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Old 06-25-2012, 03:39 PM   #1
PA Princess
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Passport troubles...

I am so frustrated. I know it is my own fault to a degree, but - ugh!!!! My dh and 4 kiddos all have passports. Dh and older two obtained them two years ago for a trip, and in the last year we obtained passports for the younger two. I just needed to get mine, and typical mom that I am, I put it off. I waited for the school year to end (teacher), made an appointment, and showed up today only to be told no go.

I had two birth certificates in hand (original from birth, but no raised seal), and a certified one with seal I obtained for 5 years ago to use for a cruise (is official, has a seal, but no parent names). Neither was any good to obtain a passport. I had to apply for another copy of the birth certificate, but because of the change by the state department (in effect April of 2011), I was told there is a back up and it will take 5 to 6 weeks to get that document. That does not leave enough time to also get a passport before out August 18 western Fantasy cruise.

I scoured the state department website and the DCL website, and then I spoke to two reps at DCL. It appears that I will be okay to travel again with only my birth certificate and photo ID. I am nervous about it and feel like any second someone will show up and say - nope, that won't work.

Anyone with recent experience traveling the western itinerary with a birth certificate, I would love to hear all went smooth. I know I cannot fly (and I take comfort in the fact that dh and kids can) in an emergency out of the country, but it seems I am stuck with the current situation. No more putting off my passport application next time!
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Princess View Post
I am so frustrated. I know it is my own fault to a degree, but - ugh!!!! My dh and 4 kiddos all have passports. Dh and older two obtained them two years ago for a trip, and in the last year we obtained passports for the younger two. I just needed to get mine, and typical mom that I am, I put it off. I waited for the school year to end (teacher), made an appointment, and showed up today only to be told no go.

I had two birth certificates in hand (original from birth, but no raised seal), and a certified one with seal I obtained for 5 years ago to use for a cruise (is official, has a seal, but no parent names). Neither was any good to obtain a passport. I had to apply for another copy of the birth certificate, but because of the change by the state department (in effect April of 2011), I was told there is a back up and it will take 5 to 6 weeks to get that document. That does not leave enough time to also get a passport before out August 18 western Fantasy cruise.

I scoured the state department website and the DCL website, and then I spoke to two reps at DCL. It appears that I will be okay to travel again with only my birth certificate and photo ID. I am nervous about it and feel like any second someone will show up and say - nope, that won't work.

Anyone with recent experience traveling the western itinerary with a birth certificate, I would love to hear all went smooth. I know I cannot fly (and I take comfort in the fact that dh and kids can) in an emergency out of the country, but it seems I am stuck with the current situation. No more putting off my passport application next time!
We did a western out of Galveston this past Jan. and when we arrived back in Texas there was 2 lines to go threw one for people with passports and one with id and birth certs. and the line for birth certs. was way longer than the passport line, so it looks like more people do the id and certs than passports.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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You will need a raised seal birth certificate (which you already ordered) in order to go on a closed loop cruise (start and end at the same US port), so you will be fine to cruise.
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #4
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You are fine to sail with no passport as long as you leave and return on the same ship to the same port. This is all fine, UNLESS you get ill, miss the ship at a port, or have any other reason you need take an airplane home instead of the ship. That's where things get kinda sticky. It's a slim chance....but something to keep in mind. Also....keep in mind that just because the state departments says 6 weeks....rarely does it ever take that long. I would go ahead and try to get the passport. If it doesn't happen in time, you're still ok to sail.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DLW8 View Post
You will need a raised seal birth certificate (which you already ordered) in order to go on a closed loop cruise (start and end at the same US port), so you will be fine to cruise.
Even thought the op has a "raised" seal BC please note that not all certified BC have a raised seal these days some have holograms others have water marks or other methods.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DLW8 View Post
You will need a raised seal birth certificate (which you already ordered) in order to go on a closed loop cruise (start and end at the same US port), so you will be fine to cruise.
Not all states issued a certificate with a raised seal. The BC I got when I went to registrar in Orange county, CA just has a statement saying it is a certified copy with the registrars signature.

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Old 06-25-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianall View Post
You are fine to sail with no passport as long as you leave and return on the same ship to the same port. This is all fine, UNLESS you get ill, miss the ship at a port, or have any other reason you need take an airplane home instead of the ship. That's where things get kinda sticky. It's a slim chance....but something to keep in mind. Also....keep in mind that just because the state departments says 6 weeks....rarely does it ever take that long. I would go ahead and try to get the passport. If it doesn't happen in time, you're still ok to sail.
I agree with the highlighted.....When we went on our cruise 2 years ago, DH was told at the passport office that his BC (with raised seal) was "too old" (This is PA as well....) He went online and ordered a new BC...had it in 2 days, and then did an "expedited passport"...had that in less than 2 weeks....we had 10 at that point, but it came fast.
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Old 06-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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It has to be the new long form bIrth certIfIcate to sail or to get your passport.

Hopefully you ask for 2 copies of your birtH certificate so you can have 1 for the feel sailing 1 to apply for a passport. Then maybe you'll geT your passporT in Time they have been pretty quick at state department lately
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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I agree with the highlighted.....When we went on our cruise 2 years ago, DH was told at the passport office that his BC (with raised seal) was "too old" (This is PA as well....) He went online and ordered a new BC...had it in 2 days, and then did an "expedited passport"...had that in less than 2 weeks....we had 10 at that point, but it came fast.
I hope that the BC will arrive faster than anticipated. I ordered that through a state rep's office (they send a currier every day to Harrisburg), but they were the ones who told me they are seeing big delays currently with BC requests...they had several people who paid a company to deliver in a speedy fashion with no luck.

Don't you just love how the government just decides a legal document is too old and no longer valid??? Who knew BC expire??? This will be my third version of a BC and I am only 40!
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:31 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rosermama View Post
It has to be the new long form bIrth certIfIcate to sail or to get your passport.

Hopefully you ask for 2 copies of your birtH certificate so you can have 1 for the feel sailing 1 to apply for a passport. Then maybe you'll geT your passporT in Time they have been pretty quick at state department lately
Okay, so what does the term "long form" mean exactly? Are you referring to the parent info being included? If that is what you are saying, that counters what 2 DCL reps told me today and what the state department cite says. From where is your information?

In the long run it should not matter for me, because I will have the newer BC by cruise time barring any outrageous delay by PA. I just do not want to put forth incorrect info on a convoluted topic.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:32 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TXDCLfan View Post
We did a western out of Galveston this past Jan. and when we arrived back in Texas there was 2 lines to go threw one for people with passports and one with id and birth certs. and the line for birth certs. was way longer than the passport line, so it looks like more people do the id and certs than passports.
Thanks for the reassurance :-) May be one time I will be glad for a longer line:-)
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PA Princess View Post
Okay, so what does the term "long form" mean exactly? Are you referring to the parent info being included? If that is what you are saying, that counters what 2 DCL reps told me today and what the state department cite says. From where is your information?

In the long run it should not matter for me, because I will have the newer BC by cruise time barring any outrageous delay by PA. I just do not want to put forth incorrect info on a convoluted topic.
In some states, CA among them, you can get an "Extract of Birth". It's offical, to a point, it can be certified, but it doesn't have all the information necessary to get a passport (as some have found after trying to use it for passport application). The "long form" is the actual full birth certificate, certified, with all the birth information on it.

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Old 06-25-2012, 08:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by brianall View Post
You are fine to sail with no passport as long as you leave and return on the same ship to the same port. This is all fine, UNLESS you get ill, miss the ship at a port, or have any other reason you need take an airplane home instead of the ship. That's where things get kinda sticky. It's a slim chance....but something to keep in mind. Also....keep in mind that just because the state departments says 6 weeks....rarely does it ever take that long. I would go ahead and try to get the passport. If it doesn't happen in time, you're still ok to sail.
But not really, I'm afraid. Since you'll have to send in your new b.c. With your application for a passport, you might have neither in time for cruise. I think I'd just sail with your birth certificate.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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We are also in a passport problem through no fault of our own. We sail in early Aug. We waited until DS was 16 at the end of April to renew his passport so he could get a 10 year adult passport. We had everything we needed, the person at the passport office took our money, processed the papers/picture and we waited, and waited, and waited for it to come in the mail. Six weeks later we get a letter saying our DS's passport is currently not able to be issued due to not having parental permission. Apparently the lady at the office should have copied mine and his dad's ID so they would know DS had our permission to get a passport since he was 16 and did not have a driver's license. We sent in the information requested 2 weeks ago so we are back to the waiting game. I think we should be fine, but I won't relax until I have his passport in hand. Makes me angry we have to pay an office to get the passport info sent in and they do it wrong!
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:53 PM   #15
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I hope that the BC will arrive faster than anticipated. I ordered that through a state rep's office (they send a currier every day to Harrisburg), but they were the ones who told me they are seeing big delays currently with BC requests...they had several people who paid a company to deliver in a speedy fashion with no luck.

Don't you just love how the government just decides a legal document is too old and no longer valid??? Who knew BC expire??? This will be my third version of a BC and I am only 40!
It didn't expire. The original copy you have isn't official at all, so was never good for anything that required a certified copy. The one without parent names simply isn't what is needed now; now they need more information.


Is there any chance you could go to Harrisburg and get one? The site I find when I google "harrisburg pa birth certificate" indicates that in April they were switching computer systems and might not be able to do same-day BC requests during that time, but it's been a couple months since then. Can you call to see if you can walk in and get one? If so, is it a drive that's short enough to make it worth it?

That way you could easily and quickly get two, then send one off to try for the passport, but still have one in case the pp isn't here in time.

Not that you NEED it, but since the rest of the family has them, you might as well match, just in case some amazing airfare to Rome or New Zealand or wherever pops up one day and you want to snag it.
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