Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Tips To Get You Passport Without Any Hassles

The last time I renewed my passport was in the year 2010, when Congress was in power. I remember paying money to a tout to get my passport. I got my passport without having to go to the passport office. Goes without saying that palms were greased to complete the process. I had to pay a bribe at my local police station to get my passport. But with so much praise being heaped on Mrs. Sushma Swaraj's efforts to transform the process, we were hoping that this time around our experience is a seamless one. Read our article to find out how our experience & some tips to get your passport without any hassles whatsoever.

Form Filling

We googled "passport renewal" on our laptop & the link to the passport site was the topmost search item. We clicked on the  link & we were take  to a decently designed website(very good by PSU standards). We filled a form - which took around 10mins & paid the fees via our credit card. We uploaded copies of our aadhar card & that was it. The next day we received a call from the call centre . They asked to choose the passport centre & time. We picked the lower parel centre owing to its closeness to our office.

Passport Office

We reached the passport office  15 min earlier than the reporting time which was 10.30AM. Unfortunately, it turned out be a bad decision. We had to wait for 30 mins ie till the appointment time which was 10.45AM. We were told that we weren't allowed to enter the office till 10.45AM. The month this happened was in March & the heat was unbearable. Thankfully, there was a seating area outside the office, where many like us were waiting. We stood in the queue outside the office at our reporting time ie 10.30AM & were made to wait in the sun for another 15mins.

Finally at 10.45AM, it was our turn to enter the office. There were several lines to deliver the documents. We chose one line. On reaching the start of the line, a staffer asked us to submit a copy of our aadhar card & the original, the first two & the last two pages of our existing passport. We made the mistake of taking a printout of the camscanner scanned image of aadhar card & were asked to take a photo copy instead. There was a   xerox machine inside the premises & were were charged a nominal amount for the photocopy. After   submitting the photo copy of the aadhar card, we were asked to enter another section inside the office & were given a token number. On seeing the toke number flash on a TV screen, were were asked to enter A section of the office. On entering the A section, we reached the desk of the staffer, who asked us to submit our documents. She then proceeded to take our finger prints & pics. After this were were asked to go to the B section. At the B-section we our documents were again verified & were asked to go to the c-section.

We had to wait for approx. 5mins our token number(issued after we submitted the aadhar card copy)to be flashed on the TV screen. Again our documents were checked, then signed & stamped. We were then asked to the D-section. We had to wait for 10 mins before our turn came. We were then asked to present our documents, sign  a few times & we were told the process is complete. Before leaving the premises, we were told to fill the feedback form & our address details.

Within 3-4 days, our passport arrived via speed post! There were no demands for bribes from the cops or anyone involved. It was truly a first world experience. Kudos to PM Modi & Mrs. Sushma Swaraj for transforming the process entirely.

The entire process took approx. an hour. Here are some tips to make your visit hassle free

  • Remember to take photo copies of your aadhar card, education proof(which we weren't asked to submit) & first, last two pages of your passport. Do carry the original documents as well.
  • Do not take a camscanner scanned prinout of the document as it will be rejected.
  • Do not reach the venue too early. Reach a few mins before your appointment time.
  • Remember to carry a book or some good music/movies on your phone. You will have to wait for quite a while.
  • If you are getting the passport renewed, the process will be very simple.
  • If you opt for tatkaal, the process is even faster.
  • There is no need to pay a bribe

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