A Likeness of Myself

July 24, 2007

They say that the third time is a charm, and in the case of getting a new passport that appears to be the case for me.

Attempt Number One Yesterday afternoon, armed with passport photos fresh from Target, we stopped at the post office on our way home. Sibylle opted to wait in the car and as it turns out she had a rather short stay. The post office only processes passports between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Naturally I missed seeing that sign and ended up getting rather brusque treatment from the woman behind the counter when it was my turn.

Attempt Number Two Looking at the USPS web site I determined that there were at least two post office locations within walking distance of my office downtown so I resolved to take care of the application over lunch today. Patience not being my strong suit I actually walked over to the first location shortly after 10:00 am only to discover that I had forgotten my birth certificate. (As it turns out I didn't have that key document with me Monday afternoon either.) The postman was generous enough to review the application and statement of theft to save me any future hassle when I returned.

Attempt Number Three Leaving work a bit early today, and with Sibylle bringing the errant birth certificate, I was at the post office near home by 3:30 this afternoon. The postal clerk certainly knew his stuff and was able to rapidly process the theft letter and the new application. Since we are leaving in just 52 days I had to request an expedited passport; non-expedited processing is currently running 12 to 14 weeks.

At the end of all the paperwork, and when the fees have been collected you are asked, "Do you swear that you are <your name here>, that the information submitted is true to the best of your ability, and that the pictures are a likeness of yourself?" You say yes, and he stamps everything in sight vigorously.

In about a week I should be able to track the application's progress on the State Department site, and, hopefully, in two or three weeks I'll be getting an express letter in the mail with my new passport.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.