Passport Blues, the Sequel
As regular readers of this blog know, I've been in a bit of a panic these past few weeks after sending my passport in for renewal. It's been stuck in bureaucratic limbo, a victim of the recent surge in applications due to the 2007 Passport Initiative, which requires that travelers flying to and from the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico now have the document. Meanwhile, the date for my overseas trip was fast approaching.
When I sent my passport in, the State Department was promising a processing time of four to six weeks -- which would have been just in time for my trip. A couple of weeks later, when I checked online, that estimate had turned into six to eight weeks. I cursed myself for not paying the extra $60 in the beginning to expedite the process. And when I called the passport office a couple of weeks ago to try to do that, they wouldn't even let me. An official said I had to wait until right down to the wire -- one nail-biting week before my trip -- before I could pay the fee and they would intervene.
But what do you know -- when I called them back a week before my trip, I was told that my passport had just been processed and was on its way back to me, priority mail. Two days later, it appeared in my mailbox -- just five weeks after I'd sent it in. End of cliffhanger! No $60 needed! Passport Office, you rock.
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