Sunday, 30 July 2017

How to get a new passport in 1 day

Loosing my passport before my flight is something I'd rather forget, but it's all part of life experiences. Am one of those people who only wears bags on holiday and they sit in my cupboard, the rest of the year. Sometimes I leave my passport in my bag, other times I'll put it on the shelf.  Last year a few days before my flight I went to look for my passport and it wasn't in my bag or on the shelf. I got myself in a panic and searched my whole house. By night my dad came to help me search, then phoned the passport helpline only to be told if I don't have my passport I can't get on the flight.

I started thinking I can't be the only person this has happened to, so I started googling "lost passport before my flight" and everything I could think of. All it was showing up was other stressing out asking what to do, as they lost their passport. I remembered a few friends saying they went to the passport office and got a new passport quick, so I came up with a plan to go to the passport office the next day. My dad had the rest of the photos, which was used for my passport so he said take them and it will save getting a new photo. I didn't thinking much of it, thinking the photos would be ok if I was just getting a replacement passport. The passport was 3 years old, so I thought since it's a replacement they'd just give me a new passport for the remainder 7 letting me use the same photo. I ended up staying up the whole night praying my passywould show up, incase my plan didn't work and it was save going to away to the passport office. I went to the post office, in time for it opening and ran home to quickly fill out the form. Then I had to find someone to sign saying they know me.

The most stressful part was running for the train and having to explain yourself at the passport office. The reception woman said try not to worry and go on the phone round the corner to book an appointment. The next available appointment was Monday. I went back to the reception woman and she said she'd phone up to add more appointment for today, then told me to go back to the phone to get an appointment. I got an appointment for half an hour later, so I thanked the reception woman for helping me out.

I sat waiting and a woman came forward shouting my name, so I stood up and walked forward. She goes are you deaf ? I've been calling your name for the last 10 mins. I thought it was rude and wanted to say something, but I needed my passport. I sat down and she asked to see my form and photo. The woman said isn't this the same photo ? I said yes, am just replacing it because I've misplaced my passport. She replied, so you've lost your passport. The woman said you can not use this photo, it's 3 years old it needs to be in the past 3 months. I was told if I went and got a new photo they'd try get my passport for the following day. 

I walked down the street to find a photo booth machine, but at the same time I kept saying I have been up all night, no makeup on and my hair wasn't done. I phoned my dad and said they won't let me use that photo and am not even ready for a photo. My dad said just get the photo done, only the airport people will see the photo. I had to accept it was better than loosing out on my holiday.

I arrived back at the passport office and the woman shouted me over and asked to see my holiday documents to show I had a flight in a few days. I showed my holiday booking on my phone, then I was told I had to pay an extra £20 for the fast service. I paid the £20 and was told to come back the following day, to pick up the new passport.  

The following day David, a friend chummed me back to the passport office to collect my new passport which am so grateful for as I was really stressed out. I walked in the passport office and the woman was a lot nicer second time. She went and got my passport, telling me to get my ESTA sorted as soon as I could.

I guess the passport office don't like passports getting lost, so they have to act strict. I just felt I was paying for the passport and had to pay extra for the fast service, yet I had to prove I had a flight to get. 

I couldn't thank the reception woman who was at the passport office for helping me get my passport. So if you loose your passport, don't give up hope. Try the passport office, as your last option. Be photo ready, even though you'll be stressed out. My only disappointment is I wasn't photo ready and a passport is valid for 10 years. I've looked into getting my photo changed, but you need to go through the hassle of getting a new passport again.      

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