Argh, the pain of getting a new US passport – especially when in China.
Not inclusive of all of the (amazingly) bureaucratic Chinese government stuff … here’s a small instructional list of HOW to go about getting your (adult) replacement passport:
1) get you photo taken – understand, the photo will be on your passport for 10 years, and will be inspected by countless people with nothing to do but mess with you … so make sure your hair color is somewhat normal
2) get in (virtual ) line at the “American Citizen Services” department – find your consulate’s website and pre-register; sometimes it is the only way to get in to the consulate.
3) listen to spoiled brats run around screaming at top of lungs while their relatives pretend their children/grandchildren are angels
4) scream at the kids and the parents – I choose to (attempt) to humble the adults as the children are probably doing the same behavior in the consulate that they do at home; I say a variant of “Mister, please. We are NOT in your living room right now.” It has always worked.
5) get called
6) hand in your previously filled out application – which is done on the State Department’s website online (and then you need to print it out, and NOT sign it before you get there; they want to watch you sign it to compare to your existing – expiring – passport)
7) get your invoice, and go to the cashier booth
pass through the huge room for Chinese applying for visitor visas – ignore the other brats
9) pay your money; now any currency is acceptable – as is credit card – however, you’ll need to pay for each ‘service’ completely in ONE currency when using multi-currencies. For example, I had to pay USD 110 – which was USD 70 and USD 40 (I’ve no idea what the breakdowns were for). I tried to pay USD 100 in cash, and the remaining in Chinese Yuan…. NOPE. I paid USD 70 in cash, they gave me USD 30 back. Then, I paid the remaining in RMB. Shrug.)
10) take your receipt back to American Citizen Services
11) Hand in your receipt, get your (expiring) passport back
12) Be informed that you’ll RECEIVE AN EMAIL when your new passport has arrived
13) Be informed to NOT loose the receipt, and return with your current passport.
- Arrive back
- Hand in receipt
- Hand in ‘old’ passport
- Wait undetermined amount of time
- Receive ‘new’ passport
- Receive ‘old’ passport with EXPIRED punched through its pages
Anyway – that was Wednesday … so I’ll be sure to let you know how the ‘future process’ goes.
COMMENT REGARDING SECURITY:
As we all know- I’m now handicapped (see previous posts; http://parkerfairfield.com/?s=accident) … so I’ve a LOT of metal in my left leg (2 twelve inch (30 cm) titanium rods, and 11 titanium screws) …
So much metal that EVERY time I walk thru a metal – detector, it goes off.
Well, every time until I walked into the Guangzhou American Consulate.
I mentioned this to the Security staff there … but I’m willing to bet they didn’t report it to anyone (even though my left leg has so many scars, it looks like a zipper).
Yup, Americans … sometimes we waste so much effort, money and time on things that we do in such a mediocre way.