April 17, 2008 4:18 pm

Counting Chickens Before They’ve Hatched

You know how sometimes you get news, and you are not sure whether you should laugh or cry? That happened to me today.

In preparation for our magical trip to Canada, we applied for passports since you need them if you are going to be flying in. We had plenty of time, so there wasn’t any need to expedite them. Case in point, Daniel received his passport yesterday.

Yeah. Daniel did. Mine was still out in passport la-la-land somewhere. I was holding out hope that maybe today it would come in the mail and then I could insert it lovingly into the pretty pretty passport case I bought off of Etsy and all would be well. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out like that.

Instead of my key to world travel, I received a letter that had some mumbo-jumbo stating that the identification submitted for the passport was not annotated on my application, and I can consider my passport denied if I do not send a photocopy of my driver’s license to them within 90 days.

Of course I was at work when I got the news, so sobbing loudly in our open office would have been awkward, but believe me, hearing that was immensely disappointing. Also, slightly panic inducing, considering we already have our plans made and canceling things would be a huge pain in the ass. It was so awful sounding that it was almost funny. I just knew buying that passport case early was going to come back and get me in the end.

I called the agency to see if I could get some clarification. I am not convinced the lady really knew what I was asking, which was: upon receiving my photocopied driver’s license, does the processing time start over from the beginning (4-6 weeks) or does it pick up from where it left off (maybe more like 2-4 weeks)? The roundabout answer I got was – I think – that it picks up from where it left off. Yay! Except I definitely DEFINITELY need it in four weeks.

Then I asked what my expediting options were. I was told I could overnight the letter with the documents to the agency, which would give me a tracking code so I could make sure they received it. I could also include my credit card number and ask them to expedite the process from here on out.

That puts me into a very unenviable position. I did not mess up my application. The standoffish old man at the post office who approved our applications failed to check the box that said I offered up my ID for verification, and as such, I have to jump through hoops and pay extra money ($60 for expediting, plus the overnight shipping fee) to cover for that mistake.

I guess in theory, I wouldn’t have to expedite. But I’m not convinced I would feel comfortable sending off that photocopy without trying my best to make sure I got the passport before we have to leave.

Argh. Why do things have to be so difficult?

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  • Kerri Anne says:

    SO frustrating.

    Right now I am waiting for a Brazilian visa to come back for one of our travelers at work who has to leave for Brazil first thing Monday morning. They assured me it would arrive by today. It didn’t. The consulate is not moving quickly and yet we pay upwards of three-hundred dollars sometimes to ensure it arrives promptly.

    Bureaucracy. Ug.

  • Ron D says:

    That sucks. Hopefully you get your passport in time. Getting passports and visas can get tricky. I’ve known a couple of people that expedited their passports with http://www.rushmypassport.com and got their passports in time, but they had to pay a lot more. I guess they help facilitate the process with the govt…

  • Erin says:

    Doesn’t it seem like one thing always has to go wrong whenever dealing with something major? Ugh. I hope you get your passport in time for your honeymoon and that all the rest of your wedding plans go smoothly.

  • Valerina says:

    Good luck in getting your passport! I also had fun reading your “100 things post” but couldnt find a way to leave a comment there; maybe Im not awake yet, its Monday!

  • Abby says:


    So, years ago, when I first got my passport, I applied almost exactly 6 weeks before our trip was planned. No passport, no passport, no passport. I’m spending the last 3 days before our trip in Seattle for Student Painters sales training, so I’m frustrated that it hasn’t arrived even a few days before the very end of the possible dates it could be sent to me. I make an excess trip up to Bellingham Sunday evening (plane leaves Tues) to get my passport. No passport in the mailbox. I spend one sleepless night in Bellingham, drive back to Seattle ridiculously early for sales training Monday, and squirm in my chair all the way to lunch. At lunch monday, panicked, I spend the whole hour on the phone, only to discover that my passport was lost in the mail. (Hello, security?) After begging and pleading with Dwayne and Jessica (owners of Student Painters) for the last 10 minutes of lunch, I skip the last afternoon of sales training to go to downtown Seattle and have a new passport made on the spot. I had no idea they could even do that, and to this day, I am in wonder that it even happened. As a delightful result of the incident that also wasn’t my fault AT ALL, I get interrogated every time I go through security because my passport says it is a replacement for a lost or stolen passport. Sigh.

    Good luck! The moral of the story is, you can always get one made last minute if it’s their fault!

  • lkvy says:

    Wow. Lamesauce.

  • Christine says:

    I havent been here in forever! I’m sorry! 8O

    But only 22 days to go! Oh how excited :star:

    that pass port fiasco sounds uber stressful tho. *hugs* i would go to the office and get them to pay for expediting it. it’s not your fault!

    now i’m curious where you’re honey mooning! time to comb your past entries meow.

  • Chanel says:

    In my experience, getting a passport is a huge, huge hassle – especially when they know you need it. It’s like the plot against you: the more you need it, the harder it is to get it.

    Best of luck though! Hopefully it will come in time. :)

  • amy purple says:

    Good luck with getting your passport. This sounds like something that would happen to me. Sometimes I just have the worst luck and things turn into a hassle! However, it usually (and thankfully) works itself out in the end. SO…. try not to stress too much.