View Full Version : A Trip to the Passport Office
01-21-2004, 11:29 AM
Went to the Kitchener Passport Office to drop off my forms, yesterday. My current one expires just before our March Break trip so I thought I might as well get it done now "just in case". I feel better traveling to the US with a passport, especially in these times.
When I went into a travel agency to pick up the blank forms, she told me that you can now print them online and proceeded to do this for me even though I was not a client! :) Online Form (http://www.ppt.gc.ca/online_forms/index_e.asp)
I wasn't sure how long it was going to take at the Passport Office(after hearing all the horror stories about long waits), so I paid for 2 hours worth of parking in a nearby parking lot with one those parking ticket machines.
When I arrived at the Passport Office, I was met by a sea of people and thought "oh no, I'll never get this done in time". Dan was with me and had an orthodontist appointment in 2 hours time, too.
I looked to take a number but was directed to a counter where an agent asked for all my documentation and paper-clipped it together and gave me a number. I was #A265 and the digital board showed they were are at #A240. Actually the numbers moved along quite quickly up until the last 15 minutes or so when I guess some of the agents were taking afternoon breaks.
About 50 minutes later, I was called to a station to process everything. I expected to be given a return date in a couple of weeks, like last time, but was told that my new passport would be couriered to my home on or around February 3rd. This was a pleasant surprise since I live out of town.
So, we were in and out with an hour to spare!
01-21-2004, 02:51 PM
WOW ... I think this is almost a first for a government agency! I have considered getting passports for all 4 of us, but it really bugs me how expensive they are, especially for small children. I think it's too bad that they got rid of the ability to "post a child on the parents passport".
Thanks for the link to the forms.
01-21-2004, 03:53 PM
I got my passport renewed last March (in the middle of SARS) in Mississauga. It took my 1½ to get my passport processed. It was ready for pick in 10 working days. The pick up line was much shorter; in and ount in 10 minutes.
I have a friend that is currefntly trying to get a new birth cetificate in order to get his passport from Toronto city hall. The wait was over two hours. They will expediate the process if you can prove the urgenc9 (ie you have plane tickets). He is not getting his tickets until he gets he geets his birth certificate. He had a paper birth certificate and lamenated (sp?) it. It void the certificate. If you have a paper birth certificate leave as it or you will need a new one.
01-21-2004, 08:02 PM
Thanks for posting this. I have to go to Kitchener's passport office on Monday and I was dreading it. Our passports expire in Feb. and we are going to Disney for March break. What documents did you have to leave with them?
01-21-2004, 08:13 PM
Hi Tink42, I brought my Canadian Citizenship document as I was born in England, which they asked for, my marriage certificate, which they did not ask for but I had it ready when she confirmed my "married" name, my driver's licence which I used as "one" of the choices of ID and my current passport which they stamped "cancelled", cut off the corner and returned to me since I requested it. Once they checked my supporting documents, all were returned to me. We arrived at the Passport Office shortly after 2pm, I had been dreading it too.
01-21-2004, 10:01 PM
I have nothing but great things to say about my own experiences with the Kitchener, Ontario passport office. I paid a visit to them in late September to get passports for an Oct. 2 trip to New Orleans. No wait at all -- I walked right up to the next available attendant and she processed my application and the application I had for my DW. She cautioned me that the passports might not get to us in time -- but a knock on the door about a week later showed me a smiling courier delivering our new passports.
Just make sure you have all your documents as requested. They are now calling the guarantors (I get called whenever I guarantee a passport now) and I have received those calls the same day as the application was made (once within an hour of signing the passport application as guarantor!!) It all makes for a much smoother application process.
I have, however, also heard of problems with those applying for passports prior to the expiration of their current passport.
01-22-2004, 01:20 PM
Thanks, TimNDansMom and Royal Canadian for the information.
01-25-2004, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by CdnDisneyNut
He is not getting his tickets until he gets he geets his birth certificate. He had a paper birth certificate and lamenated (sp?) it. It void the certificate. If you have a paper birth certificate leave as it or you will need a new one.
YIKES. I have a lamenated birth certificate but it's been that way since it was issued in 1981. Same thing for my travel-mates, it's been lamenated since 1976. Do you think we'll need to get new ones? This is obviously from back in the day when you did lamenate.
01-25-2004, 02:46 PM
My birth certificate is a plastic one from the old days-not laminated. But my son did put packing tape to "protect" his, and last year we had to get a new one before we got the passport for him. It was a run, run, as fast as you can one, too, since he was turning 16, and the cost of passports go up at that time.
01-25-2004, 03:20 PM
My birth certificate has been wrapped in tape for a very long time and also has a government mistake "fixed" in blue ballpoint pen. The Kitchener passport office happily accepted this birth certificate when I recently applied for a new passport. Similarly, my wife's birth certificate is laminated in hard plastic and was also accepted as ID for her passport -- and I was the one submitting the applications.
01-25-2004, 05:04 PM
Neil, my DH was the one who took the stuff to get the passports, and you are right-no question about mine, in my maiden name. :)
01-25-2004, 05:12 PM
Oh yes -- that part completely slipped my mind. My DW's birth certificate was (as it should be) in her maiden name, but I had her driver's licence with me -- but nothing to connect the two. I apologized for not bringing along the Record of Marriage (the part of the Ontario marriage licence or banns form received at the wedding). The clerk told me it wasn't necessary. Suffice to say, the federal government has records on us. Previous passport applications are going to be noted with the appropriate documents used to support citizenship claims -- and they can always call the guarantors listed to check up on applicants.
My problem with the kitchener passport office began when they kept my son's birth certificate without giving us a reason. They said they would mail it back separately from the passport. Well he received the passport by registered mail (he is a student at Uof G) but they sent the BC back separately. It was returned as undeliverable and they phoned me, demanding we drive from kingston to pick it up! After an afternoon spent in negotiation, and trying to explain, we lived in Kingston and my son lived in Guelph with no means to drive to kitchener, they finally agreed to mail it out to him if I sent a postage paid envelope. I have registered a letter to them with a priority post envelope in it addressed to my son and we are crossing our fingers.
What I did find out was the reason they kept his BC was that the employee was a trainee and it had to be checked by a manager!
Needless to say, I could not direct my request for the BC to the people who I spoke to on the phone! I will not be using this office again and will take my chances with Ottawa. The delivery error appears to have been made by Canada Post who failed to leave any notification at my son's house when no one was home.
02-04-2004, 06:34 PM
I got my new passport yesterday, by courier, exactly two weeks from the time I went to the office in Kitchener.
I was somewhat disappointed in my picture though. I guess due to the new security measures, they now print the picture right on the page which is covered with a holographic plastic film. After finally having a decent passport picture taken this time, they still managed to make it look like a mug shot! I now have a pink complexion, with white blotches under my eyes from the flash, which was hardly noticeable on the original photograph. It's darker too. Not as good a likeness IMO!
02-05-2004, 06:08 PM
I was at the passport office to drop off our forms. When the clerk was doing DH's form, she noticed that his health card was in his middle name. She asked me if he goes by that name instead of his first name. I said yes. She then changed his passport to be in his middle name because she said they like to have it in the name they commonly go by. So I said fine. Yesterday I was online booking my DH a flight. When I was filling in his name it said the name entered must match his passport and his driver's license. Well now this won't be the case because his driver's license is in his first name and his passport is going to be in his middle name. Plus all his credit cards and birth certificate are in his first name. I now wish I had insisted they keep his first name. It will be interesting to see if this causes any problems.
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