over my passport. Then, just three short weeks (perhaps 2 international trips) and another half day off of work later and I'll have my shiny new Canadian passport.

I'm not even considering the trip to the store to buy new print cartridges as part of the process.

I knew Canadian passports were "popular" but this is silly!


Charline said...

Ah good ol' Canadian Administrative bureaucratese! It's one thing we do better than anybody else! signed...a proud public servant!! Why'd you wait until the last minute? :-)

I Dive At Night said...

Honestly Char the Dutch are worse for paperwork and lining up.

Last minute? It expires in 6.5 months. But I travel 1-2 times a month on average... more in the next few months. One of my upcoming trips (Malaysia & Singapore) requires the passport be valid for longer than 6 months.

Charline said...

Ah man, burst my bubble!! We're not even first in bureaucratic paperwork? Man...what's the world come to!

I Dive At Night said...

What's the world come to? A slow moving line.

Minka said...


I usually go to the German Embassy here in reykjavik and tell them..."My passport is runnign out, I need a new one!" "Sign right here and expect it within the next 10 days." is the answer.
Canada is weird!

I Dive At Night said...

Yeah, Canada is a lot like Europe in terms of it's paperwork. (Obviously this doesn't include Iceland.) But it's also under U.S. pressure due to the world's longest undefended boarder. We're lead to believe that the evil doers treasure Canadian passports as a means to enter the U.S.

quilly said...

I had so much trouble just getting my passport I don't want to think about renewing it!

I Dive At Night said...

That's precisely my problem. Now to renew a Canadian passport you use the same form and same requirements as getting one for the first time. Used to be a simple matter of showing the old one and getting a new one.